Monday, March 18, 2013

Searching For The Perfect Paint Color

I'll be the first to admit that I've made many mistakes when choosing a paint color. Prior to moving in, I did the right thing and bought testers of all the paint shades I wanted for each room...yet in the end I tested only ONE. The story is, I had only one paintbrush and after I put one tester on the wall I went to rinse off my brush for the next color and discovered our water hadn't been turned on yet. So I just said, heck, the colors will be fine...and bought the gallons of paint the following day. Only to end up loving 3 out of the 5 colors.

My lack of patience can be laughable sometimes...

So besides the obvious tip of buying a few testers (they're usually less than $3!) and actually using are some other tips to avoid that smack your head moment when you realize you made a big...sometimes expensive...and most certainly time consuming, boo boo.

Benjamin Moore

When viewing the swatch, hold it the way of the surface you'll be painting...

For instance, if you're painting the wall...hold your swatch up vertically to view the color. It's amazing how the way you hold the swatch truly affects the color due to the way the light hits the surface. Same goes for painting the ceiling. Hold the swatch above you to get a truer idea of the color.

To avoid unwanted undertones, grab a swatch of the unwanted color and compare...

I've been the victim of choosing a color that I thought was what I wanted...but then I got it on the walls and crap...a sneaky undertone comes out and it's not at all the color I was going for. How to avoid this? If you have an inkling that an unwanted color may be in your swatch, or if you're just trying to avoid a certain color...find a swatch of the unwanted color and place it next to your desired swatch. This can help bring out any sneaky undertones.

For instance, I bought a gray once only to find out that there was a tonnnn of blue in it. I was originally looking (don't laugh Rob) for a true gray. No undertones. Well, with the swatch in hand, instead of just imagining what it would look like against the white trim (which white doesn't help unveiling undertones) if I had grabbed a blue swatch and placed it next to the "gray" one I had in hand, the blue undertones would have been unable to hide. Undertones can be seriously sneaky. You gotta trust your eye. And if you don't trust yours, ask a friend!

Paint the tester on various walls of the room...

Lighting is huge when it comes to color and how it appears. I've learned to put the tester on various walls to get the best perspective of what the color would look like. And also to view the painted area in the daytime as well as at nighttime. Again, lighting can change a lot.

So I'm definitely embracing these ideas while I'm dreaming of painting our dining room/family room...and possibly our kitchen.

I'm also tired of feeling restricted to the colors offered at my local home improvement store, so I did myself a favor and ordered myself a Benjamin Moore fan deck. Yeah, with 1232 colors. It's odd how giddy this makes me feel. I've heard it time and time again how awesome Benjamin Moore colors are and I'm finally convinced. Since we don't have a Benjamin store around here, I plan to use the swatches to be color matched.

I just started browsing their colors and here's a few that I fell for...

Anyone have any painting regrets? At our last home, I had a lime green living room, an orange sherbet office, and a light blue room with a royal blue accent wall. I. am. not. kidding. I don't completely regret it, but my goodness, it was a lot of color. Anyone else drawn to more vibrant colors like me? I want to paint a room that Majestic Violet soooo bad!


  1. Remember the Green Screen? Yeah...

    1. Oh goodness, yeah I do. Glad you didn't stick with that color, your eyesight would be paying for it!



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