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Best Way to Pick Wall Paint Colors

As a painting contractor, I “never give color advice”.  That is something that can come back to bite a painter later on! Having said that here are some tips I think you will find useful to pick wall paint colors yourself.

Be sure to look at wall paint colors samples in daylight and at night!

I took this photo in my local Benjamin Moore store.  The left and right sides of the partition are using two different light bulbs: one with sunlight qualities and the other with typical indoor room lighting you would find at night.  Here is the thing: the paint on both sides of the partition is the exact same paint!  This shows how important it is to use your color samples at different times of the day.

Some paint stores will make you buy samples as large paint squares (about 2′ square), which is not such a bad thing as more is better in this case.  But it is not necessary.  Actually tell them you don’t want to buy it: “Let me borrow it”.  The manager will agree.

Try it first

The best option is to spend a little money and buy the smallest quantity they will sell you and with a throw-away cheap (maybe foam) brush, paint some samples on the walls that you will definitely paint.  Do two coats of this (yes 2!) sample color on all the walls  you will paint because shadows and angles of light are important. Here is the best way to clean your paint brush when you are done.

Having said that the free sample chips work also.  A good tip is to cut out only your favorites, and tape them together into one large block, and hold them up all at once: you can eliminate some that way.

Look for my upcoming post on why it’s best to hire a designer, but that is especially if you plan to choose bold, dark colors. If you go light, earthy, warm, pleasing colors, you’ll do fine alone.  Ask advice from others too!

Pick Wall Paint Colors: Summary of Tips

  1. Be sure to look at samples in daylight and at night.
  2. Paint some samples on the walls you will paint
  3. Use the big color samples, and put them on every wall.

When you are ready to paint, be sure to use quality painting tools, especially the brush.

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2 thoughts on “Best Way to Pick Wall Paint Colors”

    • You might. Just get your point and roller out and roll a small test area. Wrap roller in plastic and let the paint dry. Then roll 2nd coat over about half your area. See the difference and when 2nd coat dries, do you see any yellow? If yes, use a primer first or do 3 coats of your paint. Primers are cheaper esp drywall primer which is what I would use.


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