DIY Corner: 10 Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint Color

Posted in: I'm Moving, Home Decorating

Picking paint colors. What a fun way to make your home personal right from the very start, but man oh man, what a nightmare for us indecisive people in the world. Holy decisions. We recently talked to a professional painter to gather the top 10 tips for picking the perfect paint colors. Here’s what we found out:

1. Paint swatches are helpful to see what kinds of colors you are aiming for.

It’s a very preliminary step but it’s a great place to start. Check your local paint store or hardware stores for FREE swatches of paint colors. Collecting these will be helpful to bring home and tape on the wall or to carry in your purse (or wallet) when shopping for new furniture, bedding, or decor accessories. Did we mention these were FREE?!


2.  Buy Color Samples

After you’ve narrowed down your search thanks to the swatches, you may want to buy a few color samples at the paint store or local hardware store. For about $3, you can buy mini sample bottles of any color. Take these home and paint a little bit of each color on the walls to get an idea of what each color looks like in your space.

Sample Paint

3. Check the color throughout the day.

Seeing the color(s) in your space is extremely important (hel-lo sample sizes). The room’s lighting, amount of sunlight, baseboard, flooring and furniture can all have an effect on how the color looks in that room. Make sure you peek at your samples at all times of the day too, seeing the colors in the afternoon may look completely different at night. You want to make sure you love the color at all times of the day.

4. Estimate what you need and buy it.

After you decide the winning paint color, go BUY your paint and get to work. There are several conversion tools online that help you decide how much paint you should buy based on the size of the room. Like this one

5. Smartphone Apps Help Find The Perfect Color.

Can’t find the color you love? There are cell phone apps available that help you match what you see in a picture to an exact color. For example, you see a beautiful colored door on vacation and want to replicate that same exact color for your bedroom. Take a picture of the door (in the most non-creepy way possible), plug the pic into the app,  and ta-da…. you have the name of that paint color!


6. Have the hardware store scan something from the room.

Still can’t seem to find the PERFECT color within the paint swatches? Most paint stores and large retail hardware stores have computer technology that can take any color from an item you bring in (possibly like a fabric you want to match) and replicate it into that exact paint color. I wish I knew paint shops were such perfect matchmakers when I was a single lady….

7. Use any brand’s colors with any other brand’s paint.

Love the paint color from this brand but only want to paint with that brand? No problem, the computerized color matching technology can pretty much match any competitor’s paint colors within the brand of paint you love.

8. To prime or not to prime?

Now, THAT is the question. Thanks to the two-in-one products they have on the market now, you don’t have to decide! Buy the paint that has primer mixed right INTO  it so you’re able to reap the benefits of priming the walls without actually priming the walls. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me! #moneysaver

9. Paint and wait to examine the color till it dries.

After you decide on the perfect color and get painting, remember that the true color of the paint will NOT be accurate to the color you chose until AFTER it dries. I repeat, don’t judge the color until AFTER it dries. So don’t head up to the paint shop and accuse the poor clerk that he made a huge mistake until after the paint dries. Awkward….

10. Invest in better brushes.

And last but very not least, our expert painter pointed out that it’s important to invest in a quality brush ($15-25) and a quality roller ($4) to get the best results. Although this may be an unwanted investment at the time, it will be worth the extra buck and both tools can be re-used if they’re cleaned and dried properly.


And there you have it, the TOP 10 TIPS on picking the PERFECT PAINT COLORS. We hope we’ve inspired you to go get paint crazy! Tune in next week as we share the scoop on paint sheens and how to decide which is best for your space.


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