How to Choose the Right Paint Colors for Your Home

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My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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4 steps to choosing the perfect paint color

With nearly limitless options, choosing the right paint color can feel like an impossible task. 

You know you want blue, so you confidently stroll into Lowe’s to grab a gallon of paint. Then you hit the paint aisle. “Uh wait. Why are there 500 blues?? Is there even a difference between these two? I swear they are the same color with a different name… This color is pretty, but is it too bright for a wall? Ah nevermind…” Soon enough, your confidence and excitement for the project turns into a confused discourage mess of emotions. 

But it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can actually (dare I say it) be fun. Let me show you the four-step process that we use to pick the perfect color every time.

Step 1: Grab all the swatches

Head to your local home improvement or paint store and pick up every swatch that you think would remotely work for your space or project.

Seriously, any and every swatch. Don’t even think about it. Just grab, grab, grab and get out of there before any employees try to talk to you. We’re not making a decision today. We’re just starting the process. 

Step 2: Weed them out

lots of paint swatches

Place all of your swatches on a table and the go through and remove all the swatches that are:

  • too bright
  • too light
  • too dark
  • remove ones you don’t like as much anymore 
  • or ones that might pull too much of another color

Again, don’t over think this step. Make your decisions are quickly as possible. If you are debating pulling it out, pull it out. Even if you can’t put your finger on it, there is something holding you back from believing it’s the perfect color, so let it go. 

Keep narrowing things down until you have 3-6 swatches remaining. It’s okay if some are lighter and others are darker, or even if they are completely different colors!

Step 3: Test the lighting

paint swatches hanging on wall

Paint colors change a lot based on lighting, which is one reason I highly recommend not deciding on a paint color the first time you visit a store. Paint colors change a lot based on lighting, which is one reason I highly recommend not deciding on a paint color the first time you visit a store. 

Tape your swatches to the wall or furniture they will be on and check out the colors in natural light and artificial light at different times over a few days. Take note at which ones you like during different lighting scenarios. 

If you really want a true sense of the color, you can opt to purchase a few sample paints and test them out in your space. We generally just opt for swatches because it’s free, but samples will paint you a more accurate picture. 

If you come across one that you absolutely don’t like in a certain light. Go ahead and remove it. Continue looking at your swatches until you narrow it down to a top 1-2. 

Step 4: Look at your finishes

Sherwin Williams paint swatches, Jasper, passive, Gray Matters, and Cityscape

Place the color (or 2 colors) that you love next to items that will be close to or touching your color (trim, other walls, furniture, wood tones, metals). If it still looks good against everything, you found your color!

There you have it! Four steps to choosing paint colors for your home. If you found this helpful and want to save it to reference later, be sure to pin the image below! 

how to choose a paint color for your home

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