How To Guarantee That You Love Your Paint Colour
As soon as people discover that my education is in interior decorating their next questions are almost always about choosing paint colours. ‘What colour do you think would look good in here?’, ‘Would you help me choose a colour for my bedroom?’, ‘What’s the best colour for a kitchen?’, ‘What do think of a dark accent wall?’, ‘I am afraid of going to bold and getting tired of it, what do you think?’,…
I am totally happy to answer these questions (Depends on the colour of the furniture, how much natural lighting you get, and the mood you are going for. Yup, I’ll happily help you. There is no best colour for any room. I love a dark colour, go for it. Beige is not a colour, it’s a state of mind!) but the real answer is always, I don’t have to live here so you should get what you want. I happen to believe that with a little prep work you can love whatever colour you choose and will continue to love it for as long as it’s on the wall. Don’t be afraid of colour, colour is beautiful and one the most affordable ways to change the look and feel of a space. Having had to spend the last five years in rental properties all with various shades of white walls I can tell you that living without colour is sad and boring. I am not suggesting that you have to go neon but my first bit of advice is embrace the colour wheel!
Artificial lighting is you enemy!
When you are in the shop looking at those little paint swatches you are NOT getting a real idea of how the colour looks. Lighting in these places is serving a very utilitarian purpose which does not make colours look their best or how they will look in your home. I suggest bringing a sheet of blank white paper the place the swatches on, this will help. Taking them outside into natural lighting will help more.
They are free, take lots.
I always think it is a little funny when I see someone leave the paint store with one colour swatch. Even if you are certain it’s the colour you want take the ones around it too, the slightly lighter or darker colour might work better in your space. Deciding that quickly is risky and can lead to getting tired of the colour faster that you should. They are there to take, take as many as you want.
Patience is golden.
I am taking liberties here I know but really, don’t be afraid to wait. In fact once you’ve narrowed your choices to two or three colours go back to the shop and buy sample pots in those colours. These will usually sell for a few pounds/dollars and they are worth every cent. Paint a 3 or 4 foot square of each colour on the wall you plan to paint, leave it there for a week. How does it look in the morning? At night? With all the curtains pulled closed and only your artificial light on them? How does it look with your furniture? Does the whole family like it? (Ok, i would never consider that myself but perhaps you are more accommodating than me) The point is to let it sit, see it over and over again, before long you will have a pretty good idea how you feel about your choices. If you find at the end of the week it isn’t calling out to you, try again. I promise that eventually the right colour will find you.
Paint it right for crying out loud!
I know, painting is a big job but putting in half effort will lead to disappointing results. I can’t tell you how often I have spotted streaks or patchiness in paint jobs where people have run out of steam. It does matter and it will show! Wash your walls, get al the dust and dirt off there before you do anything else. Next you need to prime, it helps get the best colour out of your paint and usually leads to needing less coats of your colour. Avoid things that say primer and paint in one. It’s like two in one shampoo and conditioner, it does the job but never as well as you hope it will. It won’t save time or money if in the end the job is not done well and you have to start over or live with disappointment. Tape out the areas you don’t want to get paint on, you’ll forever be touching stuff up if you don’t. If it needs another coat paint another coat. I know you are tired, you want to bring the furniture back in, you are sick of smelling paint, trust me don’t quit. You are bound to love the look so much better if you have actually covered all the base coat and have even coverage over the whole wall. You can do it and it will be worth it!
Just sit and look at it.
The hard work is over but don’t do anything to it for a while, like, a couple of weeks at least. Paint takes time to cure and properly adhere to the wall so use this time to admire your handiwork and enjoy the beautiful colour that you have added to your home. Don’t you love it? You will love it even longer if you don’t prematurely mark it up or put holes in it. Not waiting can lead to wiping away paint that you accidentally marked up or can lead to unnecessary chips created by hanging things too soon. You’ve worked hard so before you do all the finishing touches to your room take some downtime and relax, you’ve earned it.
I don’t think I can recall regretting even one colour choice I have made in my life, not even when my living room walls were poinsettia red. I love colour and I firmly believe that you can too.
For those of you that, like me, are currently living in rented spaces here are a few suggestions to bring some much needed colour into your home.
Get some Art: Bright bold pictures are an easy way to not only add a little colour but is also a great way to personal your home and express yourself. If you are feeling brave or are naturally artistic make it yourself.
Paint It: I knew, many years ago, a very smart woman who couldn’t stand the white walls all around her apartment. She went to a craft store and bought large canvases and painted them a solid colour, then she lined them up side by side behind her couch and presto she had a mock painted wall. Without doing one thing to hurt her damage deposit she added so much colour to the room.
Accessorise: Bring in pillows, pictures, knick knacks and whatever else you can think of to add pops of colour around your room. Why not paint your picture frames a bright bold colour to add some accents to your walls. Flowing plants are a great way to add colour to a space and they provide oxygen so it’s a win win. Kitchen accessories are a fun way to add colour to a neutral room, buy red or blue instead of black or white.
There are hundreds of ways to bring a little colour flair into a room and I would love to hear about some the ways you have done it. Comment below and lets inspire each other to keep brightening our worlds.