Have you ever noticed how the colour of rooms can affect how you feel? One room can make you feel relaxed, while another room makes you feel uneasy? Colour on the walls and in accessories makes up for approximately two-thirds of our response to a place or object. This is called “colour psychology” and has to do with the physical and psychological reaction to colour. Keep reading to learn some tips for choosing the right paint colour for your rooms.
1. Never Pick the Paint Colour First
It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s a lot easier to choose a paint colour that matches your decor and furniture than it does to choose your decor to work with your paint colour.
2. Start With Something That Inspires You
Pinterest is a great place to get some inspiration. Make a Pinterest board for each room you plan to paint and start pinning rooms that you like. Once you have around 10 pins, you’ll start to see a trend in what you re drawn to when it comes to style and colour. Alternatively, use an item you already own, like a blanket or coffee mug, for inspiration.
3. Stick to Neutral Colours
Of course, you shouldn’t feel the need to avoid colour; colour is wonderful, but you need to decide first where to point the attention in the room. If you want the walls to grab attention, go ahead and be bold! If you do decide to choose a bold paint colour for the walls, make sure everything else in the room is fairly neutral so you don’t end up with your whole room competing against itself.
4. Use Tester Paints
Purchase testers in a few different shades and colours and paint a big area on a few different walls so you can see how the light will hit it at different times of day. Don’t test your paint against white walls, if possible. This can impact how you see the colour.
Almost all paint brands offer testers for just a few dollars. It’s worth spending the money to see how they look in your space before you commit to buying gallons of a particular colour. Leftover samples from the testers can also be helpful for touch-ups or working on small projects.
Once you paint the test areas, leave them for about a week so you can see how the paint looks at all different times and in different types of light.
5. Test Against Fabrics and Furniture
Paint a piece of wood or poster board and hold it up against tables, furniture, and other items that will be in the space and see how well it goes. You don’t want the undertones to clash.
6. Understand How Undertones Work
The best way to discover the true colour of a swatch is to look at the darkest colour on the strip. This will prevent you from choosing a paint that is too blue, too pink, too yellow, or any other undesired undertone. If, for example, you choose a grey from the lightest colour on a swatch, look to see what undertones are in the darkest or second-darkest shade. If it has a lot of red or orange in it, the lightest shade will have a lot of beige or orange in it, which you probably don’t want.
7. Pick the Proper Sheen
Any sheen in the paint will accent flaws in the paint or walls, so if your walls aren’t perfect, choose a paint with as little sheen as possible. As a quick interior painting guideline, flat paint is good for low-traffic areas and ceilings. Flat enamel has almost no shine but is a little easier to clean than flat.
This is also good for low-traffic areas if you have kids or pets. Eggshell has a bit of shine and is good for living rooms. Satin has a little more shine than eggshell and works in areas that have moisture or higher traffic, like kitchens or bathrooms. Semi-gloss is shiny; use this on trim and cabinets, or in really damp or moist areas. High-gloss is best used for furniture or surfaces like railings.