Paint Color Ideas

Getting paint color ideas is often the most daunting step in changing the look of a room. Quite often you know you want a change but are afraid to proceed because you do not know what color to pick.

Here is where you may want some help but ultimately the choice is yours. Always remember, you are the one who will be living in the space and seeing the color everyday. So you get to make the rules.

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So where do you begin getting ideas?

If you go to the paint store and look at color cards [those chip cards with several colors on each card], this can be intimidating because there are so many! One paint store recently came out with a new color deck and proudly boasts of over 1,800 colors. And that is only one paint company. When you add them up there must be literally tens of thousands of paint color ideas!

Okay, we are not trying to scare you off before you start. The best thing to do is immediately narrow the choices down to three or four. How do you do that?

There are several ways. First, what kind of room is it? Why does that matter? Well my dad told me about one time, right after he got married, my mom wanted to repaint the dining room. So she went and picked out this lovely lime green. You guessed it.

The color that looked so good on the color card blew up in the dining room. By blew up I mean it was extremely loud! He said there was no way they could have eaten a meal in there. If you like lime green this isn't meant to offend you, but they had to do something quick. He doesn't even remember what color he replaced it with. But he had to get rid of the green in the dining room.

I guess my point is that what you do in the room will greatly effect choosing the perfect color. Naturally you will want your bedroom to be soothing. Conducive to bedroom feelings and attitudes and of course sleep. Your paint color ideas for the kitchen or dining room might be more lively (for my parents it wasn't lime green).

Sometimes you want to go with a darker color, especially if the room already has a lot of light. This is fine, however there are some cautions when choosing darker paint color ideas or more intense colors. This is especially true when painting with reds and yellows.

Of course if you do not want to paint the whole room dark there is always using an accent wall or ceiling to get the dark color without painting the whole room dark. Dark colors can also make the room seem smaller than it really is.

Another way to narrow down your paint color ideas is to look around at what you already have in the room. My mom over the years has become very adept at decorating. [The lime green incident was thirty four years ago.] She will always choose colors based on something else that is going to stay in the room.

Their bedroom is a color called 'antique mauve'. The color came directly from a comforter that is on the bed. The overall look of the comforter is white with big green and purple flowers. I know I don't make it sound wonderful but it is really quite lovely. Well deep in the background there is a little stripe that is sort of a smokey lavender. When we took a pillow sham to the paint store the color that nailed it was 'antique mauve'. It works great together. So much so that this room has not been changed for over six years.

So for the perfect paint color ideas, simply look around your house. In your living room look at the sofa pillows or the area rug. In the bathroom look at the shower curtain. In the kitchen look around at the accessories or the counter top. There is a wealth of color already in your home. Use this as a palette from which to get your perfect paint color ideas.

If you are still stumped pick up a few decorating magazines. This is an excellent resource. Sometimes here you will find ideas that you like and you can make them your own.

Once you narrow down your paint color ideas, how do you get the specific color you want. That's easier than you might think.

Take the object with your color in it to the paint store and let the professionals there match it for you. If the color object is too large, then borrow a paint color deck from the store and take it home and make the color choice yourself. Try comparing the color on the rug or accessory to a chip in the color deck. If you have good light this can be a relatively easy task.

There are a couple of little cautions that we will mention here. Most all color decks show the colors in a flat finish. That is with no sheen or gloss at all. When you have the color made up in, lets say an eggshell finish or a semi-gloss finish, the finished paint will look slightly different. This is not because the paint store mismatched the color. Rather it is due to the fact that paint that has a sheen is more light reflective and therefore appears a little more intense than flat paint.

Another caution is when you pick a pink or a yellow color for your project, be careful not to make the color too intense. For some reason these two colors will blow up (be much more intense) on the wall. By that I mean that compared to the little chip, when the whole wall or room is painted the color, it will appear much more pink or yellow than you bargained for. The thing I would suggest is to find the shade of pink or yellow you like and then choose the next lighter one on the card. Trust me this will be much closer to the color you really want.

Since most of our instruction in the site has to do with faux finishes, is there anything to keep in mind when choosing a color for a faux finish? Yes. There are some specific suggestions for choosing paint colors to faux finish. Click here for some specific suggestions for choosing paint colors to faux finish.

Is there anything that I should know when I have chosen a dark color? Some find it very difficult to paint with a dark red or a very dark green or blue. Also when painting with yellow is there anything I should know? Yes. There are some tips to help with these colors too. Click here to check out our tips on choosing paint color that's darker.

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