Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Paint Color:

It’s always fun to pop into the paint store and check out the latest color trends, imaging the magical transformation a new paint color creates. There is no other tool in the designer’s kit that brings a bigger bang for the design buck than fresh paint.

There’s nothing worse than a near-miss when it comes to color. Sure, the all-out color disaster would qualify, but how often does that happen with paint? Not nearly as often as those near-misses. We see them often.

To keep you from heading towards disaster, keep the following tips in minds as you dream of stunning new color…

When choosing paint color, always try before you buy


Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Color:

  1. Do not choose your color in the paint store without taking it home for a test run.

  2. Pick up a wet paint sample and a mini roller (foam brushes don’t lay enough paint for an accurate color reading).

  3. Paint a minimum sample size on your wall that’s at least 24” x 24”. Bigger is always better.

  4. Test your color in three areas: in the corner, the wall opposite the largest window and the window wall itself (this way you can see the color on the lightest wall, darkest wall, while the corner will show you the most intensified color).

  5. The best time of day to choose colors is between 10am to 2pm – when the sun is highest in the sky.

  6. Take step #5 to heart, but make sure to analyze your color with your morning coffee and with your evening cocktails. Your color will look different during each time of day.

  7. Color is all about relationships. When it comes to choosing paint, make sure you have assembled all the important elements that will be in the room; sofa, carpet and tile, cabinetry, etc. The color of your paint is a lot easier to adjust than anything else in a design scheme (and even easier if you haven’t painted yet!)

  8. When comparing more than one color, make sure you can view your samples individually, otherwise the different colors will influence each other.

  9. Consider using a color professional. This is what they do, and you can save a lot of time and effort by heading in the right direction from the beginning.

  10. Give yourself enough time to find your perfect color. Taking your time minimizes the stress of making the ‘right’ decision, and you can make sure you’ve got it nailed down before the painter gets rolling!

Consider hiring a professional color expert. Here, interior designer Paula McHugh is working with Daly’s Dan Cookston.

Robin Daly

About Robin Daly

A self-avowed “Paint Princess”, Robin Daly is president of Daly’s Paint & Decorating stores in Seattle and Bellevue and co-owner/partner of C2 Paint. With her background as an interior designer, combined with her real-world experience, Robin’s goal is to empower homeowners to create a home they will love. Robin has personally been to over 7,000 homes, helping with everything from choosing paint colors to home improvement projects. You can reach Robin at robin@dalyspaint.com.


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