Plan Ahead

We’ve all been there. A few hours prior to the painter’s arrival, you’re staring down an array of paint chips. Your painter wants the color ASAP for prepping; you’re still agonizing. Of course you can’t choose. It’s nearly impossible to find the best color by squinting at a tiny sample. Give yourself the gift of a few days time.

Be Honest with Yourself

A client wanted the exact shade of “true gray” paint for her new kitchen. Armed with samples of gray, I arrived to find a creamy beige marble floor installed in her kitchen and brown glazed cream cabinets sitting on top. Relative to her new cream and brown toned finishes, the “gray” she wanted would not work. Look for colors that relate to the finishes you have, not one that is trendy.

Start Small, Finish Big

Gather small samples and hold them up against your furnishings in your light. Edit and repeat. With a few candidates, head back to the paint store to have sample pints mixed. The only real way to see the color completely in your space is to go big.

Avoid the Patchwork Approach

While it’s tempting to paint those samples directly on the wall, it’s best NOT to. The patchwork method only makes color selection harder; your “old” color influences any new color. Paint each sample on white poster board: the bigger the better. Move each large sample around your space. Compare it to drapery, upholstery, rugs, tile and counter tops- in short everything staying in your room.

Live With It

Take a day or two or three. Look at the color in daylight, ambient light, and moonlight to see how it changes. Select the one that creates the best and most beautifully cohesive look for you room.