8 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Remodeling Tips

We’ve recently added two bedrooms and a bath in our attic for when all our adult kids and grandkids visit at once. I chose paint colors for the walls from my color swatches. Twice. And hated them both. Since then, I’ve done some research and learned some helpful tips I thought I’d share.

1. Don’t Choose Your Paint First! 

It may seem like the logical choice; however painted walls are much of the real estate in the room. Zero in on existing materials such as cabinets, countertops, floors, etc. It’s much easier to look at your décor; furniture, pictures, etc. if you plan to keep them and choose paint colors that complement them well.  It’s much less costly  painting walls first and then having to buy all new furniture, cabinets etc. Unless that’s youir rationale to your spouse for new furnishings, then by all means paint away.

2. Choose a few items for inspiration

Use a color scheme to create the framework of your color palette, using a few items in the room. The major color schemes are:

  • Monochromatic: One color scheme that can also be used in its various shades, tints, and tones.
  • Complementary: Using two colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or orange and blue.
  • Split Complementary: Using one main color and then two opposite colors on either side giving a dramatic look.
    split complementary paint colors
  • Analogous Scheme: using one main color with up to 6 neighboring colors next to it on the color wheel.
    analogous scheme paint colors

3. Understand what a color “undertone” is

Paint colors have undertones that are either warm or cool. A warm color has a warm color undertone, such as yellow or red as the base, while a cool paint color will have a cooler undertone color such as blue, green or grey. Mixing the undertones is a lot like seeing a car with a bright, warm-toned headlights vs. stark, blue toned headlights.

paint colors undertones

4. The use of neutral colors on the walls

If you love color, use bold and beautiful colors in your accent décor and accessories, rather than on your walls. It will allow your attention to be drawn to the furniture and accent pieces rather than the walls and allows for easier and less costly changes of décor.

paint colors paint swatches

5. Use the largest paint swatches you can find

Once you’ve chosen a few possible paint colors, pick up or order the largest swatches you can get. Look at them in all kinds of light, at different times of the day and in different parts of the room. Put them next to furniture, rugs, and décor.

paint finishes6. Choosing the right paint finish

Once you’ve chosen your paint colors for each area of your home, the finish of the paint is an important decision that is often overlooked and left to the kid standing at the counter at Lowes. There are benefits to each finish but determining which finish to use is largely dependent on the area to be painted. Refer to the blog, Paint: The Right Finish Makes a Difference.

7. Choose a color palette for all areas in your home

While you may not be painting the whole home, you will want a cohesive color palette. When you are standing in one room, look to see what other rooms you can see as you will want those colors to “play well together.”  When rooms connect, you will want to create a nice flow of color that is a few shades lighter or darker within the same family of undertones.

8. Think about the trim

Matching trim to wall color helps promote a cohesive feeling and is an architectural element that remains consistent and unifying the entire home’s aesthetic.

Choosing paint colors correctly can make or break a room. Paint colors can transform a space, whatever its size, shape, or function. It can set a mood, from calm serenity to warmth and joy, and make all the difference to the success of your interior project. I hope these tips will help make it easier in choosing paint colors for your next interior paint project.

Create the Home of Your Dreams