I wanted to change the color of the walls in my family room, but I found the prospect intimidating. Not the actual painting, but deciding what paint color to use. My local Lowe’s home improvement store offered me a vast supply of painting products and information to help me pick the perfect paint color for my walls and here are some of the things I learned.
How is the Room Used?
Before choosing a paint color, consider how the room is used. Paint colors set the mood of a room and you want to select a paint color that embodies and evokes the desired mood. For example, red stimulates the senses and the appetite, a perfect paint color choose for a dining room or restaurant, but not for a bedroom. In my case, I wanted my family room to be warm, inviting and relaxing yet not dull and boring, and through trial and error, my paint selection was ‘warm caramel’ and it’s perfect for the room and mood.
When you don’t know where to start on the paint color wheel to pick a color, start by looking around the room you want to paint. What is in the room that you love and what is the dominant color of that object? It could be a rug, a chair or a painting. If there is nothing in the room you love and you plan to re-furnish the room after painting, then it’s time to go shopping. Find something that you want for the room and choose the wall paint color from the object. Repeating the wall paint color throughout the room will help tie everything together. I chose an ottoman, throw pillows and draperies with exact shade of ‘warm caramel’ to unify my newly painted living space.
Test the Paint Color
Don’t commit to purchasing several gallons of expensive paint before taking it for a test run. Ask for paint swatches, chips or samples (you may have to purchase paint samples) in a few shades that closely match what you want and place them on the wall of the room you plant to paint. Observe the paint colors for a few days at different times of the day to discern the different nuances of each color before making your final decision.
Any room can handle a bold color paint, even small rooms. Neutral paint color come in bold shades, so if you want to stick with neutral, go with bold neutral. The shade of warm caramel I picked is a bold neutral, it’s a deeper version of the traditional (and tired) beige.
Look Up and Around
Consider painting the ceiling the same shade as the walls. It will erase the stark line between walls and ceiling and make the ceiling appear to be higher. Since the wall and ceiling surfaces are on different planes, the ceiling paint color will appear to be a shade or two lighter than the walls.
Look around the room and make any architectural elements pop by painting them in an accent color. Any unsightly elements you wish to minimize, paint in the same shade of wall color to make them blend in.
My Own Experience