Giving your home's interior a fresh coat of paint is a quick, affordable way to update design style, even when you have a limited budget. Our REALTORS® know that new paint can quickly transform a drab, outdated room into a room with spectacular ambiance and style that appeals to homebuyers.
Choosing the right paint color is essential for a well-designed space, but it can be a difficult task. With thousands of colors that range from pale neutrals to bright bold hues, finding the perfect paint color is often a frustrating and costly experience that leads to repainting. To get it right the first time, interior design pros recommend these important design tips.
- Don't Start With the Paint
Choosing your paint color first may seem like an easy way to get things started, but it's not a good idea unless your room is completely empty. Most people have existing furnishings and accessories they plan to keep, so paint must coordinate with existing items. Unless you're starting with an empty house, it's much easier to choose a paint color that complements your existing décor, rather than choosing new décor that works with your paint color.
- Work With Testers
Working with testers helps you choose the right color the first time, so you don't waste time and money on repainting. Most paint brands now have small test cans of paint available for only a few bucks. You can paint tester strips directly on the wall or on separate pieces of poster board that can be moved around the room. Whichever method you choose, leave the test areas up for a week to see how colors change at different times of day and in different light.
- Consider Undertones
All paints have undertones that reflect different tints and shades, depending on how they are mixed. White paint comes in at least 100 different shades with undertones of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and violet. A white paint with red undertones may appear pink on the wall, while green undertones may give white paint a hint of mint or lime. Dark colors may also have undertones that impact light and density.
- Consider the Light
When choosing a paint color, it's essential to consider the amount of natural light the room gets during the day. If your room has several windows for sunlight, dark bold colors will be easier to live with, because the natural light will make them feel a little softer. If your room has no windows or minimal sunlight, you must rely on interior lighting, which can change paint colors due to incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen light bulbs.
- Choose the Right Finish
Paint finish is important because any sheen in the paint will accent flaws in the wall. When choosing a paint color, make sure you get the right finish for areas you are painting:
Flat Paint – Matte finishes are good for walls and ceilings because they have no sheen at all. They are recommended for stucco and textured walls and ceilings with uneven surfaces where paint colors can look distorted due to a build-up of paint.
Enamel Paint – These come in flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Eggshell and satin finishes have a little sheen, while semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes have a lot. While sheen helps with cleaning, it also reflects light and highlights flaws.
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