Hard & Fast Rules of Picking Paint Color

She says: I want to paint my room this color.  The magazine says its SW7046 Anonymous.

I say: Let me see that picture!  I want to show you something.

image.jpg

This is SW7046 Anonymous

image.jpg

This is anonymous compared to the picture.

image.jpg

RULE #1 Take the time to compare the specified color with the actual paint chip

Can you imagine how disappointed you'd be if you blindly got the paint mixed to color the magazine specified, then went ahead and painted your room only realize it looks nothing like the picture? I have seen it happen far too many times.

Can you imagine how disappointed you'd be if you blindly got the paint mixed to color the magazine specified, then went ahead and painted your room only realize it looks nothing like the picture? I have seen it happen far too many times.

It is such a waste of time and resources, not to mention extremely frustrating.

To remedy this I always ask: What part of this picture shows you the best version of the color? My question is usually met with a look of confusion and then I go on to explain:

What you need to do is train your eye to break the picture down. Most photos in magazines, Pinterest, etc have highlights, shadows and midtones. When those 3 things are present it helps to make the photo more interesting to the viewer. An untrained eye looks at it and says I like this color wall.

Which is great!

You've found a color family you like, but here's where it gets dicey and lot of people make mistakes. I have seen countless people try to match a paint chip to their photo only to get frustrated because one paint can't contain all of the highlights, midtones and shadows that are pictured.

RULE #2 Train your eye 

Here's how:

1. Take your photo and notice the highlights, midtones and shadows

2. Notice which part of the photo you are drawn to

3. Make a mental note or circle that part (it might only be 1"X1" and that's Okay)

Once your have decided which version of the color you like, then you turn to the paint chips.  Now you can match a color chip to that part.  It really narrows your choices down.  Instead of having 30 options you really only have about 2 or3.  

image.jpg

This is what I came up with for a match

image.jpg

Once you have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 colors you are ready for the next step. 

Rule #3 Test your theory.

Only allow yourself to take 2-3 chips home

or

Order large color swatch

or

Get a sample quart to try on your wall.