How to Pick Out Paint

One of the questions I get most often is how to select paint colors. I agree that it's a tricky one. Partly because it can feel like a big decision depending on the size and number of rooms you're painting. But mainly because it's so dang overwhelming to stand in front of a million different shades that all look the same! I mean how many times have you brought home a couple paint samples only to hate how they look on your walls and stand there so perplexed about how they look SO different than the swatch? I'm raising my hand over here!! So, I've compiled a list of paints that are classic and beautiful and look good in any space, plus a couple tips to keep in mind when you start the process:

1) My biggest tip for you is to pick a light, neutral shade- especially for the larger rooms. A bathroom or small room can look awesome with a bolder or moodier color but large living spaces will feel brighter, cleaner and more open if you go with a light shade. Below is a list for the colors I recommend for the various rooms.

2) Ok so light but how light? 9 times out of 10 you should go lighter than you think. Paint always drys darker than the little swatch you see in the store. It will all depend on the space and the amount of light in the room, but just assume it will look darker on your wall. I always recommend selecting the lightest shade on the color swatch. Or, you can ask the store to mix the color you like at 50%. 

3) Test, test, test. Please don't buy gallons of paint unless you have sampled it and looked at the wall during different times in the day to see how it looks as the lighting changes. You can paint a small patch on the wall or on pieces of cardboard to test in the different spaces.

Paint Colors Sadie Road

If you have no idea where to start on selecting a color, here is the breakdown of what I typically use:

  • Living Rooms/Kitchens/Hallways: White, or shade of white with hint of color. The walls will look bright, crisp and clean. 
  • Bedroom/Bathroom: Grays, light blue or light green. These give the space a very serene, cozy feel. 
  • Accents: Blush. A piece of furniture, door, or wall with a little peachy blush is gorgeous!

Take a look at this list of go-to paint colors and see how they look in a few images on Pinterest. Keep in mind that the color will look different in every room, but this is a good starting place. From there you can make a short list of the colors you want to test out. Hope this helps make the process a little less frustrating for you. Let me know if any questions in the comments below. Happy painting!