Hi Guys!
I'm away for the week, but don't worry, I have a great line up of ladies to hold you over until I return! First up is Janell. It's no secret that she is one of my blog buddies and I'm so excited to have her share some tips on choosing the right paint color for your home! Take it away Janell!

Thanks Lakeitha for inviting me to be a guest blogger, while you enjoy a little down time with your family!

When Lakeitha suggested selecting paint colors as a possible post topic, I felt the same way I feel when a client asks for advice on paint colors! Anxious!! I really believe selecting the right paint color is one of the hardest aspects of creating a great room. The endless choices can create confusion. On top of this issue, colors rarely look the same on paint chips as they do on your own walls.

What I've learned, since starting my design business Isabella & Max, is that selecting paint colors often involves quite a bit of trail and error: select the colors, test the colors, tweak your choices, test again and hopefully find a winner!

So while I wish I had a magic formula for picking the perfect color each and every time, I don't. But here are some tips I've learned over the years, which will hopefully help make the process less frustrating and intimidating.

Tip #1

Before heading out to the paint store, first look around your home.

What colors are you drawn to? Are there colors already present in your home that you are loving, in a fabric, an accessory, a piece of furniture or artwork?

Also, look in your closet. Do you see that there are colors you are repeatedly drawn to?

Tip #2

Visit your favorite paint store and invest in a fan deck.

Having a fan deck will allow you to see the whole range of color options in your home. (Or simply clear out the paint chip display, to potential disgruntled looks sent your way by a salesperson.) How a color looks on a paint chip in the store will have nearly nothing to do with how the color will look in your home. The lighting is not the same, and the specific colors and finishes in your home will be reflected on the color, making it appear unique in your space.

Tip #3

Select your top color choices and test them...before you begin buying gallons of paint!

Once home hold the paint chips up against the walls, as well as the furniture, carpet, trim work and other items to remain in the space. Select two or three favorite colors. Next test these colors on the wall. Fortunately, many paint companies now sell pouches or test size samples of their paints.

I would highly recommend not jumping directly into your painting project prior to testing the colors. I've made this mistake before when painting a kitchen, as I'll share below.

Tip #4

Prime first.

First prime an area with white primer, in the room you want to select a paint color for, and then test the color here. Why do this? How the tested paint colors look will be significantly effected by the wall color that you are testing over. If your walls are white, you are ahead of the game!

In my kitchen painting fiasco, I originally wanted to paint the room Devine Color's Devine Blade, a fresh beautiful green. However, the color looked horrible when I tested it on top of the muted tan color the kitchen was currently painted. It caused the green to take on a neon appearance.

So instead I decided to paint the kitchen yellow. Random, I know. In the course of a week I painted the kitchen, each and every inch of the walls, three times, each attempt selecting what I hoped would be the right shade of yellow. I got so frustrated that finally I decided to start over from scratch, and primed an area to test other colors. And what color did I test? My favorite Devine Blade. And guess what, on the neutral primed wall this color suddenly looked fabulous! A couple hundred dollars in wasted paint later I was really kicking myself, as I once again drove off to the store to purchased more paint. This time the right color, Devine Blade!

Tip #5

Observe how the paint colors look during the day and at night.

Make sure to look at how the paint looks in different light, the color will change with the changing light! If you are loving one of the colors, proceed with confidence. But if the colors are not exactly what you were hoping for, try to determine what it is about the color you don't like and select additional choices to test.

I recently helped a client select a green paint color for her kitchen. We thought the right shade had been selected on our first attempt. But after the color was tested it appeared very minty on her walls. Knowing this characteristic was what we wanted to avoid, we again looked through fan deck and picked a similar color, but this time a green with a more earthy undertone. The second time was a charm!

Tip #6

Trial and Error.

So, selecting just the right paint colors can be a process of Trail and Error. The key is to be ready for this, understanding it will probably require a bit of time to find the right color. But hopefully, with a bit of patience, you'll find the perfect colors for your home and will find yourself painting happily ever after.

Enjoy your week!! Janell

Great tips Janell! I'll make sure I keep them in mind when I paint TJ's room;-) So, what do you think? Are you ready to go and tackle some painting?! Have you ever purchased a gallon of paint after seeing the chip in the store and you just knew it was the perfect shade only to be disappointed seeing it in your home? Let me hear about it!



Anonymous said...

Good tips, Janell! I definitely agree that you should NOT paint anything without testing a LARGE swatch first for a day or two(painting a large posterboard so that I can move it around the room works for me). I've made too many mistakes and seen too many other people make mistakes to do otherwise. :-)

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

LaKeitha, thanks so much for having Janell give us these fabulous paint tips. I'm one that need them, since I am preparing to paint. I seriously never would have thought to prime on my test run, which I didn't do BTY.

Design Esquire said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing Janell.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Thanks for having me Lakeitha! Enjoy your little bit of down time!! Janell

Chic Chocolate said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great tips and advice. I think paint is one of the hardest things to get right, but when it all comes together makes a room perfect. Hugs, Marty

Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...

Thanks for the tips. We learned to love KILZ while living in Military housing. LOL

I am getting ready to paint my hallway and one bathroom next week.


Mrs. Chic said...

Great painting tips, I've thrown away money - thinking what a lovely color - wrong!!

I love that stores now offer sample sizes, saves the headache :)

Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow said...

well said janell! great tips and images to illustrate your point, too!

Sara said...

Thank you so much for the picture. I'd been about to settle on Devine Blade for our front bedroom. I'd done the posterboard, thought it through and still wasn't all that convinced. The picture settled it. It'll be perfect.

Jaly Can said...

Great looking urban art. I am so glad to get a peek at it!