Friday, June 8, 2012

Choosing paint colors for your walls

We are working our way through this house with a paintbrush and roller, one room at a time.  Nine months after moving in, I think I dare say that half of our home's interior has been painted. Of course there is paint on all of the walls, but the walls were white and they were scuffed, dirty, and splotched (by what, I have no idea. I don't think I want to know).

Choosing paint colors was not what I expected!  I thought it would be simple - until I started looking at the 1.897 million different colors of paint.  At least it felt like there were that many!

So, while I am by no means an expert, here is what I have learned along the way thus far and what works for me in my room by room conquest:

-When picking a color for a room, look to a rug, curtains, piece of art, or other item you love for inspiration.

My living room wall color came from my rug.

My sitting room wall is still primer white because I have no rug, no curtains, nothing on the walls - basically the room is a blank canvas.  I'm guessing the wall will be pained within a week of finding a rug and/or curtain material. I can't wait to be at that point!

-Paint swatch cards are your friends.

Bring home any that catch your eye. Look at them next to your furniture, current colors, or fixtures. Tape them on the wall. Lay different swatches side by side to compare tones, or to coordinate colors.  
I have a sample card that is the exact color of some swirls in my marble sink.  I was able to choose a cabinet color easily by comparing the sink swatch to various colors out in better lighting.

-Use the sample paint pots, no matter how impatient you are!

They are only $2.94 at Home Depot and $6.24 at Sherwinn Williams (this one is larger, and even comes in a satin finish, perfect for small projects). Paint a section of your wall and look at it in the morning, the middle of the day, and in the evening. Even sunny days versus overcast days can change the look of your painted walls.  
This will save you time and money!!  It took three sample pot tries to get the living wall color right, four tries to get the hall/dining colors. Who wants to paint an entire wall twice, or even more, times?
I made the mistake of buying a whole gallon of red paint (I have no idea what I was thinking. I'll blame it on postpartum hormones) before trying the color on our dining room wall.  Thank goodness I didn't paint the whole wall! Currently, I do not plan to have any red walls in my house, and certainly not the shade of the gallon sitting in the garage.  There went $25 when it could have been $3 if I were only thinking clearly.

-When matching a paint color to a textile item, choose a lighter, more muted version of the color.

Let me explain.
After browsing pinterest, Aubrey and I decided to go with a teal and raspberry color scheme in her room. I bought fabric at Joann's for two twin comforters and decided to pull the wall color from the fabric.
The closest color I could find (because those color matching computers in the store never work) was the bottom color on this paint swatch. I wasn't sure what a "muddier" or more muted version would be, so just brought home a sample pot of the lighter, middle color, called cool jazz.
On the wall it was incredibly bright.  It practically glowed! 
So yes, a color is always more overwhelming once on a whole wall, or four walls.
Back to the drawing board, I chose a color that had more gray in it.  
The middle color of the swatch card on the right, called Tide Pools, is what ended up on Aubrey's walls.  And we love it! It's a calm color, not over-powering or bright at all.

So there you have it, what I've learned about paint in the last nine months through a lot of trial and error.

That being said, I guess it's back to the stack of fabric.  Gosh, does anyone love cutting fabric??
Okay, I have one last tip, though its about quilting, not painting: 
a banana bar or some other yummy treat works wonders on giving you the gumption to attack the stack.

Happy Friday everyone! With any luck, I'll have my entire stack of fabric cut into nice 8 inch blocks come Monday. Thankfully, I have a second rotary cutter blade in my drawer and a plate of banana bars in the fridge.

1 comment:

  1. Happy cutting! I do love cutting fabric because it means that I'm getting somewhere. Now my problem seems to be tops of throws/quilts/blankets that are not completed. I'm filling a drawer with them ... after I empty out all the fabric that I no longer need to be hoarding. :)