How To Make Sure Your Color Choice is Right

Color Choice Friendly Advice

One of my clients actually had a room painted three times just because they didn’t follow this advice!


Save yourself the expense and follow these simple steps. When you have narrowed down your color selections, ask your designer for 8”x 1 2” color samples or buy small sample bottles of each color. If you have the paper samples, tape them together to form a large square , then tape them to the wall. You’ll be moving these samples to all of the walls in the room. If you have the actual paint, put a 4’ x 4’ square on the wall, or several 1’ x 1’ squares on four of the walls.

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View the swatches during the day and night. The amount of sunlight and artificial light that shines on the surface will change. Please also look at colors as they will be seen. Don’t put the samples on a table or horizontally, since they will be seen vertically on a wall. Watch the colors for several days. You should be able to eliminate the colors down to one favorite.

In my early 20’s, I did not use this method, much to my dismay. I chose a background color for all of our pepto pink downstairs walls and up to the vaulted ceilings based on a background color I had in a mauvey striped wallpaper. After choosing from a 1” x 2”square, my entire downstairs plus all the way up to the second story turned Pepto Bismol pink at 4 o’clock every afternoon. It was a lovely color at other times, but if I had lightened it, the stark shiny pink part wouldn’t have been so visually offensive.

Use the samples to your advantage and save yourself heartache. You will love your room for as long as you live there!

To help you out, Sherwin Williams has some fun tools online to get you motivated:



Written by Monica Nordquist, Nordquist Design


That’s Not My Paint Color!

Why a paint color works in one room but not in another

Have you ever put your neighbor’s paint color in your home and it looked completely different? In fact, you found that during certain times of the day it looked like a different color from one wall to the next.

The reason why a paint color looks different is because of lighting. Colors seem to change when looked at under different light sources and different lighting conditions. The orientation of a room to the sun can have a huge effect on your paint colors.  The same paint color will look different in a room that has a southern exposure from a room that has a northern exposure.  You can use dark hues in a room with lots of sunlight and windows without it appearing to be too dark.  And you can use lighter, brighter colors in a room with fewer windows, or one that has a northern exposure, to make it feel airy and warmer.


After you select a paint color for a room in your house, paint a two square foot area on one of the walls (or on a color board) and observe how the color looks during the day and at night.  You want to make sure that you’re happy with the color you’ve chosen in different lighting conditions.  Even better, paint a two-square-foot swatch on the north facing wall and another swatch on the south facing wall of the same room. You will find that the same color can look different from one wall to another. Once you do this simple test you can be confident in your decision.

Have fun with paint color; it is the least expensive way to add style and interest to your home.

Contributed by Janice Peters, CAPID