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