How To's

How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color

We've said this time and time again but it needs to be repeated often.....PAINT can be the biggest bang for your buck! The right paint color can completely transform a room and make it look like a million bucks. However, the wrong paint color can completely destroy the look of a room. How do you avoid picking the wrong paint color? We have some amazing tips below!

1. Don't Pick Your Paint First

Walls are a huge part of a room, which means the paint color is super important but that doesn't mean choosing the paint color has to be the first decision you make. First, consider the entire room's color scheme. What color are the floors? What color are the linens? What metal finishes are being used? What colors are in the nearby rooms? These are all things that need to be considered because these all need to work together and complement each other.

To address the naysayers on this topic, we 100% agree that you can go into a room makeover and know that you want to paint the room a certain color. Maybe you know in the beginning that you want dark, moody blue walls. Do you know how many different dark blue paint colors are available? This is why so many elements of the room need to be considered to help narrow down the perfect blue paint color.

2. Find an Inspiration Piece

Maybe you don't have everything picked out for the room yet to establish a solid color scheme. No problem, just pick one thing that you know you want to use in the room. It could be a decorative pillow, a rug, window treatments, bedding, a blanket, etc. Something that will inspire you to build the room on and that will have the colors or a color you want to use throughout the space.

Once you decide on your inspiration piece, use that to help narrow down your paint color. Make sure the paint colors coordinate and look good with the inspiration item. One easy and fool-proof method is to match a color from the inspiration item and use a shade that is either a little lighter or darker than the original color. Or maybe you want a neutral paint color, the inspiration item still needs to coordinate with that paint color, so consider the warm and cool tones of the inspiration piece as well as the warm and cool tones of the neutral paint color.

3. Set the Mood

Ask yourself how you want this room to make you feel. How you answer this question will play a huge part when deciding which color of paint you want. Maybe you want an intimate and moody vibe in the room. If that is the case, then consider a darker paint color. Or maybe you want the room to feel bright and happy, then consider choosing a lighter paint color.

The good news is that paint strips come in a variety of shades that gradually go from dark to light which makes it easy to choose colors that are lighter or darker within a desired base color. Also, paint stores can customize colors to certain percentages of light or dark to achieve the perfect shade. This is perfect if you already found a paint color you love but need it just a few shades lighter or darker.

4. Check the Undertone

First, what is an undertone? Undertones are the colors hiding behind a paint color. Most paints are created by mixing colors together and, oftentimes, the undertone colors aren't even noticeable until you compare them against other colors. This is where warm and cool colors come into play because the undertone colors are what make a paint warm or cool toned. Undertones of yellow, orange, pink and brown create warm paint colors and blue, green, and gray undertones create cool paint colors.

Even whites, beiges and other neutrals have warm and cool undertones so be sure to consider your overall color scheme before deciding what undertones work best with your room. For example, if a certain gray color has a blue undertone, it could look more blue in your room which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing, it just depends on your desired look for the room. Although undertones can seem tricky, the more you examine and compare a paint color to other colors, the easier it will be to determine undertones. Give it time or hire a professional to help.


After all of the paint colors have been narrowed down to what you think will work best with your space, test them out. Testing is so important because paint colors can change in different lighting. Natural light that comes from north-facing windows can make colors look more cool-toned, while south-facing windows can look more warm-toned. East-facing windows pull both cool and warm at different times of the day while west-facing windows look warm-toned and only intensify the warm colors throughout the day.

This is exactly why we highly recommend testing paint colors IN the room that will be painted. Test them on the walls and watch how the colors change in the morning, afternoon and at night. Although painting a room might not be the most expensive part of a project, it is time consuming so take the time and choose the perfect paint color the first time. Trust us.

If you need extra help finding the perfect paint color, our designers can help! We can curate a custom list of paint colors that will look best in your room. Try it out today and get your perfect paint colors in 3-5 days!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions and recommendations are our own.

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