Interior Paint Colors / Exterior Paint Colors
Wood Stain Colors and Palettes
Cherry / Mahogany Stain & Color Palettes
Choosing paint colors should not be overly difficult. The decision making process should not leave you paralyzed with indecision. In fact, it should actually be fun to do.
Normally, you really don’t have an infinite number of color possibilities in front of you to decide on. You can’t pick just any color that inspirers you, unless you are starting with a totally bare room.
Choosing paint color - last
Even if you are starting from scratch, you really need to choose your paint colors after you make your choices for carpet, curtains and furniture, as well as other items that will decorate the room.
You can get paint in any color. You can't get carpet or upholstery in any color, so you must start there. The limiting factor in your color selection process will be everything else - but the paint.
Your color selection is determined by the existing color palette.
If you are not starting with a blank slate, you will have to consider any existing color palettes before zeroing in on any paint colors. Oftentimes, you will be keeping either the carpet or drapery, or the furniture in the room. Use these items to start the color section process. Carpets are usually mono tone. Fabrics on the other hand, will often have multiple colors in them. Look at the fabric of the furniture or drapes and “pull out” a color that you like for the basic theme for the room.
Monochromatic Color Scheme
You can use different tints and shades of one color hue. If you look at a graduated color strip, you will see five or six colors on the strip, each one a little bit deeper than the preceding color. The color strip itself is a monochromatic color scheme, consisting of various shades and tints of one color hue.
Analogous Color Scheme
Complimentary Color Scheme
Complements are colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel A complementary color scheme could be blue with orange
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Random Color Scheme Selector
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Choose the wall color first
The primary color of the room will be the wall color. The ceiling will be lighter (as a rule), either white or an off white, or a tint of the wall color. The color of the room is the wall color.
Choose the ceiling and trim color
If the trim is painted (and not stained), you will either paint the trim the same color throughout the house, or paint the trim a distinct color in that particular room. Often the trim color will be the same as the ceiling color but in a semi gloss enamel. White is the ultimate neutral color and goes with any wall color, so often it becomes the ceiling paint and trim color by default.
Types of paint colors
Dark colors are for those who not afraid to be bold in terms of color. You can use deep tones on a whole room or just as an accent on one or two walls. Dark colors absorb light, and will make the room look smaller. Historic colors are a good place to start for deep tones.
Yellows and reds are examples of clean colors. Clean colors are bright and cheerful. Bright colors may look good in a family room but would be out of place in a formal divining room, so choose the room wisely for such.
Pastel colors are safe. You are not going out on a limb using a pastel. If you have a lot of color in a marble or granite counter top, of in the tile on the floor, you may want to keep it quiet on the walls, and a pastel will do just that. If you have medium or darker stained trim, a pastel might be a good choice.
Neutral Earth tones
Beige, putty and clays. These are popular now. Earth tones are quiet colors too in their own way.
- Once you know the color scheme, you need to go get some real paint samples so that you can start to deal with the actual paint manufactured color. Get several color strips in the color hue that you are targeting and bring them home.
- Look at the samples in the day light, and at dusk, and under lamp light. Look at the samples up against the carpet, drapes etc... Narrow down the color strips to one color strip with this process, and then to one color on the strip.
A common question:
"Do paints dry darker or lighter than the chip?" Actually, neither. The paint should dry to a match of the paint chip. The paint chip is a depiction of the dried paint color. Having said that, I know what the real question is, and the answer is: "Latex paints will darken as they dry" Wet latex paints are not the real paint color, they will darken as they dry and the dry color should match the paint sample chip (providing the manufacturer did a good job with the color strips).
- Next, buy an actual sample quart of the chosen color. Buy, a quart of the same sheen and color. Paint a big enough sampling on the wall or a couple of walls. View the wall sample in day light, dusk light and under interior lamp light. Paint out a sample on illustration board too. Hold the board up to the carpet, drapes etc.....
- If you have nailed the color down, you are ready to make the full paint purchase and begin painting. If you don't like the color, start back at square one and repeat the process, all you "wasted" was a quart of paint and a little time. It is better than repainting the whole room after it's been completed.
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Exterior Color Selection Tool
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Neutralizing Color Hues
How to Match Paint Colors
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