It's About Harmony

Finding the perfect paint can be an adventure. You spend hours traipsing from store to store, schlepping your bag of samples and collecting paint chips. You hold your little square of color against the fabric you've chosen, but it isn't enough to really give you an idea of what it will look like on the walls. Undaunted, you forge ahead until, voila! You find the exact color you want and you're thrilled.

Eureka!  You've Found It

Now that you think you've found the perfect color, purchase a pint of it to do a patch test. This is probably the best way to ensure you will be able to live with the color and that the color really is what you want. Paint a board, 12"x48" (bigger if you like, but not smaller), or paint a square this size on the wall of the room you want to cover. Observe the color under all lights in that room. How does it look with the flooring the room, the wall coverings and fabric colors? If you're not entirely thrilled with it, get another pint and repeat the process. Maybe you could try two or three different colors or shades of the color you want at the same time on different walls. You save time that way and you have a good selection to work with - and, you'll find the color you love.

Now, How Will It Work in Your Home?

Once you've found the color of your dreams, check how it is affected by the environment of the room. If you already have a more intense color on your walls and the test patch is lighter, the existing wall color will probably reflect onto the lighter patch. If your curtains are colored, their color will reflect upon the paint as well, and thereby change the paint tone. If you want to get the best idea of how a color will look on the wall, find a neutral room, place the paint sample on the wall and the flooring sample on the floor and test the color with the same light exposure.

Wet Paint - Don't Touch

Reserve judgment until the paint is dry. The first reaction is to panic when you see how dark the paint is as you apply it. Let it dry and then check it against your other samples to decide if it looks the way you'd like it to look. Paint also is best checked with furnishings in the room. You'll want to see how the paint works with your furniture, so bring in a chair or painting or window covering to see how it looks.

The Wonders of White Paint

It really is a good idea to have a container of white paint on hand which can be used to lighten paint that is too dark. It can also be used to cut your color by ¾ in order to paint the ceiling. Don't mix finishes, such as latex with gloss - it's like oil and water, it doesn't mix. And, be sure that if you are mixing a color you mix enough. The likelihood of being able to match the mix exactly if you run out is remote.

And, Voila - You've Created a Symphony

Give yourself some time to adjust to the new color. Sometimes, if the change is drastic, it may be overwhelming. If your furnishings and flooring colors are close to the wall color you will probably find you've created a wonderful harmony of color.