“Nooooooooooooo!” We scream. We throw our paint brush on the floor. We pull out our hair.
You say to yourself, “What the
blankety-blank? How did we get the paint color wrong AGAIN?? This is our 5th friggin sample, BAH! I give up…”
I’m so sorry. I want to reach out and give you a hug, but you’ll probably punch me out of frustration. You may not have a natural eye for color, like some of your friends seem to. Don’t stress…pleeeeeaaaase don’t stress. Now lets get it right the FIRST time. Every time.
So you have a color in mind, right? You saw it in a magazine somewhere. You scrolled past it on a blog, on Pinterest. So now you think you have all you need and run to the paint store. STOP. Do your research. Bring your magazine article with you to the store. It doesn’t have listed the color name used? Try scanning the page with this app. Designers have the one up on this one, because they have already done plenty of research in the past, and probably have experience with 2 or 3 of their favorite go to colors.
Let’s say you found the name of the color you saw, “Dough Boy Blue” so you went forth to Dome Hepo and got your sample jar. And alas…it just doesn’t look the same. Because it’s not and this is where it gets tricky. Any color enthusiast knows it could be the lighting, it could be the computer screen, it could be a million things. So next time, BEFORE you blindly buy the sample jar because you saw it on a page somewhere, glance at the actual swatch. Even better, take the swatch (and others similar to it) home! When you get your swatches in the space you’re painting, you’ll see that it changes in its own environment. Which brings me to my next subject…light.
All designers KNOW this is the number one thing to consider when choosing their clients paint color. And maybe you’ve heard this too. Why is this so important? Because a room’s light source can drastically make or break the appearance of the color. When have we seen this most commonly occur? With grays and beige tones. The sun’s glare on the wall will pull out a different tone than the artificial light source at night. Please believe me. This is why the color you saw in your best friends house, or found on that one Houzz board, looks completely different. AND this is what designers are aware of before they go hunting for colors. See, even designer Candice Olsen will back me up
MUTED, NOT LIGHTER
Decorators understand that going lighter isn’t always the answer as much as it is getting the tone, shade and depth right. Let me explain. I often tell my clients this, especially when they have their heart set on a color. Great! I love it! Lets try taking it down a notch. (Not always, but often) Because our mind’s eye deceives us, we have a tendency to be drawn to brighter and rich-toned colors. This is great…in a t-shirt. Just not in your living room. Another way to remember this trick, is to add a dose of gray to your shade. Trust me. Also, because it’s been ingrained into our brains since birth to choose a color thats “NOT TOO DARK”, we go the next shade lighter, or two, on the paint chips. Sometimes this is the right move, yet often I disagree. Don’t fear the dark! You’ll see the difference when you put your paint sample next to your existing wall color. Which brings me to…
Ah yes. Most all of us good house moms and Pinterest gurus know by now the power of the sample jar. (Equally as well the look on our husbands faces when we bring them home…) So after you’ve done all the research, you’ve taken the swatches home, lost them, went back again, and you’re finally buying a sample. GREAT, nice work. High five, super mom.(or dad, or bachelorette) What you don’t realize, and designers do, is how to sample them. I remind my clients if they use a sample paint, to paint LARGE enough to see the color in its whole space. Also paint in the corner of the room, so you can see the color at its darkest. Be aware that the paint may take on a new appearance because of the wall color behind it. (Like the photo above) To avoid this, choose a poster board, or large cardboard, to paint on and hang up on your wall. Inspect the sample color at different times of the day. AND, don’t forget to check it against your trim color as well.
And for more suggestions, feel free to browse my own Benjamin Moore Pinterest Board overflowing with pictures of my favorite colors.
Now go get your paint pants back on! And as always, I’m happy to answer questions in the comment sections below!