Paint is the most versatile element of room decor
When it comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. While you may feel that there are so many choices you're bound to find the right one, you may end up feeling that there
are so many choices you don't know where to start! It's great to collect paint chips when planning a room, but hold off making final choices until you've developed an overall room scheme. Paint is available in literally an infinite array of colors and is the most versatile element of your room decor, the easiest to change, and the least expensive. Get ideas but make the final decision after rugs, wallpaper, and fabrics are finalized.
Study the Colors
You will find clues about the underlying tones of different shades of a color on a full sample strip of coordinated colors. Even if you're not even considering using a darker tone, look at all the colors carefully. Decide if the family of colors is the direction you're headed with your color selection.
Tried and True Formula for Colors
If you're working with a print fabric, you'll probably be happier if you select the coordinating wall paint color from the background of the print. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces.
Choose the Paint Finish for the Job
Consider which paint finish might be best for your project. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, but glossier finishes will reflect more light.
Follow this simple how-to to help you choose a color scheme for your home.
- Choose a style (formal or casual) and a theme for your room (such as American country, English garden, techno modern).
- With the style and theme in mind, decide on an 'anchor' fabric that has 3 or more colors.
- Use the background color from the fabric as a wall color.
- Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for flooring and large furniture pieces, which could be a solid or patterned design. Upholstery can also be done in your anchor fabric or coordinating fabric.
- Use the brightest colors from the fabric for accessories and accents like welting, picture mats, and decorative pillows.
- Place your anchor fabric in at least three places in the room (upholstery, pillows, curtains, etc).
- Use coordinating fabrics in other scales (larger or smaller) as accent fabrics on chairs, pillows, cording, and tablecloths.
Painting with darker colors can be difficult if you don't know a couple of tricks:
- First of all, don't even think about one-coat coverage since darker paints require more pigment. The paint won't be able to cover as well as white, which has little pigment, if any, in it.
- Second, buy cheap, get cheap. For deeper colors, don't skimp on the paint quality. Better materials in the paint provide better coverage and color retention.
- Third, spend some time with the paint in the can before painting. Shake the can for a few minutes, being sure the lid is on tight. After you open the can, stir the paint for several more minutes from the bottom up (even if it was recently shaken at the store) as the pigment can settle to the bottom in a short time.
- Finally, don't worry about the first coat (just get it on the wall; let it dry completely, and then apply the second coat). If you paint again too soon, the paint isn't layering, so give it some time between coats.