How to Choose the Right Paint Color for Your Home

The right paint color for your home should go with the furnishings and fabrics in the particular room but not match exactly. If you are planning a whole makeover, buy the furniture and accessories first. That way, the paint color can complement the look of your whole home.

Do not be afraid of color; there is no need to choose builder's beige just because home improvement shows on TV rip people apart for personalizing. Unless there is an immediate need to sell a home, this admonition does not really apply. If furniture and curtains have patterns, choose your paint color from the color palette of the fabrics.

Use the color wheel. If you are starting from scratch, a good way to choose paint colors for your home is by looking at a color wheel and picking two colors from opposite directions. Examples are blue-violet combined with yellow-orange or blue-green with red-orange. Or choose colors that are situated next to each other on the color wheel, such as violet and blue-violet or violet and red-violet.

Convey emotions. You can also choose colors to represent different emotions for different spaces. Select cool colors for calm or introverted moods and warm colors for an outgoing, lively ambiance. To keep the space from being boring, add a splash of accent color from the opposite mood.

What about white? White does not have to be boring; it works well in spaces where artwork or contemporary furniture take center stage. Choosing white paint colors also works well if you like to redecorate your home fairly often.

What you see may be slightly different from what you get. Remember that a color will look different once it is dry. Bright colors will be affected by the amount of light, types of lighting and colors used in the surrounding space. It is a good idea to paint a small area first and let it dry completely before applying color over all the walls.

Do not be afraid of the dark. The adage that darker colors make rooms look smaller is not necessarily true. Instead, the type of color influences room sizes. Warm colors like orange, red and yellow are good choices for large areas, where you want to minimize, because they advance and meet your eye. Receding or cool colors like green, blue and violet work the opposite way and can make a room appear larger if you stay away from the darker shades like hunter, navy and purple.

Painting architectural details. If you are painting rooms that have chair rails and want to use two different colors, use the darker color below the chair rail for an airy and open feel. Trim can also be tricky to paint. If you do not like the trim, it is perfectly fine to paint it the same color as the walls. White trim in a room with darker wall colors will make it brighter, while a dark trim color can add visual interest.

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Your paint project will only be as successful as the paint you choose to do the job. You need to consider more than the color.

Primers are not designed to cover dark or intense colors. I have seen this advice given so often on Internet bulletin boards and even in magazine articles. I imagine the primer industry loves it, but if you read the labels on just about any can of primer, nowhere will it suggest this as a purpose.

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