How to Choose Paint Colours for Your Home

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How to Choose Paint Colours for Your Home

If only choosing a paint colour for your home was easy but unfortunately, it’s not. There are various things to consider like natural light, the size of a room and what you’re trying to achieve in that space. When it comes to the exterior you sometimes have to consider the neighbourhood colour scheme. While these elements might make any paint job seem daunting, we’re here to help you find the perfect colour for your home with these top tips.


Don’t Use Chips, Use Actual Paint Samples Instead

While paint chips were the go-to option in the past, many manufacturers now offer a small container sample of their colour palettes at a minimal price, making it much easier to tell what a colour will look like on your wall.

These paint samples are definitely a good investment and will go a long way in helping you choose the right colour. An excellent way to get an idea of what it will look like in various lighting conditions is to roll it onto a white tagboard rather than on a sample wall. You can easily move the tagboard around the room to view it under every lighting condition.


Look at Various Paint Family Colour Collections

Paint manufacturers spend a lot of time and money coming up with “colour collections” or “colour families” to make the decision easier for you. A colour collection or family is basically a combination of colours that compliment the base colour. And many times it might not even occur to you to use it until you see how good they look together. A lot of research is already done by colour experts so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A visit to your paint manufacturers’ website or Pinterest will quickly help you find many examples of various paint colour schemes.


Make Permanent Colours Your Starting Point

It’s always wise to determine your colour palette by basing it on your exterior home features or any permanent furnishings in the interior. Outside, the gutters, roof, brickwork, wall or fascia will be the elements used to determine your paint colours while flooring, blinds or carpets inside your home will suggest the direction of the colour. Another crucial element is your landscaping so make sure you choose colours that fit in with the surroundings. If you have plenty of green trees or plants, choose colours that will make them pop.


Be a Thoughtful Neighbour

You might think that purple and yellow are a match made in heaven but if your neighbours’ home is painted in neutral colours, it will clash and your neighbours will hate you! Not only will it affect their curb appeal, but it will also bring down the resale value of both your homes. You can do as you please inside your home but keep in mind that if you’re planning on selling in future, unusual colours won’t attract potential buyers.


Choose a Lighter Ceiling Colour

The colour of your ceiling often appears darker than the same colour on the walls because they are seen in shadow. If you really want to match up your walls and ceilings, make sure to choose a shade or two lighter. Another option would be to save money by diluting the paint by adding 50 per cent white paint, instead of buying a whole container.


Select the Right Sheen for the Application

Choosing a paint colour isn’t only about the colour, you have to consider the sheen as well. You have to choose between flat/matt, gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, and satin. Matt paints do a great job at hiding imperfections while glossy paints tend to emphasise them. Glossy paints offer greater durability where matt paints are easier to damage. Matt paints work best in low-traffic areas and for painting ceilings. High-gloss paints can perfect for areas with high traffic like kitchens and they can withstand grease and moisture. If you’re not crazy about glossy paints but you’re looking for something more durable than matt paint, consider mixing it half/half with eggshell paint. The eggshell will add some durability to the finish but it will offer a nonreflective appearance.


Skim-Coat Wall Imperfections When Using Dark Paint

Darker shades of paint tend to show wall imperfections in more detail while lighter colours are more forgiving. If you have your heart set on a dark hue or a high-gloss sheen, and your walls aren’t in the best of conditions, consider skim-coating your walls with drywall compound before applying paint. Keep in mind that it won’t always make dark colours look good. Extremely bold colours aren’t recommended for painting bathrooms since the excess moisture can make the paint look chalky and blotchy. Try using a high-hide grey-tinded primer to reduce the number of coats needed.


Don’t Just Stick with Painting the Walls

While paint is excellent at accentuating features, it is just as good at hiding unappealing elements too. Why not blend in your gutters, conduit, radiators and other utilities by painting them the same colour as your walls. This can also be done with electrical outlets, light switches and fixtures. You’d be surprised to find that there are spray paints available for any type of material.


Invest in Good Quality Paint

For the best results, don’t settle for the cheapest paint you can find. Paint consists of pigments, solvents and resins. High-quality paint tends to be more concentrated with higher grade resins and finer pigments. Which means that the final product will have a more durable finish and even colour. However tempting it is to save a few bucks, the better quality paint will ensure better coverage which ultimately means you’ll need fewer coats of paint, thus saving you money on buying less paint to start with.


Paint Your House Virtually

You will find many opportunities online – on manufacturers websites for instance – to paint your home virtually by uploading an image of your home or the room you wish to paint. This allows you to try out various colours and painting schemes. You can also download mobile applications (such as Paint My Place in the apple shop) that allow you to take a photo of the colour you like and matching it up with a suggested colour or palette from various manufacturers. Keep in mind that the paint colour you see on your computer, smartphone or tablet screen may slightly differ from the actual colour.


Bright Exterior Colours Fade Quickly

Bright or dark colours on the exterior of your home will fade and show dirt more quickly. Vivid colours like red and blue tend to become toned down after a few years, making it easier to see splotches of dirt and streaks more easily. Darker colours tend to sustain moisture and absorb heat more than lighter shades. Minor touch ups also become challenging since dark paint fades quickly. But dark colours aren’t all bad, they add some drama to your home. Colours like yellow, blue, red and green fade more quickly than stable earthy tones such as browns, tans and beighes.


Sponge-Painting Your Walls Is Worth Considering

The easiest and most attractive painting technique is handsdown sponge painting. You don’t need a steady hand or expensive tools to produce good-looking results. Sponge painting is extremely forgiving without the need for messy and odorous oil-based paint. If one wall turns out to be too light, it’s an easy fix – just go back and add some more paint.


Add This Professional Wall Painting Technique to Your Bag of Tricks

So, you’ve chosen the perfect paint colour now on to the painting part. If you want a streak-free wall, maintain a wet edge. To prevent shadow lines or “picture framing”, the wet cut-in paint should blend with the rolled areas. Roll from top to bottom then left to right but make sure to keep the unsupported side of the roller pointing to the left. To eliminate roller tracks, apply slightly heavier pressure to the unsupported roller side.