The Wisely Designed™ Guide to Selecting Paint Colors

As your designer, your advocate and as The Design Advocate™, I have to give you a quick lesson on how to wisely select your wall color. I just returned from a client’s home and she was really delighted with the paint colors that we selected after she saw them swatched – or tested – on her walls. That is your million dollar, design wisely, advice for the day:
Do test swatches. With real paint. And do it in a few locations in a room.

benjamin moore samples
Photo Courtesy: Benjamin Moore

One of the biggest mistakes “do-it-yourself’ers” make is usually in paint color selection. Every successful designer knows that if you screw up your wall color, no amount of great design can save the room. It’s do-over time. The paint selection piece that civilians don’t know how to control, manipulate or anticipate is a paint color’s undertone and even the pros find that sometimes you simply can’t always tell from a cardboard swatch how the undertone will come forward in real paint.
Think of undertone as the “secondary flavor” that a color has. It’s when a great beige color goes a little peach, when a blue goes a little green, or when a brown kind of reads like eggplant.
Wise Design Tip For Paint Perfect Paint Selection: Narrow down your choice to your top two – possibly three colors of paint (I like to do the top two…keep things simple). Get a little test pot of your colors, paint it on your walls in four different locations in the room (four different walls) – and let it dry fully. Voila.
Be careful of those undertones, and happy paint selecting!