Sunday, February 5, 2012

Picking Paint without Fear

I have always had this rule that if you have a small room: Paint something bold. Paint it something that you want, but wouldn't dare paint in a large room because it's too dark, too trendy, too feminine, etc. Don't worry, this post is not only for painting small rooms. Paint is great way to set the stage for any room, and on a budget.

Picking paint can be tricky and I want you to always really examine your mind's eye for what you really want. Sometimes (a lot of the time) people will say, "I want light blue". That doesn't really describe the hue or tone, exactly. 

Here are some tips and tricks to get the paint color that you want. Remember, it's your room and you should love it. 

1. Visit your room, if possible. It is now your canvas. See what seems the color should be. This is the easiest way to start off, especially if you don't know which direction to go on the color wheel. Ask yourself:

Should the room have a warm tone?
Is it large (or small)? Can it "hold" darker paint well?
What furniture/fixtures do I have?
What is the floor color?
The lighting - Is it dark or bright?

2. What I try to do is look at color wheels, or strips with the colors descending light to dark, so you can see what the "base color" is. That way, you can see if the darker tones turn brown, mauve or olive green.

3. Also, (and very important) inspiration is everywhere, and what you see may make an indelible mark on your psyche. HOWEVER, just because you are a Notre Dame fan, doesn't mean that a navy blue and gold room wouldn't eventually make you go mad. So, what I am trying to say, is once you think of a color, imagine living in it. Imagine what that the color(s) will do for you. Sometimes, this guidance will help you go lighter or darker. That way, when you pick the purple for the baby's room, it won't look like Prince and the Revolution came by and "went crazy". Get it?

4. Once you have some options, bring them with you and look at them in different light. Inside, outside, daytime, nighttime and ... er, in traffic. 

5. Bring the sample(s) to the actual room. Look at them. I always think this is the hardest and least obvious step in this process, but it can serve to eliminate a color right away. Think about what will be in the room. In my room, the the fixtures are white, the floor is a medium-light stained wood and my accessories will be black to start. Having said this, black's, navy's and dark brown's can off set bright or light colors to achieve the balance you need.

Alright, so go ahead and pick a paint. Don't be scared, and remember, it's just paint.

This may be a process. (in this case, it was for me) One of the steps may lead you to one color, then you may not like it once isolated, or in the actual room, etc. That's okay. It's all conceptual at this point.

Most hardware stores and paint stores will sell samples of paint for about $3.00. If you are torn between paint colors, or simply cannot decide, go purchase some samples and paint a 3'-0" x 3'-0" square on the wall and step back. Also,these paint samples are great for small projects like painting furniture!

My Project Outcome:



"The wallflower"



I have a "Pinterest" project in the works for this room, so I'll give you a grand tour when it's complete. 

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