Interior Design | Is Your Paint Color Behaving Badly?

Selecting the perfect paint color for your space can be frustrating, but you should know that there are two common reasons why the color in the can applied to the wall does not resemble the paint chip from the store…paint behaving badly.  Don’t punish yourself by spending hours and hours of your time running back to the store collecting stacks of paint samples to try and figure out why your paint colors are not working!  Understanding why paint may be behaving badly is key to selecting the perfect paint color the first time. What you need to understand

First, keep in mind that the amount of natural lighting and types of lighting in the space; fluorescent, incandescent, LED, etc., greatly affect the way colors appear in your space.  Second, colors are affected by other colors.  I like to call this phenomenon color bounce.  Simply put, color bounce happens when other colors from lighting, wall-to-wall carpeting, furniture, ceiling, flooring surfaces, cabinetry, etc., reflect and mix per se onto your paint colors.

Four things you can can do

1. Every DIY'er should own a paint color fan deck.  Take a trip to your local paint dealer and arm yourself with a paint color fan deck.  Tip:  Sherwin Williams offers free fan decks.  Using a fan deck to select your paint colors while inside your space is more accurate than pulling samples at the store.  Remember, color is affected by light and store lighting is typically industrial fluorescent, so unless your space is illuminated by fluorescent lighting as well, the paint sample will look different under the lighting at home.

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck

2. Using your fan deck, isolate the hues within your space.  I like to use natural lighting to locate my 4 favorite hues.  You should be using your color inspirations and custom color palettes that we talked about last week to help make your hue selections.  Click on the link if you missed our last blog about Color InspirationsTip:  If your overall space feels too dark, select a lighter color value, and if the space is too bright, select a darker color value.

Hue = Color Value = Lightness or darkness of a color

3. ALWAYS, always, always, test the paint color in multiple areas within your space and observe it over the next few days during all types of lighting.  Your paint dealer will have trial sample paints you can purchase, while some paint dealers offer actual painted paper samples in a variety of sizes that you can tape to the wall.

4. Work with your paint professional to make value adjustments to your selections and be sure to ask which type of paint and finish; gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat, etc., will be best for your lifestyle and space.  I highly recommend paints classified as LOW VOC or ZERO VOC for all interior applications, your body will thank me.  Tip: Use the 'globe' symbols below to help select low level VOC products.

Graphic courtesy of Dulux.

Choosing the perfect paint color for your space doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience.  By understanding color behavior and applying a couple tricks of the trade, you too can control color behaving badly.

If you have a specific question on color or paint selections, we would love to hear from you.  Just Email us your questions and you could be featured in one of our upcoming blogs!  For more information about our services, visit our website.

Go color something!

Corinne Gail

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