Which Paint Colors to Use

Which Paint Colors to Use

Which Paint Colors to Use — That is the Question

People love getting a makeover! This also applies to providing a “re-do” to the interior and exterior walls to refresh and rejuvenate the home. While the prospect of choosing paint colors and transforming your home into a work of art is exciting, the thought of taking the right steps to ensure the project is done properly from start to finish can be overwhelming. Consider the following information, tips, and suggestions to help make the process as smooth and easy as rolling on a coat of paint.

Exterior Paint Choices

Choosing exterior paint has its own list of things to consider such as the construction materials (brick, wood, concrete) and accessories (shutters, awnings, patio, doors). Each of these elements need to blend seamlessly to produce a visually pleasing and inviting exterior. Below are a few things to consider when considering an exterior painting project.

Keep in mind, the color(s) you choose will have an impact, not only by upgrading the home with your personal preferences, but also by adding value to the house by increasing its curb appeal. While you may feel a bright tangerine exterior trimmed in white and accented with bright yellow or green would satisfy your desire for a tropical oasis flair, this may make your home stand out like a sore thumb, which can affect home values in the community….not to mention upset your neighbors. Keep architectural styles and other exterior colors in the neighborhood in mind, and find a compromise that satisfies your preferences without making the home become the center for negative attention.

Key Elements

The three key elements to remember when choosing the paint color are the main exterior walls, the trim that complements the exterior color, and an accent color that adds a dash of pizzazz without taking away from the overall effect.

To get an idea for color combinations, use the services of your local home improvement center to gather paint samples to mix and match to create a potential color palette. You can also go online to major paint manufacturer websites such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Valspar, Glidden, and Behr and use their color sample guides and books. Tap into any technology tools they offer that allow you to apply colors to a virtual home to see how they look. Once you’ve narrowed it down a bit, you can purchase some actual paint samples to see how they look on your home during various times of day and in different weather. The blue you’ve picked may look fantastic on a bright sunny day, but might look a bit too dull and gray on cloudy days. Putting the actual paint on the house can help you see that the brighter blue is better overall.

Once you have settled on a color combination, for high-quality results, hire a company that provides licensed and insured professional painters along with detailed estimates so there are no surprises. These experts know what needs to be done to prepare the exterior prior to painting. This may include repairs, exterior cleaning, removing peeling paint, sanding, and priming. Be sure to compare “apples to apples” when considering different estimates from potential companies for your job. For example, some companies will do minor repairs ahead of time, others don’t. Some companies will powerwash beforehand, others don’t. Remember, the contractor with the cheapest price, might not actually be providing the best deal if you end up having to get different contractors in for additional work.

While the cost of an expert painting team may be more than if you attempt to do it yourself, you will have a professional contract/agreement in hand, a warranty to guarantee the work, and access to their years of experience. They will also take less time to complete the project because they know what they’re doing; their team is quick and efficient. You will have the knowledge and peace of mind of knowing the job was done right.

Interior Paint Choices

Choosing interior paint colors can be fun on several levels, especially if you’re inclined to be creative. You can choose subtle tones, brilliant colors, or a mixture of calm, traditional, and bold. Some choose to carry the same soothing theme throughout each room such using light gray, taupe, off-white, and other neutral colors with a complementary trim color to create an inviting atmosphere. Neutrals also tend to blend with decor throughout the home. Another option is mixing it up a bit and using paint colors to highlight/accentuate the decor (rugs, furniture, accessories). There’s also the option to use vibrant colors to accent one wall to enhance the room’s visual appeal or bring the focus to a specific wall that may hold colorful paintings or a collage of decorative mirrors, for example. A dining room may be painted in subtle tones to create a luxurious atmosphere while a child’s playroom may be a palette of bright colors to inspire fun.

Unlike exterior painting where certain things are considered because the outside is visible to everyone, the interior can be whatever you prefer. Stick with the basics of white walls, experiment with bold and beautiful colors, or follow the current trending colors — it’s up to you.

Colorful Steps

The steps to begin choosing paint colors is much the same as those for the exterior. It all begins with choosing samples. Whether one room is being painted or the entire interior, samples allow you to pick, choose, and experiment to see the result before applying the brush or roller. An option is to buy paint samples and apply to the actual wall to get a better idea of how each will look and work with the surroundings and how each reacts to lighting from indoor fixtures and natural light. Whatever your preferences, let your eyes be your guide to choosing the colors that bring the most satisfaction.

If you plan to do the painting yourself, speak to the person in the paint department about the best type of paint to use (flat, gloss, semi-gloss), types of brushes and rollers to use, how many drop cloths to buy, and what, if any, prep work to consider such as repairing seams, dents, or holes in the drywall, removing wallpaper, or sanding rough places so the walls are smooth. Once you’ve chosen the color(s), purchased the materials, and prepped the walls you’re ready to roll.