We’ve all been there…you know, in the paint store, standing at the display and drooling over all the beautiful paint colors that are available.  But, how many of you have you chosen “the perfect color” only to get home, paint your walls and then go, “ugh, this is not the color I chose!”.  Well, my guess is quite a few, including myself.  In this post, I am going to tell you a little secret and share with you five big things that can definitely affect your color choice and turn it from Yay! to Ugh!  Ready?  Okay then, here we go:

1.       Your floor color.  How?  Well, let’s say that your flooring is a beautiful deep brown color.  Making up that deep brown color are many other colors.  If your paint color happens to share an undertone of one that is also in your floor that color will come out when they are placed next to each other.  So if you chose a gray wall color that has a red undertone (a warm gray) and your flooring has a red undertone both will suddenly look more red once the paint goes on the wall.

2.       Surrounding furniture colors.  It’s really the same reasoning as above.  Any time you place colors next to each other, they can and will alter the look of each other.  It may be as simple as making the one color look brighter or more dull but it can also be what happened above and those colors will pull tones out of one another that can really change the way they look when placed next to each other.

3.       Adjoining wall color.  If you have a color on the walls of one room that you can see from another room or those walls happen to be right next to each other.  The paint color on the one set of walls can affect the look of the color on the adjoining walls.  Why?  Same drill as #’s 1 and 2.

4.       Lighting in the store.  Why?  Well color is the reflection of light so depending on your lighting source, the look of a color can change dramatically.  For instance a color you love in the store (under those godawful fluorescent lights!) can look completely different at home in your warm lamp lighting or the beautiful natural light that you have during the day.

5.       Lighting in your home.  The idea is the same as #4.  The lighting in your home will definitely have an impact on your color depending on the time of day, how much natural light versus artificial and even what type of artificial light you have in that space.

So now that you are armed with this information, you can take certain steps to assure that you love your color choice once it’s up on all the walls!  Make sure and take sample cards home and hold them next to your furniture and flooring as well as adjoining walls.  Once your color choice has passed those tests, go back to the store and get a nice inexpensive sample can of your paint color and bring it home and paint a nice big section on your wall.  Watch the color and how it changes throughout the day as your lighting sources change. 

TIP:  If you have an existing color already on the wall where you are painting your sample of your new color, remember that that color can affect the way your new color looks but eventually that color will all be covered up with the new color so don’t worry about that or let it cloud your judgment.

I hope this helps you choose your next paint color with more confidence and takes some of them mystery out of how much a color can change due to its surroundings.  So, go forward and paint on!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


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