Posted on 02/06/2016

DIY Home Design: 6 Tips for Choosing Interior Paint Colors Like a Pro

4 minute read

Paint colors dictate a lot in a home. They can sway the mood of you and your guests, as well as the overall perception of your home. Whether you like bold or subtle color, here are several tips to creating a harmonious, complementary and interior-designer-worthy color palette for your home.

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Focus On Color Flow

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Creating a sense of harmony and continuity throughout your home can be challenging. You can’t go wrong by picking lighter and darker shades of the same color throughout different rooms in your home. This is where a fan deck comes in handy.

You can also create continuity by selecting hues with similar undertones. For instance, if you like shades of red that have blue undertones, find other complimentary colors with blue (or cool) undertones for the rest of your home.

Downplay Your Home’s Shortcomings

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Lighter paint colors can open up a room that is small, dark or has low ceilings. Long, narrow rooms can be elongated by painting the end walls in a darker shade.

Paint Finish Is Just As Important

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Like you don’t have enough choices to make with paint color alone. Now you have to pick the right sheen. Here’s how to choose between your options:

  • Flat. The matte finish is a great option to hide surface imperfections. It also absorbs light rather than reflects it.
  • Eggshell. This finish has a bit more luster than flat but offers an easier-to-clean finish than flat.
  • Semi-gloss. This finish has a bright, shiny appearance due to light reflection, so it looks good in rooms with a large natural light source.
  • Satin. This option is somewhere in between flat and eggshell, except it has a warmer, pearl-like finish. As far as cleaning goes, satin finishes resist mildew, dirt and stains but can withstand light scrubbing.
  • High-gloss. Just like it sounds, high-gloss sheen is highly reflective and also makes color shades appear more vividly. High-gloss is not recommended for wood surfaces, such as trim or doors, or for walls with many flaws.

Think About the Mood

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Color creates strong connotations: blue for tranquility, green for harmony, red for power, yellow for happiness, orange for energy and so on. Granted each hue comes in a plethora of shades, you need to think about how you want to feel in each area of your home.

Warmer shades are typically attributed to a more social, simulating atmosphere while cooler and deeper shades play up rooms you want to feel more formal.

Consider Your Lighting

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Ever wonder why a paint sample looks differently on your walls than it does on the paint swatch? Lighting plays a big part in that.

A room with lots of natural lighting will show the truest color. This is why bold or bright colors might be overpowering when used on all walls in a room with a lot of windows.

Incandescent lighting plays up warm, yellow tones while fluorescent lighting emphasizes blue and green tones.

Don’t Be Afraid of Painting Outside the Lines

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White ceilings are kind of the status quo, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but extending your canvas can add a dramatic or beautifully subtle effect.

To immerse your room in a cloak of color, pick a hue for your walls and use the same hue, diluted to a lighter shade for your ceiling. The diluted color makes the room feel unified and soothing with a touch more depth and dimension.

The new accent wall is the ceiling. Since you’ll be drawing eyes upward with a bold or bright color, pair it with neutral walls and incorporate home accents in the same bold ceiling hue to tie the room together.

Looking for more interior paint inspiration? Follow us on Pinterest for the latest trends in home design and home improvements.