Color Consultations are an important part of my job. A lot of my clients have trouble finding the right color for their home. And hiring a Professional Painter costs thousands of dollars. Even if you are painting yourself, it’s time-consuming. To protect your investment of time and money, I’m going to teach you how to become a Color Expert!
Rule #1: There Is No Such Thing As a True “Neutral”
All neutrals (white, beige, and gray) have a color undertone. The undertone can be blue, green, red, or yellow. This is why some neutrals can appear to be a color in certain light. So unless you want a wall that looks pink, identify the undertone of any neutral you’re considering.
Rule #2: Some Neutrals Do Not Play Well Together
Beige colors do not look good with gray colors. The only caveat to this rule is if it’s a mixture of both, call “greige.” This is achieved by mixing the two colors 50/50.
White or off-white goes well with both beige and gray. But cream (white with a yellow undertone) only looks good with beige. If you paint your trim cream, but the walls/siding is gray, it will appear yellow.
Before choosing a neutral wall color, notice the color of finishes you will not be replacing. If your trim, flooring, etc. is beige, go with a light beige or white for the walls.
Rule #3: Don’t Follow Trends
Beige was “in” about 20 years ago. Then gray became popular. Gray is still popular today, but I can see it’s on the decline. But white will always be in style because it’s a classic.
But white doesn’t have to be boring. Below are my favorite whites. These whites are all very soft and creamy. Linen White has a yellow undertone, but doesn't make your walls appear yellow. I like to use Benjamin Moore Super White (OC-152) for ceilings and trim.
Rule #4: Use Color Sparingly
When we look at colors, they are more stimulating than neutrals. So our eyes get tired faster, and they’ll search for a neutral to “rest.” If you love color (like I do!), use color in small spaces, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and accent walls. Accent walls draw your eye to them, so consider highlighting a cool feature, like a fireplace.
Rule #5: Use Colors for Emotions
Yellow = Optimism
Recommend Room(s): Kitchen, Laundry Room
Green = Balance
Green is the most versatile of the colors, so you can use it anywhere.
Recommended Room(s): All the rooms, Nursery
Blue = Serenity
Use in spaces you want to promote tranquility.
Pink = Femininity
Recommended Room(s): Bedroom, Bathroom
Rule #6: Show Your Personality!
Homes in subdivisions usually have the same builder, so they all look very similar. On top of that, builders like to use a neutral exterior color. Snoozefest! I’m not saying to get crazy with color (the HOAs wouldn’t allow it anyway). But think outside the Beige Box and set your home apart from the rest.
Here are some colors I'm loving for exteriors:
Rule #7: Test Before You Paint!
It's hard to test a color from the tiny paint chips you get from the store. I provide my Color Consultation clients with large sample sheets (8” x 9.25”). I like them because they don’t make a mess, like painting samples on your wall. Ask your favorite paint store if they have larger paint chips. Sometimes they cost money, but it's so worth it!
I also don’t recommend comparing the samples side-by-side. Put one sample on the wall, and leave up for at least one full day to see it with the different light throughout the day. If you don’t love it, move on to the next sample. Eliminate the samples one-by-one until you find the one you love!
Before you invest in painting your home, remember these rules and you’ll have no regrets!