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Location: HOME > Technical Support

How to Choose the Best Paint Colors

Paint is the most inexpensive way to transform a room from drab to fabulous, but for many homeowners selecting the right colors seems an intimidating task not easily achieved by amateurs.

The best way to begin is to let fabric lead the way. Choose furniture and drapery that you love from the start and then go from there. Fabric provides inspiration for a room's color scheme, but it's also a more prudent starting point because paint is much easier to change than furniture and window treatments.

The journey begins when you take a fabric swatch to the paint store and try to find paint chips that coordinate with the colors present in your fabric sample. You don't have to find a perfect match - choosing a wall color that is slightly lighter or darker than the color in the fabric can make a room flow.

For instance, a darker wall color makes lighter fabric stand out in a room, resulting in a dramatic-looking room. Similarly, darker walls contrasted against light curtains make the windows of a room more noticeable. A perfect match has a different effect - it creates a consistent harmony of color that makes a sofa or other piece of furniture more striking.

If you really want to find a perfect match, new technology has made it possible to identify the exact colors in a piece of fabric and reproduce them in a paint color. This is all done with a spectrometer, but it only works on solid fabric.

When shopping at a paint store, however, realize that paint chips don't show you exactly how the color will appear on the walls. Before deciding on any one color, test it on a small section of the wall and view it in both daylight and at night.

Perhaps you plan to paint in neutral tones? In this case, test a shade that's a few shades darker than the one you prefer. In large spaces particularly, stronger neutrals will give a room more of the impact you're looking for.

When selecting a paint color, it's also important to take into account the texture of your walls. Stucco and brick surfaces, for example, are very rough and reflect less light than smooth walls - it's important to remember that colors painted on rough walls appear darker than when they are painted on a smooth surface.

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