How to Choose the Right Paint Color

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By : Coral Nafie, interior decorating expert

When it comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. While you may feel that there are so many choices you're bound to find the right one, you may end up feeling that there are so many choices you don't know where to start!

The tips here will really help you if you feel stumped by this important choice. After all, the paint color will set the tone for the room.

Be Patient
It's great to collect paint chips when planning a room, but hold off making final choices until you've developed an overall room scheme. Paint is available in literally an infinite array of colors and is the most versatile element of your room decor, the easiest to change, and the least expensive. Get ideas but make the final decision after rugs, wallpaper, and fabrics are finalized.

Coordinate Decorating Samples
When you go shopping, you'll need to refer to your fabric, carpet, tile, wallpaper, and trim samples constantly. Be sure to take everything with you wherever you go. No tellng where you might see something wonderful.

Really Study the Colors
You'll find clues about the underlying tones of different shades of a color on a full sample strip of coordinated colors. Even if you're not even considering using a darker tone, look at all the colors carefully. Decide if the family of colors is the direction you're headed with your color selection.

Tried and True Formula for Colors
If you're working with a print fabric, you'll probably be happier if you select the coordinating wall paint color from the background of the print. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces.

Trim it Out
More often than not, you'll select a shade of white or off-white for the moldings, doors, and windows. If you're feeling brave, consider the palest shade of color to coordinate with the walls. For a really striking look, try lighter walls and dark tones or bright color for trim.

Choose the Paint Finish for the Job
Consider
which paint finish might be best for your project. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, but glossier finishes will reflect more light.

Warm or Cool?
Colors are often referred to as "warm" and "cool." Orange, red, and pink are considered "warm" colors, while blues, greens, and violet are thought to be "cool." Knowing the theory behind color can help you select the right tone for the feel you're trying to achieve.

White is Not Always White
Trying to find the perfect white can be a challenge! Beiges and off-whites have subtle color, so compare paint chips to your fabrics and flooring to determine if a warmer pinkish or yellow-toned white -- or a cooler, bluer white -- is best for your room.

Keep Notes as You Shop
It's a good idea to make a note on the back of the paint color cards, telling yourself the name of the store where you picked it up, and the paint brand whenever this information isn't printed there already.

Shed a Little Light
The best way to get a true view of a paint color is to look at it in many lights. Take the paint chip outside to see it in natural light. Look at in under an incandescent and fluorescent light. Best yet, take the paint chip, fabrics, and accessories to the room in which they'll live. Check out the colors there.

Measuring Works Magic
Take your room measurements with you to the paint store or home center. The professional at the store will help you determine the correct quantity of paint to buy for your job. Or you might use your numbers to consult one of the handy software paint estimator to get an idea of how much paint you'll need for your project. Remember primer and trim paints.

Ask, Ask, Ask!
For helpful paint advice, go both online and to your local paint store. Tell the paint professional about your project and goals for your decorating project. Ask which paint products they recommend, and why. Get information on specialty paints such as low-odor, stain-killing primers, chalkboard paint, washable paint, and many more.

Custom Color Matching
If you want to achieve a perfect match or find a truly unique color, your paint store or home center offers custom color mixing. This makes it possible to bring in a fabric swatch, painting, or other color reference, and have a paint color created to be a perfect match. Visit Home Depot or Lowe's or call a local hardware store to inquire.

Look Up to the Ceiling
Light colors are usualy most pleasing for a ceiling, because ceilings are seen in shadow. If you'd like the ceiling to match the wall color, buy ceiling paint one or two shades lighter than the wall color (on its color chip). Or, dilute your wall color with white paint in a ratio of 25% color to 75% white.

Article source : http://interiordec.about.com.

Color Style Studio

Wouldn’t it be great to preview color combinations on your house, before spending a lot of money on paint? You can, with a virtual painting program called Color Style Studio. Just point and click to see rooms, furnishings, and house exteriors in so many different colors. Use this program to explore possibilities, then test spot your chosen paints in a small area. Visit the home page of this software for more information.

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