Choosing paint colors is never an easy task. The color you choose for the walls in your home impacts the rest of your design choices. And with all the work that goes into making a wall beautiful, it’s essential to get the color just right. The color in a room can influence mood and tone and may help create a vibrancy for subtle furnishings.
The Planning Stage and Color Choice
One essential step in choosing paint colors is making sure that the colors in one room will match the décor around the rest of the home. All rooms don’t need to feature the same color scheme. But an overall theme needs to influence color choices in each of the rooms.
Choosing one or two main paint colors along with a few more colors that will be used for accents tends to create a fluid interior color scheme. Colors often look great in pairs, such as gray and blue or navy and khaki.
If you’re interested in using a bold color for your home, you’ll probably want to use that shade for an accent color, such as the paint on molding or the trim. Try to avoid painting an entire room a bold, solid color and use shades like fire-engine red, royal blue, and canary yellow along the floorboards or on the door frames.
Interior Paint Colors – Supply Checklist
After you find the perfect color of paint for the interior of your home, you’ll need to purchase some simple items and several gallons of paint. In addition to a variety of brushes in different sizes, remember to pick up the following items:
- Painter’s tape – blue tape that comes off walls without damaging the surface
- Plastic sheets – protects the floor and nearby furniture
- Primer – helps reduce the appearance of stains on the wall
- Rollers – applies paint to large sections of the wall for fast painting
- Screwdriver – use to remove electrical socket covers
- Stirrer – normally a wooden stick which should be used before using paint
- Sponges – make sure your walls are clean and dry before you apply paint
- Spout – a plastic piece that sits on the edge of a paint can and prevents spillage
- Tray – made of metal or plastic and used to coat a roller with paint
Estimating Paint Needs
Getting the right amount of paint requires a few simple calculations, but they’re easy, and you don’t need to know any advanced math. One gallon of paint will usually cover about 375 square feet. Remember that if you’re painting a new interior surface that’s never been painted before, you’ll probably need a little extra paint for the best coverage.
To figure out how much paint you need, measure the width of the walls and multiple the total width of the entire room by the height of the walls. This number is the square feet of your walls. Subtract 10 square feet for small windows, 15 square feet for medium windows, and 20 square feet for doors.
When you get your final square footage, just divide that number by 375, and you’ll have the number of gallons you’ll need to buy to cover a room. You can choose to purchase an extra quart or two if you get an uneven result, but having a little extra paint is fine and makes it easy to do touch-ups in the future.
Tips for Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home
A color that looks gorgeous in the store might look completely different under the lights in your home. Not only is it essential to bring some paint samples home, but it’s also a good idea to take different shades of your chosen paint. Your home’s lighting will certainly be different from the harsh fluorescents that show up so often within the store. Use Sure Swatch when choosing interior paint colors for your home.
It’s also possible to strengthen or weaken the intensity of a color of paint, so if a color looks too dark on a wall, consider looking at a 25 percent lighter sample or a 50 percent lighter sample. All it takes is a few keystrokes on a computer to get the right mixture at the average paint store.
Also, it’s essential to buy enough paint if you decide to lighten or darken your interior colors. It’s not impossible to get an exact match on custom paint, but running out and getting a custom color-matched sometimes gets you a slightly different shade.
Painting your interior walls is one of the best ways to create a dramatic change in your home. A new coat of paint is also a decorative feature that isn’t permanent, which may come in handy if you decide to sell your home and want to present your buyers with a neutral canvas.
Want to learn more about choosing paint colors? Check out our painting tips for ideas and inspiration!