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Tips for selecting an interior house paint color

Large color sample chips

Paint retailers are now offering large sample chips of popular colors. These large sample chips can be purchased and placed on walll surfaces. They offer an economical way to test colors without having to purchase paint, or apply it.

Try a sample-size or quart container of paint

A sample-size or quart container of paint will provide enough paint for you to apply a color sample on each of the walls, or the ceiling in a room. If you are unsure of your color selection, it is much better to spend only enough money to purchase a sample-size or quart container instead of buying the gallons needed for the job. Once you have found the color you want, then purchase all the paint you need.

Color depth can be difficult to gauge from a color chip

The color depth on a small color sample chip will often appear to be darker once painted on your wall. For this reason, start your color selection process by picking a color that is one or two shades lighter than your first color choice.

Try a color on the ceiling

Using color on a ceiling is a great way to add flair to any room. You may also find that some of your selected wall colors look even better when complimented by a ceiling color other than "ceiling white."

Live with your color selection for a few days

After making an initial color selection, apply at least one sample on each wall. Wall samples should also be applied next to wood trim and adjacent to areas of wallpaper, decorative painted surfaces, stone, masonary and any built-in cabinets. For ceiling color, apply a sample on the ceiling above each wall sample. For best results, applied samples should be six-inches by six-inches or larger.

After applying samples, observe them several times a day over the course of several days. Observe how samples look in both low and high-light times of the day. See how selected colors look on both sunny and cloudy days. By doing so, you will find how your selected color(s) look a variety of lighting situations.

Note: Color samples should be applied before the room is emptied for surface preparation and painting.


Detailed information on interior house painting surface preparation can be found in the book:

The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting

All content copyright Steve Broujos LLC