Color Me Perfect


How to select the right paint to match your décor.


It’s taken weeks to select your favorite roman shades. But why not? There were so many colors and patterns to choose from. Now that they’re installed your only decision is selecting the perfect wall color to match. If your past experiences with choosing paint wound up to be a big surprise after it was all said and done, these tips on how to properly test paint may help.


We marvel at what today’s computers can do. They allow us to shop, talk to family, even see what we’d look like twenty pounds lighter. Now we can add selecting paint color to the list. With online color tools, along with a well-lit photo of one of the walls you wish to paint, you can digitally see what the color will look like long before purchasing the paint itself. Keep in mind, generally you will need a picture of the wall without your furniture. And because the samplers don’t pick up wall texture, choosing a flat wall is better.


After painting a room, how many times have you said, “Boy, it didn’t look like that on the sample”? That’s because we generally sample paint incorrectly.

Color is relational, perceived in context, and not alone. That means, what the color will ultimately look like is affected by the colors nearest to it. So when you paint color samples on the walls it will be distorted by the color that’s already on the wall. If you paint several sample on the wall they will all influence each other. Using this technique, you can never get a true read on what any of the colors will look like alone.

color-me-perfect-3Your new color will be affected by its surrounding colors. Make sure you compare the new color to the room décor (furniture, window treatments, etc.)

Color me perfectIt takes a few coats of paint to see the true color of the sample which creates build-up on the test area. To prevent it from being noticeable after the walls are painted make sure you feather out the edges. If you don’t take this precaution you could be looking at a lot of effort to hide your test samples when it comes to painting the wall the color you’ve selected.



 color-me-perfect4Inch-wide paint samples from the paint store is not your only option, nor is the best way to get a true read on color. In fact, any sample smaller than 6×6″ will never give you a true representation of color. While some professional decorators use 5×5′ boards this is probably not practical for the average homeowner. 1×1′ seems to be large enough to give you an extremely good idea of what the color will ultimately look like in your home.

The good news is; in many cases you can special order oversized paint color chips from some paint stores. You can also make them yourself, or you can buy them online. Whichever way you get them, they’re great to work with as you can move them around the room, exchange them, and isolate them from one another to keep them from influencing one another.