Selecting Paint Colors for Your Home

April 01, 2018

Warm colors such as yellow, gold, orange and red tend to make a room look a bit smaller and cozy.  Cool colors such as blue, green and violet tend to make a room look a bit larger and more open. If you select a color that's really intense, (e.g.: electric blue) expect the room to appear smaller, however, regardless of which color you select. 

Light has a huge effect on color, so be sure to try out a color in the room you are considering painting.  East light is clear and bright while North light is clear and cool.  South light is constant and warm, and West light is hazy and hot.  Season and climate also affects color. 

                              Claude Monet's work shows in influence of light!

In the Northwest, because of cloudy conditions that persist in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, hazy wavelengths tend to be screened out.  Be sure to see what the color looks like at different times of the day, and what it looks like on a sunny day verses a cloudy/rainy day.

The finish you select in paint makes a visible difference in the outcome of your walls.  The higher the luster, the more your light is reflected off your wall and (in general) the easier it is to wash.  (It's also more a little more expensive as you go up in luster.) Some designers suggest that you use a flat paint finish on living room, dining room, and bedroom walls, and a higher luster in kitchens and bathrooms.  I like to have a little more reflection of color, so I usually use eggshell/satin on all walls, and a semi-gloss or gloss on window and crown moldings or baseboards.  Use flat on ceilings, however, and any other finish that has imperfections, as the flaws become more apparent with more sheen.


It is almost impossible for people to get a good sense of what a room is going to look like from a tiny paint chip.  Fortunately, today most paint companies make small sample sizes of paint colors for a very reasonable price. 

You can paint the color you're considering on a wall to get an idea of what it's going to look like before you make the investment in gallons of paint, not to mention your time in painting. Of course, if your current wall color is a middle or dark value, you may need to use a primer on the wall(s) before you paint, so there's no bleeding of the old color into the new.

We will write more about color schemes in the future. Questions?  Email us ([email protected]), send a text (253-973-8438),  or give us a call.  Happy Spring, everyone! We are happy to help you.


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