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How to Test Paint Colors Before Committing

You’ve decided to paint a room in your home, but before committing to a color you’ll want to test out some different shades. Choosing a paint color for the interior of your home can be a difficult task, but it is one of the most crucial steps in the house painting process. While you may fall in love with one color at the paint store, it can look completely different once it’s covering a wall in your home. Implement these tips to test your paint colors and ensure that you’ll love the color you select for your next painting project.

Paint ON the wall

If you’ve looked on DIY home improvement websites, chances are some of them told you to paint on white poster boards and tape those to your walls. Unless your walls are made of bright white foam boards, the colors on your homemade boards won’t look the same as they will on your walls. In order to get an accurate feel for how the color will look on your wall, you’ll need to test the paint on your actual wall.

Go Big

The little two-by-two-inch color cards from the paint store aren’t going to cut it. When you paint the sample on your wall, make sure you’re doing at least a 1×1 foot area. Keep in mind that the current color of your wall will impact how the samples appear. Colors will look darker when they’re against lighter walls and will appear lighter when they are against dark walls. Painting a larger area will help reduce this optical illusion.

Test on multiple walls

You’ll want to paint your sample swatches onto multiple walls to get the best feel for how the color will look in the room. Some areas in a room get more light than others, so try and paint specifically in spots that get different amounts of light, such as right next to a window and in a corner. Make sure you look at the samples at different times in the day as well, as morning sunshine will hit the room differently than dusk. Additionally, allow the paint to dry completely as wet paint tends to look darker than dry paint.

Use two coats and primer

When you decide on a color and paint the entire room, you’ll use a primer and paint at least two coats, so why wouldn’t you do that when testing the colors? The primer will cancel out the original color of your walls, which is especially important if your walls are currently a rich color as it may distort the way your paint samples look. Multiple coats will give you the most accurate view of how the color will look on your walls when you complete your painting project, especially if you’re picking a bright color that needs two coats to really pop and show its true hue.

Choose other details of the room first

This is the number one most common mistake that homeowners make when trying to decide on a paint color. You should be selecting the color of the floors first for a couple of reasons. First, there are a lot more options for paint colors than there are stain or carpeting choices. Second, it’s better to have the correct flooring in place when you’re testing the paint samples as it can influence the look of the paint.

Additionally, if you’re going to change the lighting in the room that you’re painting, you should do that first too. Different types of bulbs can cast a different glow on your room, making your bright white paint look like a pale honey shade or making your deep, rich hue look bright and shiny. This goes back to why you should test your paint colors at different times of the day. If you will be in this room most often at night, the way the paint looks in natural light isn’t nearly as important as the way it looks in artificial light.

Hiring professional painters can help you take all the hard work out of the color selection process. When you hire Arizona Painting Company, you’ll be able to select your colors using our digital color visualizing tools or by talking to one of our color consulting experts. Call us to get a free painting quote today!

Arizona Painting Company