Favorite Tips & Tricks for Choosing a Paint Color {Friday Favorites}..

How to Pick a Paint Color- Tips for Picking a Paint Color

 

Benjamin Moore- Coventry Gray

Source: South Shore Decorating

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray

 

 Wall color Benjamin Moore Wicker

 

Hi friends and welcome to another Friday Favorites!

I have been wanting to write this post for such a long time but for some reason, I haven’t done it until now.  If you have difficulty or spend way too much time agonizing over deciding on a paint color, this post is just for you!

There are some really easy tricks to zoning in on the perfect paint color quickly {and painlessly}, making it easier to identify and narrow down perfect paint colors for a space.  I no longer have to spend weeks with six paint colors swiped onto a wall, going in circles trying to narrow down a paint color.

 

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

 

So I thought I would share these tips & tricks and the “elimination” process that I use for choosing a paint color.  Since we’re talking about paint colors today, I thought I would mix in some great paint color eye candy to inspire us as we talk.  Every picture in this post will have the name and brand of the paint color directly below each picture and maybe you’ll find your perfect color today among these beautiful images.   I would love to hear at the end of the post which color is YOUR favorite!!

 

Decor Pad- Benjamin Moore- Paint Color Abalone

Source: Decor Pad

Benjamin Moore Abalone

 

Sherwin Williams Gibralter- Decor Pad

Source: Decor Pad

Sherwin Williams Gibralter

 

So let’s get to the tips and steps to nailing the perfect paint color!

Step #1) Changing the Focus/Process of Elimination

One of the main elements that has really helped me more than anything is that instead of focusing on the various shades of a color that I like, I change my focus to eliminating what I don’t like about a color.  This makes it so much easier and I automatically eliminate different elements that I will go into below that make my final color choices obvious .  When I’m finished with my elimination process, I usually have one or two paint chip/cards left of my ideal color, making the paint decision so much easier. This process also helps me to keep an open mind and broaden my color/shade choices and often times, my end color/shade is something I would have never considered in the beginning!

 

Decor Pad- Contented- Bathroom- Sherwin Williams Contented

Source: Decor Pad/ Kristy Froelich

Sherwin Williams- Contended

 

Door- Brown Door- Decor Pad- Benjamin Moore Dragons Breath

Source: A Well Dressed Home

Door- Benjamin Moore Dragons Breath

 

Step #2) Determine {roughly} what color and tone you’re interested in for your space.

It’s really important to consider a smooth color transition from room to room and it makes all the difference overall in a home. This is big head start in narrowing paint choices by choosing the same undertone of a color of the space adjacent to the space you want to paint. For instance if one room is beige with a subtle green undertone and you want to paint the room next to it a blue-gray, choose a blue-gray with a slight hint of green undertone.

If your color in the adjacent room does not have a strong undertone that jumps right out at you, try bringing a lamp close to the wall or looking at the wall in both morning and dusk natural light. If nothing jumps out at you, consider it a “neutral”.  All colors have an undertone but some are more neutral with a very subtle undertone and this is where it gets dangerous! What seems like a safe neutral undertone can change and pop out under certain changes in lighting.  All of the sudden you have what you thought was a perfect neutral beige and paint it on the wall, turn on the lights and now you have a peach wall. {sigh} Been there!

 

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter- Paint Color- How to Pick a Paint Color

Source: The Nest

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

 

Sherwin Williams Pilladium Blue

 

Step #3) Difficulty Choosing a Main Color

If you’re having trouble deciding on what general color you want to paint a space- I’m talking you don’t even know if you want red, green, blue, ect.. and need some inspiration, there are some amazing resources and inspiration out there for you.  Pinterest has become a fantastic resource to see specific paint colors already on a wall and in a space.  You can search by a specific wall color (if you have the paint name) or many pinners like myself have paint color boards dedicated to paint colors and specific paint names.

Another great resource that I love for paint colors is Houzz, where you can look through designer rooms or simply search “paint color” in the search box and you’ll get all kinds of fabulous inspiration and most of the time, the designer has included the names of paint colors! You can even search “paint color, brown” to get a specific color result of photos with rooms painted brown or whatever color you like!

 

Kitchen- Iron Mountain Benjamin Moore

Source: Coco Cozy/ Tom Newman

Cabinet paint color is Benjamin Moore-Iron Mountain

 

Behr Granite- Kitchen- Dark Cabinet Color

Source: Houzz/ Jason Ball Interiors

Cabinet Paint Color is Behr- Dark Granite 780F-6

3) Picking the right paint cards/chips

Once you know roughly what color you want (and hopefully you have an idea of the undertone), head to your paint store and zone in roughly on your ideal color and tone and pick up the card/s. But wait!! Now pick up all of the tones and shades surrounding your “ideal” color, getting the paint cards at least three deep/beyond your original color and moving into the next colors.

I pick up almost every shade and tone of my color because even if you think the color will never work, you need the surrounding cards to help you later quickly spot the undertone of the color. Choosing a color at a paint store is seriously a waste of time because the industrial lighting is not remotely similar to the same lighting that you will have in your space.  Basically, you are recreating the same color chip/card layout in your own space like it was at the paint store, but using the lighting that will be in the space that you want to paint:

 

Paint- Choosing Paint Color

 

 

How to Pick Paint Color- Benjamin Moore- Shale

Source: Decor Pad

Benjamin Moore Shale

 

4) Eliminating Tones

Next, go into the room that you’re going to paint and use the lighting that is used most of the time in that space.  In my guest bath, we have no windows so I eliminated my colors by looking at paint colors with the overhead crappy vanity bathroom lighting that I have in this space.

Lay your paint cards out in color/tone order just like it was laid out in the store.  Organize by shade as well with the lighter at the top of your column, to darker at the bottom.  Make your columns with the neutral undertones in the middle and move into each perspective undertone to the right and left for each new column like this:

 

If you look above, you can see that I have the neutral tones of the blue-gray in the second column from the left.  You can see that to the left, the cards move into the gray brown undertones and to the right, it moves into the greens and darker blues (sorry it’s not the best picture but again, the lights in my guest bath are crappy horrible).

So as you look at your laid out colors under the lighting for the room, eliminate and take away the cards of a certain undertone that you know you don’t want.  If you know you want a certain undertone, you keep those cards. If you’re unsure, keep them for now. If you want a neutral undertone, go right to the middle and eliminate the cards to the right and left.

In my guest bath after eliminating the tones that I knew I didn’t want, I got down to about 6-9 color choices:

 

 

 

Step 5) Eliminate Shades

Now that you’ve narrowed your colors down and eliminated tones, the next step is to eliminate shades.  This another easy elimination.  Obviously if you want a lighter shade of your color, eliminate the darker colors and vice versa.  For me, I wanted something right smack in the middle. so I eliminated and removed the cards for the lighter shades and the darker shades and kept the shades in the middle.

By eliminating shades, I automatically narrowed my choices down to three colors:

 

 

I know there are a lot of different opinions on choosing a shade of a color but someone once told me that for lighter colors, go down one shade and for darker colors, go up a shade.  I’ve always done that and it’s usually right on target for me. Once you eliminated the shades of  from your choices, remove the cards.

 

Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog

 

Step 6) The Final Decision

After you eliminated the shades and taken away the cards, you should have just 1-3 color choices left.  Most of the time when I get to this point, my ideal color is usually obvious and jumps right out at me just like it did below for my guest bath:

For my guest bath, I picked the Krypton (the color in the middle) because the color to the right had WAYYY too much blue and the color to the left, didn’t have enough blue. Without having the colors with the undertones to the right and left of my color, I would not have been able to see the tone differences! Imagine how disappointed I would have been had I simply picked the too blue color to the right (Rain) at the paint store without seeing how much blue undertone it had!

The moral of this super long story is that the only way you can truly see undertones clearly is by putting them next to similar colors with varying undertones.

So the final choice is really the only big decision to make as the rest of the decisions are pretty much automatic elimination.  As you can see, even the final choice was hardly a choice to make in the case of my guest bath.

Step 6) Get a Sample of your Final Color Choice

Odds are that you have either nailed your final color/tone through this process or you’re extremely close but you may need to tweak the shade.  Just to be safe, it’s best to get a small sample of your color and paint a large area in the space and let it dry completely.  You will quickly see if you want to go up or down a shade once you get it on the wall. Keep in mind that if you are torn to two final color choices, talk with the people at the paint store and they can suggest formula tweaks or diluting with a certain percentage of white.

 

House Beautiful- Rockport Gray- Cabinet Paint Color- Choosing a Paint Color

Source: House Beautiful via Visual Comfort Blog

Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray

 

***Updated on 4/22/13-  This is an older post and I have started a new series called Color Palette Monday that you can find here, where each week I share a new color palette and rooms painted in these colors.  I am also happy to answer any questions and help with suggesting colors if you go here and ask in the comment section.   This comment section is too long and I would like to start questions on a newer post so new readers can follow as well.

Transitional Paint Color Palette {Color Palette Monday #3} The Creativity Exchange

 

Good gosh, I have looked up and realized that I have practically written a novel here. I probably lost you guys somewhere around “step 1″. Oh boy, I hope not and I hope there is someone out there who can use this little process. If you’re still here and still awake, I would love to hear what your favorite color is of all the inspiration images and to just know that you’re still awake! My favorite is the Behr Dark Granite! Absolutely spectacular! I want to paint all of my cabinets and trim work that color! But wait, I better check the undertone!! ;)

Well friends, I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I’ll be back next week with a fun project. If you missed last week’s Friday Favorites ” DIY’ers Bang for the Buck {and Effort} Projects”, you can go to it by clicking below:

 

DIY Projects

Cheers!!
Cyndy

This entry was posted in Decorate, Friday Favorites, Idea Exchange, Inspiration Exchange, Paint Colors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

159 Responses to Favorite Tips & Tricks for Choosing a Paint Color {Friday Favorites}..

  1. Great post! Paint colors can be so tricky, can’t they? I painted my dining room earlier this year, and just repainted it because while the color was pretty, it had green undertones due to the light that space received. Nevermind the room in our first home that I painted yellow, only to have it look like a big jar of mustard blew up because of all of the sun that room got during the day. I honestly thought it was a mistint when I put it on the wall! Lessons learned, right? ;-)
    Jenny@EvolutionofStyle recently posted..How Does Your (Tomato) Garden Grow?My Profile

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Jenny! Oh wow, mustard yellow! Reminds me of my Kraft macaroni and cheese guest bedroom in my first home. I picked out the paint at the store and learned my lesson the hard way. Just like photography, the lighting in every space and at the paint store are all different and can bring out different tones. I never realized this until my macaroni and cheese wall! At the paint store the color looked like a true khaki! Ugh!! Thanks Jenny for stopping by!!
      Cyndy

    • Linda says:

      I did a whole addition in yellow (admittedly with red, not green undertones – Benjamin Moore Dance de Soleil). The main room is south facing with lots of windows, so it gets lots of sun. I love it! It makes my heart happy even when I am not home…and when there is a blue sky it makes me want to dance. Different strokes, I guess…

  2. Shy says:

    You did`nt lose me, I`m an avid painter (or desperate housewife if you will lol)…but never considered the lighting in the store versus home issue) Thanks! :`)

    • Cyndy says:

      Lighting can change bring out undertones that you could never imagine were in a color. It really makes all the difference! Thanks for stopping by!
      Cyndy

  3. Leslie says:

    Benjamin Moore~ Shale…definitely my fave! Such GREAT advice and MUCH appreciated! Am re-doing a room {I get my own craft room!!!}, and these tips will help immensely!!

  4. Kirsten says:

    I’m wondering if I could ya’lls opinion? I’m in the process of painting my living/family room. I wanted to do something a little bold and exciting but get stuck when it comes to placement. Let me explain, we have a chair rail with flat paneling about 3′up , I”m going to disguise this with a board and batten look, as well we have a slanted ceiling so one wall is about 3 1/2′ shorter than the other. That being said should I paint the wall and board and batten all one color to give the room more balance, most board and batten that I have seen is usually white? Also I LOVED how they painted the ceiling darker in the “Traditional Living Room, Chicago Interior Designer J Designs Inc.” do you think it would bring the ceiling down too much? Maybe I have done too much research it is driving me mad.

    • Cyndy says:

      Hi Kirsten!

      I have seen walls with the board and batten look painted basically the same color with the top wall being one shade lighter or vice versa. Have you thought about that? This way you’re giving a little contrast but still not drawing attention to the wall. I get nervous with darker ceilings and it sometime can bring the ceiling down and make the room look smaller. Good luck Kirsten and we would love to know what you decide to do! Thanks for stopping by!
      Cyndy

      • debbie says:

        I heard that for painting the ceiling a different color is that you take your wall color and add 1/2 white to it. Keeps the same tone family. Will try it soon!

      • Anita Brown says:

        Hi! I need help, I absolutely LOVE color; however, I am in a dilemnia. My kitchen is red and yellowish/beige (countryish), which onlooks my dining room, which is open to my living room. I want to paint my living room, which has beige/tan carpet, almost beige/weave furniture, dark brown chocolate drapes and shades, and blue(-ish) reclincer, and a taupe bean bag chair. Our ceiling slopes, so living room walls and dining room walls are not all the same height and we have chair rail with white bead-board/paneling on the bottom. What colors should I use and should I paint the white bead-board another color to give it a fresh modern look?

        Thanks!
        Anita

    • Maggie says:

      I used to live in a Cape Cod and my sons’ rooms had slanted ceilings. I did a light blue all over with a darker blue trim for one room, and a pale and (very slightly) darker yellow in the other. One thing you have to be careful with if you use different shades of the same color is that they will reflect off of each other and make the colors look much more intense (the yellow room was quite yellow by the time we finished! Luckily the bedding and decorations were navy, so it toned it down a bit, but until we got the pictures and furniture back in I was scared!). I would paint one portion a very light color, and the other a darker, complementary color to avoid the intensifying effect. Also, in my new house, two of my sons share a room, and I painted it a very light shade of blue with an exceptionally dark navy ceiling. It looks awesome, but it definitely made the room darker and made it feel a bit smaller. I wouldn’t do it in a room that isn’t fairly large. A less-dark color wouldn’t be as bad, as long as its not a color that soaks up light (like blues, greys or pinks with a brown base, for example). You might be able to counteract that effect with a high-gloss paint, though.

  5. Love this post and it is very similar to how I pick out colors with clients. I am going to post my way soon, so pop over and check it out! I am your newest follower!
    Lisa Mende Design recently posted..Samantha Barnett Evans of Reborn Designs ~ Fabulous Friend on FridayMy Profile

    • Cyndy says:

      So glad to see you here Lisa! I follow you and follow you on Pinterest too! Adore your blog and love your style girl! So glad that you stopped by and left me a comment!!
      Cyndy

  6. Page says:

    Thanks so much for posting! Palladium Blue and Dark Granite are my 2 favorites. Granite for the cabinets and Blue for my bathroom :)

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you Page for stopping by! I love both of those colors! I’m seriously thinking about doing the dark granite somewhere. It really is such a rich color! I love the Palladium Blue too! Perfect for a bathroom!
      Cyncy

  7. Lori says:

    Favorite color (‘s) Iron Man & Sea Salt
    Thanks for the blog! Very helpful .

  8. Shelley says:

    I just spent the last month repainting my daughter’s room 8 times around… From sanding a sueded paint off the wall to Kliz-ing it, to painting, to glazing, to re-Kilzing over the oil based glaze to finally finding the right color of grey that didn’t go too blue, too dark, or not dark enough. I learned grey is not an easy color to work with in the various light of day. Warm grey starts looking like concrete, and cool grey can appear to be blue We even changed out the light bulbs 3 times to get to a shade we could live with morning, noon, and night.

    We finally started mixing our own color using different paints from the same paint strip and adding white when it started getting too dark. I have no clue what the final formula for the paint color was, but at least it’s a color we can live with…for a few years, until my daughter changes her “style” again.

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  10. Lori Hill says:

    Cyndy,
    Thank you so much for your choosing a paint color advice. I always have the hardest time deciding. All of the pictures use my favorite tones. I love the colors. What color would you suggest painting a kitchen that has white countertops and oak cabinets? I would appreciate your opinion.
    Thanks,
    Lori

  11. Martha says:

    Love your blog, I am a new follower. We recently bought a town home in FL and it needs to be painted throughout. It will be used a rental property so I wanted the same neutral color throughout. I would prefer a blue undertone in a beige color, any suggestions?

  12. So many great tips here. I wish I’d known the one about going a shade lighter when choosing a light color. I had a small window of time to paint my laundry closet after the workman had finished their work and the appliances were still out. It was a last second decision to undertake the painting so I picked and purchased and painted all in one night. Because there is fluroscent lighting in my laundry as well as the store I thought I would be pretty safe. And yes…the color/tone was good. BUT…it was several shades darker than the chip. Even the paint on the can looks much lighter than the completed walls. I am so puzzled by it. I’d re-do it…but really it’s fine. It’s just darker than I expected. Thanks for the tip!
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day recently posted..Joy Day! | In the Dark of Night {Protected}My Profile

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  14. Lori says:

    My problem is I fall in love with the name of the paint color. Does anyone else do this. I would choose Dragon’s Breath based on the name alone. I always cross out the name and write it on the back of the color chip so it doesn’t sway me.

    • Cyndy says:

      That is so funny Lori! That has never happened to me but I do have to admit, I too got attached to the name Dragon’s Breath. It’s such a great name and it says it all, right? Thanks so much Lori for stopping by! Cyndy

    • Samy says:

      I thought I was the only one that did this. I want to choose a paint color just because I like the name even though it’s not the exact color I want…if the name sounds good, I want it :)

    • Anastasia says:

      I tend to choose colors that are named after foods or spices.

  15. Sandy says:

    Cyndi,

    Thank you so much for all your great tips and pictures. The pics really help. I have a major problem. I’m in the process of choosing a paint color for our bedroom. And I have an extremely light shade of a grayish pink and a light gray on the wall. My husband and I didn’t like either when comparing it to our furniture. Is there any way I can send you a picture of our bedroom so that you can point me in the right direction?
    By by the way, my favorite colors were Palladium Blue, Wicker, and Gibralter

  16. Sharon says:

    I like the first one. Coventry Grey.
    This was a great article. I’m hoping to use this advice very soon. I have an open floor plan and I’d like to repaint the main 3 rooms this summer. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick the right colors!

  17. Stephanie O. says:

    This was really helpful….I have painted a lot, but you gave me a few new tips!

  18. Lisa says:

    Great post! Very helpful. I already use many of these tips though it’s nice tip have all in one spot. As for favorite color, while I live all of them, my absolute favorite is Benjamin Moore James River Grey. It’s not one on the page but similar to the blue-greys throughout. I’ve paint my home office and first floor bath that color. Fabulous. One of the Pottery Barn collection colors from 2007.

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh I love James River Gray! I just found it an pinned it to my paint colors Pinterest board thanks to you! I love that it has more gray tones for a blue-gray. Thank you so much for sharing your favorite paint color with us Lisa and thanks so much for stopping by! Cyndy

  19. Stacey says:

    I have tried your tips and it has helped a TON, and I thank you so much for posting this!! That said… HELP!! I have been trying to paint our small, window-less powder room a mossy green ( I am stuck on that color, but am ready to give up!) For some reason, I cannot find a good green! Most choices are too yellow in the light, others look gray, while some that I think I like, end up being way too bright!! I’ve tried more than I should have and now I’m confused and frustrated. Is there any good way to pick the right shade of green? And why is this color so difficult! I wish I didn’t like it so much, but I do :( What should I do?

    • Cyndy says:

      Hi Stacey!
      If I were trying to pick out a mossy/sage green color, I would go ahead and pick up all of the color cards in and around your moss green color and lay them out just like the paint store and I like I showed in the post. Lay them out in the space and with the lighting that you will be using and go to the color right smack in the middle, which should be the least undertone. I would try and get a mossy green that is has as much of a neutral undertone as possible. You may need to try multiple paint companies to find more of a neutral. Good luck!

  20. michwake says:

    I recently went through the fun task of picking paint (yesterday). I ended up with 15 gallons since I had been looking into this for months and have almost a whole house to paint. One neat thing I found was through Sherwin Williams. They have something called Chip It and you can upload any pic from the pc or web and it will give you the cooresponding colors. It did a pretty accurate job too. Like Pinterest you can add something to your Favorites Bar so you have quick and easy access. I hope this helps.

  21. Ang says:

    Thank you for your tips and paint selections– I loved them all. My question is, what is your opinion on painting custom cabinets? I have maple cabinets in my kitchen but due to age, they are now looking quite orange. This is my least favorite color. I also have granite counter tops which look rich and dark and I love them so changing everything is out. Suggestions.

  22. Christy Fewell says:

    What is the color you used on the interior door combine with the color Dragons Breath? I would like to paint my white doors in my house. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions?

  23. Jill says:

    This was so helpful! We are buying a house and I want to start painting by finding a neutral color for the whole house and then be able to go back over time and add accents or change shades. The problem is that I don’t even know what colors I like…I was immediately attracted to the Palladium Blue so I wonder if I should go for a blue undertone to start. Even though I have never considered myself a blue person. More a yellow person
    but I hate beiges! I am adding you to my Pinterest follows! XX

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Jill! I’m not a blue person either but I am drawn to the blues with the gray undertones if that helps you any! Thanks again for stopping by! Cyndy

  24. Chris says:

    Hi – great advice thank you. Love the Revere Pewter and Gibraltar best. I haven’t seen Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paints over here in England unfortunately :( Will have to look for similar colours when I get around to painting.

  25. Cathy Cheney says:

    I loved this article. I have always been intimidated about wall and trim color choices. The one time I thought I’d be brave and try a ‘beige’ in the bathroom, it turned out to be an in your face pink. hmmm, perhaps I should change it…
    I appreciate the name of the colors under the pictures, but I’d also like to know the name of the trims that were used, too. Any chance of adding that to your pictures or another article on how to choose the trim accent colors? I’ve noticed that whites are not created equally in the color world. Thank you very much for the excellent tips!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Cathy! Candace Olson recommends Benjamin Moore Niveous OC-36 is a gorgeous cream and warm neutral which she pairs with cloud white OC-130 on ceilings and trim for a quiet, classic tonal look. I think I will be doing a post on trim colors since there have been so many questions for suggestions. Thanks again for stopping by! Cyndy

  26. Erica says:

    This is a great article on finding paint color. I love the tip about having the neighboring colors with you to see the subtle undertones. It’s true you notice it more when you have other colors to compare.

    my favorite was SW Gibraltar.

  27. Susan says:

    Thank you thank you for this timely post!! In the process of painting our entire new house – a total gut job. Any hints on a great white trim paint? I’m totally stumped and am confused as everyone’s BM white dove recommendation looks so gray to me. Love the blog!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you Susan! Candace Olson recommends using BM Niveous OC-36 is a gorgeous cream and warm neutral which she pairs with cloud white OC-130 on ceilings and trim for a quiet, classic tonal look. Good luck and thank you again Susan for stopping by!! Cyndy

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  29. Mary Ruth says:

    I really appreciate the extent in which you went through to explain choosing a color for your house. You were right on about how to eliminate colors, so much easier to choose what you don’t like than it is to choose what we like (because we like so many colors and none are bad really). So many I have seen stay on the fence and don’t know how to get off… keeping all possible options in front of them for a never ending confusion, thus no choices made, delaying painting a room or piece of furniture.
    The lighting in the actual room is so important! I painted one color in two rooms, one on South side and the other room on the North side of the house, one room looked ‘neon’ and the other was a nice subdued color (both dusty blue-green). Also, each wall in each room takes the light differently, darkest wall being the wall that has the window on it (is in the shade so to speak).

    Thank you for going through all the steps to help your readers find an easy step by step way to choose colors for their homes! I enjoyed reading your post and will check out the rest on your site. I found this site through a recommendation of a friend, and I will pass the link along as well.

  30. Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    Excellent tips, because narrowing the field by getting rid of the “ewwww, looks horrible with the carpet” colors as fast as possible lowers your decision stress.

    When I’m down to the final few, I leave them lying out and check the color several times a day. Sometimes the light will hit just wrong and that lovely tan turns “old lady face powder” on you.

    If you really don’t have any particular color in mind, you need to make sure the paint goes with the carpet, or you want to narrow the choices to give to someone else for final selection, try this method.

    voices.yahoo.com/how-pick-perfect-paint-colors-55672.html

    Even if you know nothing about color theory, unless you are colorblind, you will be able to say “this looks better than that”. And you can end up with great colors you would never have picked out of the rack of chips.

  31. Jen says:

    Great tips. I always bring the color samples home but have no rhyme or reason to how I figure out which color I think I want to use. I do have one question though, because I keep reading it two different ways: the tip about light colors and dark colors, does shades down/up mean one shade lighter/darker or vice versa? So one lighter for light colors and one shade darker for darker or is it one shade darker for light colors and one shade lighter for dark colors? Does my wordy question even make sense? ha!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Jen! I may need to go in and clarify the way I worded it. I like to go one shade darker (down on the paint card) when choosing lighter shades of colors. When I’m choosing a dark color, I always go one shade lighter (up one on the paint card). The reason I do this is that I found that lighter colors always seem to be lighter when painted on a wall and darker colors tend to go darker. Not sure why this is but I have always been so glad that I followed this rule. If you do not have a paint card with multiple shades and only have one paint color, if the color is almost white or close to it, go one shade darker (they are usually numbered so you can find the next number down) for really dark colors, go one shade lighter. For medium shades, not quite white but not quite dark, I don’t do anything. Am I making sense?? I hope so! Let me know if i’m not explaining this well. Thanks again Jen and I hope this helps!

      • Caitlin says:

        That’s what I was wondering, too. Thanks for clarifying! (Though perhaps you could edit the blog post itself to reflect this clarification)

        Thanks for all the tips! Can’t wait to try :)

  32. Sandra D says:

    I just found this on Pinterest and I’m so thankful for it! I am having my first home built and, even though it won’t be ready for a few more months, I have been stressing over the interior painting of the house. You have some really great tips here. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Ann-Marie phillips says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. I am desperately searching for a very light blue/grey for my kitchen. I have white painted cabinets and honed absolute black granite counters. I currently have B Moore silver sage and want to get away from the green. I do like the how light silver sage is but am definitely looking for more of a light blue with grey undertones, or vice versa for that matter! I love some of the Farrow and Ball blue/greys but not looking to spend that kind of money on the paint!
    So far I haven’t found the right color.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Ann-Marie

  35. Ann-Marie says:

    Hi – I am in desperate need of a great grey/blue, lighter in tone for my kitchen.
    I have white painted cabinets and honed absolute black granite counters. I LOVE greys but think this will be too cold with my kitchen colors, but think a blue with grey undertones or vice versa would be great.
    Problem is I’m having a hard time finding something just right. I did find some great Farrow & Ball grey/blues but I don’t want to spend that much on paint.
    I would love to hear any suggestions you might have.
    I have Benjamin Moore Silver Sage currently on the walls and don’t mind going that light or even a little darker.
    Thanks so much!

  36. A trick for picking a good neutral (like grey) and avoiding an undertone is to look at the dark colours on the swatch. I find if the grey has a blue or green undertone, then it is super obvious in the darker shades vs the light grey you are oogling. If you want a true grey, the darkest colour on the swatch should be the blackest of blacks!

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  38. Tricia says:

    I like Sherwin Williams-Palladium Blue, Sea salt & Contended

  39. Lynn says:

    Great article! There is picture you have in this article where you have named the door colour….Benjamin Moores dragon’s breath. Could you tell me the colour on the wall? Thank you

    • Cyndy says:

      Hi Lynn! The wall color listed on the source is Ralph Lauren “Washboard” . I love this color! If you want to see more similar colors, you can look at my Pinterest board because I have pinned a lot of this similar color. The board is called “Pick a Paint Color” and you can go to it here http://pinterest.com/theexchange/pick-a-paint-color/ Make sure you look at the color Tranquility too! It’s a little lighter but so beautiful! Thank you Lynn for your note and stopping by! Cheers! CYndy

  40. Cyndy,
    Thanks for including the photo of my black interior doors… More information on the paint colors in this photo can be found on my design blog:
    http://awelldressedhome.com/our-interior-doors-are-complete/

    Thanks!
    Emily Hewett
    A Well Dressed Home
    awelldressedhome.com

  41. Jennifer says:

    Love the colors, especially sea salt. My house is a 1940′s bungalo. It has dark trim throughout and my hubby does not want to paint it. Do you have any suggestions of colors that will blend well with the dark wood trim? I have used cream and khaki in almost every room and I would love for my bedroom to have a more cozy feel. Help….

    • Cyndy says:

      I think the sea salt color would be gorgeous mixed with dark trim! It would be sort of a rich coastal look, ala Bahamian style. Elegant coastal with the dark rich woods. If you had not said Sea Salt, that is precisely what I would have suggested. I think a lighter color blueish/green like sea salt would be a great combo to lighten up the darker. Since you already have a green undertone with your khaki color in other rooms, staying with an undertone of green in whatever lighter color you choose would help with color flow throughout your home as well. If you’re not familiar with Bahamian interior style, Google it for inspiration and more color ideas. They are known for rich elegant dark wood floors and trim, but warm and lighter colors on the wall. Good luck and I would love to know what color you decide to try. Thanks so much Jennifer for your comment!

  42. Margie says:

    Hi there! I’m in the middle of picking out paint for my master bedroom. I’ve gotten a bunch of color cards and not sure what to choose. We have chocolate and beige bed linens, beige curtains, a lot of medium/dark wood furniture and a sort of sage grass look area rug, medium oak floors. So it’s very neutral and brown. I’m leaning toward a dark turqoise or a silvery grayed purple (sort of lavender). I want something bold and dramatic, but that can easily become tacky and comical. No pale yellow for me. Do you have any recommendation for a color to go with what we have?

  43. Kathy says:

    What colors do you recommend for a kitchen with cherry cabinets? I am buying a home that has a deep red on the walls and it looks dark instead of light, airy, clean and happy, which are my desired effects! Thank you!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks for stopping by Kathy! If you’re looking to lighten up the space, I would go with a light neutral. I like to offset undertones of red with off whites with gray to red undertones. It seems to calm everything going on. If you can, I would try to stay clear from yellow undertones. I would recommend getting a sample and paint them on the wall before you commit. These lighter shades can take on hues depending on the lighting. Good luck Kathy!!

      • Beth says:

        I don’t know which undertone I should be looking for either. My older home came with orange-y oak floors and pinkish oak cabinets. Should the undertone I’m looking for be pinkish or yellowish to calm down the orange and the pink? One day I will re-do my kitchen and refinish my floors, but until then, I want to figure out how to tone them down.

  44. Katherine Shauger says:

    Cyndy my husband won’t go for any color but ivory throughout home & frustrating for me. I am one for color. My new fav color is Navy Blue & white in bedroom. Love it so crisp & clean. Have white & navy blue sheets, navy lite comforter and white diagonally quilted bed skirt and love it. Have navy on the brain. My furniture is genuine honey cherry wood french provential which is quite lovely. The contract of navy with honey furniture just popped. Katherine in Portland.

  45. Marlo says:

    Thank you so much!! We’ve been in our house five years, now. Our kids’ rooms are full of fun colors, but I am so unsure about our living/dining/kitchen since it is all open. My husband is all in favor of colors but is color blind, so he never gives input on paint color choices. All that to say thank you! I feel empowered and my favorite color is the Sherwin Willliams Gibralter.

  46. elizabeth says:

    Hi Cyndi, I was wondering if you could help me understand how to choose a neutral with undertones. I am trying to pick my wall colors (open floor plan, so one color for the entire main areas) My granite has some reds, taupy greens, I have dark wood cabinets a and green slate floor. Do I stick with a neutral with a red undertones to bring out the reds or go with a neutral with a green undertones since it is the reds complementary color? Or would either work? ( I do have a large red oriental rug too. ) Thank you so much!

  47. Karen C says:

    Hi. I love revere pewter and plan to paint most of my interior home that color but would like to do my dining room and office a darker warmer color. Do you think revere pewter and Brandon beige compliment each other and can be used in adjacent rooms?

  48. Kelley says:

    We chose Navaho White for our guest bath and changed the vanity lighting afterwards. The Navaho “White” is now more of a greenish-yellow. Not a very good choice for a bathroom. My favorite is Sherwin Williams Contented. I would love to do my master bath in that color. Thank you so much for the post, this will be very helpful to me when I choose paint color for my master bath and living room.

  49. Kim says:

    My hubby and I are remodeling and have changed a classic kitchen, dining room, living room into a great room (we knocked down a wall!!). We want to have an accent wall, but are afraid to take the plunge with a darker color. Right now we are toying with the idea of dark floors, medium walnut cabinets, not sure about counter tops, beige walls and a brown-hued pewter color for the accent wall. Any advice? Is that too much going on? It is a pretty big space.

  50. Jennifer says:

    Hi Cyndy,

    Great article and am going to check out your Pinterest page as soon as I’m done here. I am looking to repaint my living room, which shares walls with the dining room – cream- and the hallway (can’t remember what BM color. It was supposed to be brownish-gray but ended up gray with a purple undertone. Anyway, I am currently changing furniture to dark woods/browns (couches/rug), but I currently have a big oak entertainment center. Any recommendations of a taupe-y color or another suggestion that might work? I’m stuck. Nothing goes well with oak. :-/

  51. Mira says:

    Hi!

    I love this discussion! We are moving to a house and want to paint my daughter’s room and master bedroom. Both have cape cod rooms. I was thinking of painting the walls different from the ceiling to make the rooms seem larger. Pink combo for the girl’s room and maybe a sky blue for our room. Any suggestions for combos? I need specific paint colors/brands that will go well together.
    Also, do you think we can do the paint job ourselves or need to hire someone? I’m assuming you paint the walls first and then paint the ceiling?

    Thx for any help!
    Mira recently posted..Holiday Shows at BergenPacMy Profile

    • Cyndy says:

      Hi Mira! It’s up to you if you want to paint yourself but I always pay the $200-$300 to have someone local do it for my sanity. I’m an avid DIY’er but I don’t like to paint walls unless it’s a creative wall treatment. The plus is that it’s done in a half day versus (for me) a week! For ceilings, I like to use the same tones but go up at least 2-3 shades on the paint card. My ceiling colors are usually the very top color on the paint card. I have a paint color board over on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/theexchange/pick-a-paint-color/ I have tons of paint colors with specific names and brands for you to look through for inspiration. I also have a lot of blues on that board and take a look at either Benjamin Moore “Smoke” or Benjamin Moore “Wythe” Blue. These two colors are very calming and elegant blues that are really versatile. Once you find a blue that you like, pick up the paint card and I suggest the top (lightest) color for your ceiling. I have always been happy doing it this way.

      I wish I could help you on pink colors but do not have any to suggest. However, I have another Pinterest Board called “Bella’s Room” found here http://pinterest.com/theexchange/bella-s-room-ideas/ that has the most adorable wide pink striped girls room ever! Your local painter could tackle that. I’m not sure what that paint color is in the picture but if you want something very similar, print out the picture and take to Benjamin Moore and they can get you close.

      I hope that helps Mira!! Would love to know what paint choices you decide upon. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  52. Kari says:

    I have painted my bathroom nine times. Each coming out everything but gray. Purple, green, alot of blue’s. There are no windows in the room and even when I’m in the room and paint a board gray it looks gray but on my walls it looks blue, like I’m bringing home a new baby boy and them days are long gone. I’ve been to Sherwin Willimas, charged 58.oo for a gallon of paint and alos two other’s they claimed were on sale that were in there 40′s. Lowe’s, I think maybe 9 sample’s. I put decided on gravity because from the sample it looked gray on a spot on the wall as well as on a board in the room. No such luck. I still have blue…. Can anyone help? Someone told me to just mix white with a touch of black and I’d come up with gray. I don’t know about this.

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  54. Donna Hannon says:

    Grest tips. I love the Benjamin Moore shade of Revere Pewter.

  55. Laura says:

    Thanks for the tips! We will be moving into our first home in a few weeks. Everyone is telling me to pick and paint colors now. I haven’t even decided what I want and can hardly imagine our existing furniture in the space let alone what colors to choose! It’s a rancher with cathedral height ceiling and all open from the front room, to the dining room and kitchen (across each other), to the back living room/family room. The one wall stretches from the front to the back of the home and wraps the entire three spaces in one – supposedly neutral – home buyer friendly shade. Well at night with the current lighting it looks yellow. I hate yellow. There are no breaks in the wall which is why it’s all one color I assume. And the kitchen is a darker military shade of blue and only above the cabinets and between the counter. It contrasts thankfully. Any tips on that huge expanse of wall? I love gray but also adore browns – especially the warmer tones. And my favorite color combos are those mixed with varying shades of teals/aquas. How ever do I decide and pick? Pinterest is a fabulous tool I just haven’t seen anything quite like our space all one side with windows the whole length.

  56. Marie says:

    I have no color sense at all and I am about to decorate my lounge – the color in the room at the moment is :

    Wood floor light oak
    Green leather couch
    Green and cream material couch
    All furniture is vintage in very dark nearly black wood including a grandmother clock and piano
    White ceiling and woodwork

    What color or colors should I paint the walls??
    Please help!

    Many thanks Marie

  57. Marie says:

    Thank you

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  59. Jill Carlee says:

    Would love to see some pictures with trim that’s not white. Unfortunately, our house is filled with golden oak baseboards and doors. We’re not ready to begin the huge project of re-painting them, but the oak doesn’t always go with all paint colors like white does.

  60. ALISON CURRIE says:

    Hi

    Have just found your blog via Pinterest pin – tips on choosing the perfect paint colour from July 12. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to do this blog entry – makes so much sense and it will help me enormously as we begin to refresh our paintwork over the next few months.

    Alison – thanking you in Scotland

  61. Nancy says:

    I am looking for a hallway color. We have an open room at the top of our stairs that is connected to the hallway. The room is my three year old daughter’s play room. Would like the room and hallway to blend. Has oak trimming but willing to paint white. Prefer white.
    Thanks!
    Nancy

  62. Jinger says:

    I LOVE the Sherwin Williams Pilladium Blue color in one of your phots above. I’m redoing my kitchen, and would love to paint my walls that color because it’s a perfect blend of blue/grey. My main concerns are: I’m repainting my dirty white cabinets a warm espresso brown color, and I don’t want too dark of a wall color because I don’t want to turn my kitchen into a cave. I do have a large window over the breakfast nook, so there is some natural light. Also, my kitchen is open concept into my living room. That paint color might be a little “too blue”; I was looking for a more neutral color for the living area. What are your ideas/suggestions to get the kitchen/living area looks I want, while still making it a cohesive space?

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes, it sounds like you have a lot of variables that you need to think about. Palladian blue may be too dark of a blue or too blue for your space but honestly you never know, it really depends on what your light does to it. What I would do is get the card in the space with the surrounding color paint cards. This way you can really see what it’s going to do in that space. Blues are really tricky. Even trickier is trying to blend the blue undertones that your thinking for the walls, with the yellow undertone in your warm brown cabinets.

      If you have your heart set on a blue/gray, you can make it work, you will just really need to work from your cards in the lighting of the space, with the painted cabinets to find the most neutral light blue gray to blend with the cabinets the best. You could also think about a gray with slight green undertone instead of blue- like Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth green or silken pine, which is even lighter. Not necessarily those specific colors but in that neutral gray/green zone with slight green undertones that would compliment the yellow undertone of the cabinets.

      I sure hope that helps Jinger and please keep me posted! I always go back to keeping things safe with same undertone colors in a room if I can’t make two different undertones blend. A light taupe wall color with an every so slight yellow/green undertone will be the easiest route to go if you end up not finding your gray color. Look at Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige for a good starting point for a taupe if you can’t make the blue/gray work.

      Good luck Jinger and please keep me posted!!

  63. Lisa Broussard Januska says:

    Wondering what are your opinions on a very open concept l/v, d/r, kitchen…when you truly want different colors? For example….I have painted my entryway Sherwin Williams Black Bean 6006, to get impact, sort of going for a glam look, still a work in progress, which I love. I have alot of square columns (David Weekly home), kind of dividing the d/r, l/v entryway…and this open from the ceiling wall (with more columns) dividing my kitchen, l/r. My L/R, I painted SW Mink 6004 on the fireplace wall, then I used SW 6000 Snowfall, on my columns, this kind of breaks up the Mink, and also at the end of my L/R, where my wall of windows are…(I know this sounds like craziness, but bare with me…lol!) I painted one wall that is kind of an unusual shaped wall, with L/R colors, plus a metallic of this family, with a mural, hand-painted big flural design, taken from my entryway rug. Now I don’t know what to do in my dining room for a paint color? I think I want something different from this family of browns…but have no idea…I’ve sort of painted myself into a corner?? Any ideas you might could share to ease my fear here? Or have I really no choice but to go with this same family? I have pics I could share. Thanks for any help!

  64. Yvonne says:

    Stayed with yah, I truly needed all of the help I can get when it comes to making a big (one you have to live with for a long time) decision, ie carpet, furniture, paint, etc.
    Funny thing, my choice of paint was the only picture that I paused at long enough while I was reading your novella, was Behr Dark Granite.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this helpful guide.

  65. Peggy Esposito says:

    I have a very small powder room with no window (one sink and one toilet) – my countertops are swirls of different shades of brown with white as a background . There is a white chair rail. The cabinet is painted white and the floors are dark hardwood. Do you suggest picking up one of the brown shades from the countertop for the walls or can I do any color? Thanks – I really need help!

  66. sharon says:

    What colour should i paint my walls please i have a brkitchen with red doors and very dark grey bench and black tile splash black.i am going to be putting the house up for sale so something nutural?
    Manythanks???

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  68. Cindy Murphy says:

    Thanks for the tips, it’s the undertone thing that is throwing me off. I know I want grey but I want true grey, not one that looks blue sometimes, which is what I always wind up with. Right now my bedroom is completely empty except for 18 huge swatches of 3 colors of grey on the walls. First it was the lightest shade then the middle shade. Back and forth, back and forth. My husband has refused to buy paint for the last week because I can’t decide. So this morning I sent him back to Home Depot for some colors between the light grey and the medium grey I already have on the wall. He is not happy.

    • Lisa Broussard Januska says:

      Cindy Murphy – I thought I’d throw this out to you for what it might be worth. I had the same trouble as you, comparing colors at Lowe’s, & Home Depot. I had swatches all along the side of my fireplace, I just couldn’t find the right undertone I was looking for, everything else had too much of a green undertone. Until I decided to check out Sherwin Williams for the heck of it. They had opened a new store by me, originally I thought the paint would be too expensive, little bit more, but worth every penny to keep my marriage in tact. It’s worth a look?!?

  69. Crystal says:

    Loved the Dark Granite too. Also looking at Shale for a room I am about to work on. Looks like it could easily go “brown” or “gray”. Will check the undertones in the room…great tips!

  70. Andrei says:

    nice post and nice blog.

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  72. Megan says:

    Hi There- great post by the way. Some really great info. Just to add to that…. when looking at paint chips never make a final decision with them Horizontal on a surface either place them up against a wall or tape them there (preferably on a white neutral backround). When you eventually look at that colour you bought it will be Vertical on the wall. How you see colour looks completely different when you see it Horizontally like on a table or Vertically like on a wall. It all has to do with how light hits a surface. Chips look way lighter when Horizontal than Vertical. Also when making up a paint board it is best to have a white border. If you put a paint chip or a board directly against another colour like the paint on your wall- it looks way different than if it is against a neutral white. Just wanted to add to an already great post. Have a great day.

  73. Lisa says:

    Just went through this! SO much stress! Spent ALOT of money, because I listened to other people, and also I myself had the wrong instincts on color! So currently I have a bathroom issue. I seem to be surrounded with windowless bathrooms at my home and at my business. In both I used an off-white color. Both times in both rooms, the walls took on a green-ish hue! I think it has something to do with the lack of natural light? I this particular bathroom I used Benjamin Moore ‘barely Beige” i thought it was safe. It looks institutional and green!
    I was wanting something more exciting and darker -medium but in the small bathroom, with crappy lighting it was TOO dark and made the very small bathroom look smaller! Not sure what direction to go in? Any advice for windowless? thank you! loved the article.

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes, artificial light will dramatically alter a color and pull out hues that you didn’t even know were in the color. Because of this, I can’t suggest a color because its difficult to know what it will do. I recommend that you zone in on a general color like a light taupe/white color like Benjamin Moore Abalone or a calm gray/blue color like Benjamin Smoke and use my little method for laying out all of the paint cards in the space with your lighting in rows.

      Once you layout out all of the paint cards surrounding those colors, I would suggest picking a color and shade in the middle row, which will be your neutral and the color with less crazy hues to jump out. I think finding a neutral color with a lot of depth with make all of the difference. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!
      Cyndy recently posted..Ready for Spring {Friday Favorites}…My Profile

  74. Heather says:

    Desperately trying to choose a paint color for my master bedroom. Using white twill headboard and roman shades with navy grosgrain. Duvet is khaki background with blue … all needs to match bathroom with beige tile and navy tile accents. Was going to use Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorne Yellow, but am now doubting that. Would like to maybe try a blue instead, but something that the white will really pop against and that will be nice with the navy. Any suggestions that won’t make it look like a baby’s room? Can’t take too much grey undertone b/c the other colors are so “clean.” Help … my husband is ready to kill me!

    • Cyndy says:

      Hmmm… What about going a really light taupe/gray color with a lot of depth that has a tinge of warmth for the beige and khaki and slight gray to compliment the navy? I think you will have to pinpoint your color in the space with the lighting to see what the color does. I would look at these colors for a starting point and work from there depending on what your light does; Ben Moore Coventry Gray (may be too dark depending on your lighting), Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, Ben Moore Balanced Beige and Benjamin Moore gray owl (may go too green or too blue but could also work beautifully).

      Good Luck Heather! I hope this helps. I would love to know what you decide on!

  75. Melissa says:

    What a great post! Thank you so much. We are in the process of choosing paint colors (I am going with gray!) and you have helped immensely.

    Thank you!
    Melissa recently posted..Why I Give…My Profile

  76. I never knew how to choose paint before. thanks a lot
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  77. Kat says:

    What great insight you have into paint color! I am in need of your help. My cherry cabinets and oak floors, all medium toned, have become more orange with age and it seems to be magnified by the yellow undertones in my sandy/tan colored paint which grows more golden in the late afternoon sun. We are repainting and redecorating this southern facing kitchen and family room. Our appliances that were built ins with cabinet fronts are slowly being switched to stainless as they need replacing. The brushed brass handles on the cabinets will be replaced, most likely with something in the silver/nickle color family. The counters are a neutral tan and will remain. So, what color family do you feel will best compliment and/or assist in minimizing the “orange glow” that I currently have going on? Thanks!!

    • Cyndy says:

      That’s a tough one Kat! My first thought was thought was a color that would off set the “orange glow” and neutralize it and I immediately thought of Benjamin Moore Overcast, which is a combo cool white with just a hint of warmth. However, I have seen a lot of light gray/blue-green lately mixed with the cherry/ orange-ish wood tones that you are describing and the mix is surprisingly stunning! I suggest maybe Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue or Benjamin Moore Comfort Gray and depending on the light in your kitchen, look at one shade lighter on these color cards if these colors appear too dark in your kitchen. I think a light shade in a soothing gray/blue/green balance would instantly calm things down in this space, compliment the wood tones and also update the space.

      I have all three of these colors shown in spaces pinned on my “Pick a Paint Color” Pinterest Board if you would like to see an example of these colors on a wall. You can find my board here: http://pinterest.com/theexchange/pick-a-paint-color/

      I hope that helps Kat and I would love to know what you ultimately decide to do! Thanks for stopping by!

  78. Mindy says:

    I am needing to choose a color for my master bathroom. The master bedroom is Concord Ivory. I would love suggestions. The cabinets and counters are white and the ceiling is 12 feet.

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  81. nelda says:

    I just read this post again because we are in the process of redecorating and I just want to say a great big THANK YOU! You are the only one who has explained how to select colors in a way that makes sense. I think you really SHOULD write a book. Perhaps a paint company would sponsor you to turn your blog posts into a booklet or ebook…

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  87. Jessica says:

    Can you please recommend a trim color that goes well with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter and/or Benjamin Moore Shale?

  88. Pingback: Tips and Tricks for Choosing Exterior Trim Colors {Color Palette Monday}..

  89. E says:

    Love the post, but I am in a dilemma. I am wanting to repaint my living room a color like Benjamin Moore Camouflage but have a huge L-shaped couch that is light tan and tan colored carpet, I have colored accents on the walls and tables but would this be too much tan in the room? The walls are a sage green right now (I painted it about a year ago) but I am just not in love with the color in my living room and would like something more neutral. Any suggestions? :)

  90. Caroline says:

    Hi, I need some paint advise. We recently added some openings in the walls between our family room/kitchen/dining room. When you enter the house you are standing in the family room which is painted Cream Yellow by Benjamin Moore. Straight ahead and adjacent to one another are the kitchen and dining room which we just painted Roxbury Caramel. You can easily see into both of these rooms from the family room. The entire space is quite small and we don’t get a ton of natural light. I find the Roxbury Caramel to be very warm and I like it with our Navajo White kitchen cabinets and light wood floors, but I am unhappy with the flow from living room to kitchen/dining. Also, one of our living room walls (with the staircase leading upstairs has a chair rail. The lower wall is Vanilla Ice Cream (which is the trim color throughout the house) and the upper wall is Sherwood Green by BM. This color continues in the hallway upstairs. I was thinking of choosing a different neutral shade for the lower half of the chair rail wall that would continue into the living room and compliment the Roxbury Caramel in the other rooms. Though I do like the Cream Yellow. I’m so confused!

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  92. Just wanted to compliment you on your impeccable taste and color expertise; you’ve added a new dimension into my love of decorating and playing around with color combinations. I now realize my relatively poor grasp of undertones when deciding on final paint selections. That said, don’t you just love those serene grays and blues; so peaceful!!!

  93. Angie says:

    I have brown wood trim which I love, yet I never see rooms painted any where with this trim. any web site suggestions?

  94. Amy Van Andel says:

    I LOVE your posts! I just moved into a new house with a large two story foyer that connects visually with the second story hall. Most of my furniture is in beige, red, and gold tones with some hints of (sage) green. I have medium darkness wood floors with white trim. I am looking into a family of colors for the main floor LR, FR, Kitch and foyer/hall for a New England center hall colonial. The DR is metallic gold that I want to keep. I like midtone colors that have depth but are rather neutral and timeless. I really appreciate you comment on having colors with similar undertones, so that is why I am looking for a group of relatable colors that work well with my furniture and floors. Grey is popular and gorgeous, but I just do not have any grey in my furniture. Right now I am ready to paint the large open (and somewhat sterile) foyer and the LR just off of the foyer. The gold DR is off to the other side of the foyer. Any advice on a paint color family for me?

  95. Katie says:

    What color is gud with White and Grey.? I want to design an Office which is on the process.

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  97. Evan says:

    I’m struggling right now with what color to paint our dining room which is off the living room. I am leaning toward a greyish blue green (as my daughter says is my “go-to color”), but just unsure. The dining room leads right in to the kitchen which we did a massive amount of work on, along with painting. We ended up painting it a very pale, pale yellow called “Kansas Grain” which is a Behr color.
    We are fixing to list the house so I’m feeling pressure to make a good choice. I will say that the color above that you have in the “Transitional Color Palette” that is Sherwin Williams “Underseas” is the color we chose for our exterior–at 75% intensity. It is a beautiful color!

  98. Molly says:

    Hi, Love your articles! need your opinion, if I have dark leather furniture, (black fox or dark pewter) and curtains and small fireplace rug of Aegean teal color, what would a good looking wall color be? I am debating on benjamin moore edgemore gray or caphateras sand. lots of light in the room with two large east and west facing windows and fireplace in center of opposite wall. look forward to your opinion on this, I am open to any suggestions. thanks so much!!!

  99. Kristin says:

    We recently lost our house in a tornado and are rebuilding. Our plan is to use one color throughout the house in order to cut costs. How do you choose the perfect neutral? We have no furniture or decor items left to limit our choices. I prefer a western/rustic theme and want my color to tie in with that theme. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Amanda says:

      I’m a visitor here. Let me suggest that you buy a rug before you choose a paint color. Then you can choose furniture, paint colors, and even accessories to all relate to your beautiful area rug.

  100. Janice says:

    Hi,
    Just came across all your photos and colors via pinterest…I have searched for the color that you have put with Rockport Gray on the cupboards, in the bathroom on the walls but I don’t see it….can you please let me know what it is? It looks stunning together!! I love your taste in colors and will now be following you.
    Thanks so much.
    Regards,
    Janice

  101. Christy says:

    I absolutely love the dark granite and the contender! But, to be honest, I am wowed by every picture! Absolutely gorgeous!! Beautiful job and very inspiring!

  102. Hi Cyndy, the interplay of dark colors and pale colors make the room feel very sophisticated. Love the photos – so many ispired combinations and decor to make the most of it too. Thanks for sharing.

  103. looking for ideas to do some cosmetic remodeling.

  104. Pingback: Tips for Choosing a Color Palette Using Fabric Inspiration {Color Palette Monday #5}..

  105. Jacque Hare says:

    I am currently in the process of building a country home. I am at a loss for choosing paint colors. Maybe you and your readers could help. I am using knotty alder wood (stained very dark) throughout the house. We have an open floor plan with a fireplace and bookcases on the north end of the home. East facing wall of windows. Lots of natural light. I think that I need to keep paint color light with the dark wood. I really lean toward grays and taupes with green undertones. I was also toying with the idea of a golden color for the great room. I would be very interested in your thoughts. Thanks.

  106. Norita Garnett says:

    Great article best I’ve seen on selecting a paint color. My favorites are Revere Pewter, BM, Abalone BM, Shale BM, Coastal Fog BM, I’m stuck on Should the paint color be the same as the drapes (grey) or my sheers (beige). My color scheme is beige & grey I have colorful pillows on my beige leather sofa. My dinning chairs are beige off white as we’ll.

  107. Mary Elizabeth says:

    So happy to see that this LONG thread is still getting comments – very interesting & helpful tips!
    One suggestion I have (especially for those “windowless” bathrooms) – if you’re disappointed in the way a color turns out, before you re-paint, try different light bulbs! You might just get the color you were hoping for from a different bulb!

  108. beachmama says:

    Perfect! It’s somewhat how I choose paint but when I’ve attempted to help others I’ve not known how to put it into words. Now I’ll just give them this link. Thanks so much!

    I love the Revere Pewter in the room shown. For my master bedroom I’m thinking Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe . . .

  109. Nicole says:

    Normally I don’t enjoy blogy stuff, but this was very practically helpful without all the unnecessary story-telling. Thank you very much! I will definitely use this process the next time I paint.

    P.S. My favorite color was Benjamin Moore Shale.

  110. Sally says:

    How do you pick wall colors when your whole interior of the house was painted the same color? The walls are satin and the trim is gloss – but again all the same color! The color is close to BM grant beige. Even the bathroom cabinets are this color. Help!!

    • Cyndy says:

      The best way to deal with all the walls painted one color is to use a warm (slight yellow) undertone in any color that you choose! If you want to transition to blues, grays or even white, choose a color that has the same warm undertone as grant beige. Hope that helps!

  111. Suzanne says:

    I am writing because we moved into a house where everything was painted a dark golden brown (Ralph Lauren Serengeti) with the fireplace wall Behr Antique Red (black built ins). I hated the red wall so he painted it Edgecomb Gray (BM) too light intensity for the Serengeti, then a tan color(bleh) and now back to a raspberry red. 3 times in one month, I have a great husband :) Thinking now we have to get rid of the entire Serengeti and looking at Waterbury Cream (BM) so it will transition well to the basement with maybe Wythe Blue (BM) on the fireplace wall to brighten everything? P.S. Love Shale and Coastal Fog.

  112. Michelle says:

    Paint store light versus home lightbulbs and windows can be killer! I took my curtain swatch to the store, picked out a few shades of greens and yellows that went awesome with it. Got them home and the samples on the wall and was able to eliminate a couple that turned either neon or mint. Sad thing is that when I narrowed down to my final choice and started painting, the undertones in the small sample spot were HIGHLY magnified on 2 walls I had gotten done. Everything looked sickly and washed out. I realized that meant I was going to have to do something completely different. Went back, followed my gut, and picked out a very warm brown – didn’t care about matching my fabric – because if you pick things you love they’ll usually go well together. BINGO! I now have a warm, inviting, but slightly dramatic dining room. And nobody looks ill. :) Had I paid more attention to undertones I would not have wasted money on the first gallon of paint that I’m just hoping will work in another room someday.

  113. garnette says:

    I did not fall asleep during all the reading. I enjoyed the article very much. I did want to add…sometimes if you put any color next to white it gives you the true color of the paint. It makes it easier for me to tell if it has too much of a undertone that I do or don’t want. Just another way to help.

  114. Paula says:

    I would like to paint my kitchen and living room that are open to each other….my dilemma is finding a color that will go with the Honey Oak cabinets in my kitchen. My husband will not let me paint them so I want to find a color that will help bring down the yellow look of the wood. Any tips you could give me?

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