There is always something to learn about color! “Color is a critical aspect of the decorating process. It can also be the most intimidating,” says JoAnne Lenart-Weary, a color educator since 1999.  I recently had the opportunity to attend a color class with JoAnne who gave some added insight into color selection.

Color is one area so many of us struggle with. We’re all trying to make a selection off of small swatches, and let’s face it – it’s difficult to multiply that color 1000 times and imagine it on all of your walls. You sit there looking at a tiny swatch asking – do I actually like it? Is it too dark/light? Is it too pink/yellow/blue/gray?

Have you ever seen a color on a friend or neighbors’ wall and thought, “I love that color. I’m going to paint it in my house.” only to find that after you paint your walls that color, it doesn’t look the same?

There are so many elements that play into color, such as the light coming into your space (is it a natural or an artificial light?) and the color of your floors/furniture/cabinets. Each of these elements impact how a color looks in your space. What may work in your friends home may not work in your space.

So the million dollar question is how can you become more confident in selecting paint?

You can hire a designer for a color consultation, that’s a good start. Or you can try a few of these options:

  • Paint at least one entire wall the new color. This way you aren’t comparing your new paint to the existing paint. Live with that wall painted for a day or two. This allows you to evaluate the color during the day vs. the evening.
  • When picking a neutral tone, look further down on the color strip in the fan deck. What is that color? If it is blue, then the lightest color on that fan deck will have some tone of blue coming through it! There is NO such thing as a neutral, every neutral has an undertone of pink, blue, green, yellow, orange etc.

And…sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and go for it!