10 Tips For Picking Wall Paint - A DECORATING TIP

Posted on February 12, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

10 tips for picking paint are listed below, as usual, though, there is a story attached to this wisdom. It goes like this:

With it February in Michigan right now, and the snow is piled eye level in the parking lot, customer traffic is pretty light.

“Let’s freshen things up,” I said to Allison, my buyer and step-daughter who is a veteran of the shop since her college days two decades ago. 

So … freshen things up? Out came the paint swatches and we hemmed and hawed over picking the perfect NEW color.  Next we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Who wouldn’t think deep, rich magenta could be a perfect accent against neutral taupe walls? The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is the answer to that question. 


Magenta paint in place, we took a few steps back to take it all in … and gagged at the bold, vivid pink. Only my seven-year-old granddaughter, Lilly, the queen of frill and sparkle, would truly like this garish gash of color.  But I doubt even she could sleep in such an electrified  room. 


“Kate,” Allison said to me. “Take the paint back to the store and have it toned down.”  So I did.  After more than an hour of multiple squirts of color additions, mostly black, the very patient, gray-haired man at the paint store suggested through a forced smile that, “I can sell you a new can of paint for half-price.” With sullen eyes he stared down at the mess of dried, color-corrected test strips on the counter. “It would be faster to just start all over,” he explained.  

 And so I left the store with a fresh gallon of Gypsy Rose.  We re-rolled the twelve-foot sections of wall and then tapped our feet while waiting for the paint to dry, knowing this new color was deeper than the original Hot Lips Pink. But would it dry dark enough?   


I hung my head and shuffled over to Larry, my husband of twenty-two years. Feeling like I had a paint roller wedged in my throat, I choked out: “I was wrong.”    

We rerolled once again, right away, and the store is now “freshened” with an easy-on-the-eyes neutral in the beige range. it looks great against our new bright product.


10 Tips for Picking Paint

  1. Start small.
  2. Think of your mood.
  3. Pay attention to lighting
  4. Learn the color terms
  5. Test your color choice
  6. Add depth with decorative finishes and accessories
  7. Walk into another room
  8. Follow the color wheel
  9. Play up monochromatic color scheme
  10. Choose different paint finishes



Previous Next



Leave a reply

Scroll to top