How to Avoid Regretting Paint Colors in Your Home

Despite making a huge swatch of the color, a wrong color is on some walls in our house. And what’s worse is, we paid people to paint this wrong color on the walls! As penance, I’ve lived with the color for a decade.

I made several major mistakes that you shouldn’t make when choosing color:

  • Let myself get pressured by the contractors to “hurry up” and choose a color – like, “we need to know first thing tomorrow morning.” Actually as the timeline shook out, they didn’t need to know for days. Our uneven walls (they were like “Ruffles with Ridges”!) needed a lot of sanding and prep and there was wallpaper to remove in many rooms.
  • Did not move the big color swatch into all the rooms where the color would be painted.
  • Did not view the color in the various light it would be in – indoor evening lighting and natural light through the windows.
  • Did not view the color in the morning, afternoon and evening in the various rooms because the natural light changes.

Yes, numerous paint color-choosing sins were committed. If recommendations were followed, we might have had the”coffee with a lot of cream” color we wanted. Instead, most of the time on most walls, the color looks like a slightly pukey yellow with a green undertone. It looks like my walls are feeling seasick. It’s really, really off from the sophisticated look I wanted. No one looks sophisticated when they’re really seasick. No one wants to paint their walls a color that reminds them of unpleasant things. Like phlegm.

If you want to avoid kicking yourself for making wrong choices like that, check out the list of tips to choose paint color at BH&G. They may sound simple, but they are right. Some might sound obvious, but do not think that you are above them. (As I did, ahem.)

How to Choose Paint Color You Won't Regret

Another site I really like is Maria Killam’s blog about choosing color. If I had known about her “understanding undertones” advice years ago, there would be no icky green lurking in the background of our walls. She also did a post about pinky beiges and how you might wind up with something that looks pink when you didn’t expect that. I can’t find it right now, but that’s the kind of info you can find on her site. She describes how colors can deceive us and what to do about it.

I’ve been thinking about the subtleties of color more lately, because the yellowish/greenish cast on walls around here should be dealt with. I’ve served my time. And the honey oak trim and floors around our home need to become less orange. So as new color choices are made, we want to make the right choices.

Do you have comments? A question? I'm happy to help and give answers!