Pro Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint Color

Testing your paint colors is probably the most important step within the painting process because it’s key to choosing colors you can love long term.  One of the biggest challenges clients face when it comes to color selection is visualizing the color within your space.  Most of the time, clients are looking at small swatches of paint from a color card or a color deck but these are too small to really get a good feel for the color.  So, today we’re going to be talking about how to effectively test your paint colors to make sure you have the best colors for your home or space.


Testing Paint Colors with Paint Samples


This is the most traditional way of testing paint colors and you’re probably already familiar with it but we do have a couple of tricks to share!  This method of testing paint colors requires that you purchase test quarts or gallons of your paint color and physically roll out a test swatch. This method is great because you can paint the swatches as large as you like and you can see the actual paint color itself within your space.  The orientation of your home or room along with lighting and fixed features such as flooring or stonework will have a big impact on how a color appears so this is a great method for confirming your color selection.  


To take this to the next level we have a few recommendations.  First, don’t paint your swatches right at eye level.  Applying a sample directly to the wall does add a layer of paint that could create a slightly different texture from the surrounding area. This could result in a square or swatch that is still somewhat visible under the new paint so painting your swatches somewhere other than eye level can help hide those samples.  Another option is to paint your swatches on a color board or cardboard so you can move the samples around the room without causing issues with your walls.

Paint samples provide vision and scale

Best Way to Test Paint Colors: Peel + Stick Samples


Samples have come quite a long way and one of our favorite tools to use are sites like Samplize.  We’ve talked about Samplize on here before but if you don’t know, Samplize is an online store that ships peel and stick paint drawdowns worldwide. These are great because they are made with real paint and the peel and stick feature means you can easily reuse samples without causing any damage to the painting surface.  Samplize is one of our favorites because it offers a great variety of colors and brands and the samples are a good 12”x12” size.  There are other companies out there that offer similar products including Sherwin Williams although their samples are limited to their top 50 colors. 


Some things to keep in mind with Samplize samples are to make sure you unpack your samples immediately upon receiving them.  Samplize samples come with wax paper between them and since these drawdowns are made with real paint they can get a bit messy if they are left in their packaging too long.  We also recommend purchasing your samples as soon as possible since these do ship directly to your home and are subject to delays with the postal service.

Digital mockups are great visualizing tools

Digital Mockups for Testing Paint Colors


As we’ve already mentioned, samples are great because they can help you better understand how a color will truly work within your space.  If samples aren’t an option for you though you could always try a digital mock-up.  Our professional consultations do include a mockup with your recommended color schemes but you can create a mockup online yourself as well!  Note that these tools should really only be used to get an idea of how the colors work together and might work within your space.  Unfortunately, digital mockups cannot be used to accurately depict how the color will appear since they are subject to variations such as screen quality and brightness. 


Why You Should Test Your Paint Samples

If you’ve been following our blog for a while then you already know that we always recommend testing your paint colors before painting.  This is because it’s very easy to choose the wrong color if you’re simply going off of a small color card or even choosing colors in-store.  Even if you like a color on someone else’s house, it doesn’t always mean you’ll love it on your home as well.  Although it adds an extra step, purchasing and testing paint samples can help save your time, money, and frustration in the long run.  If you don’t want to store or dispose of your samples after your project is complete, ask your painter to recycle the samples for you. For more information about popular paint colors and how to find the right color for your next project be sure to follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.