How To Choose Paint Colors

color wheel

With so many paint colors to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. Before you pick your next wall paint color, consider these tips to help you narrow down the options so you end up with the color that’s right for your space.


Hundreds of paint colors are available. How do I begin the selection process?


Think about the space you want to paint. If you’re only painting the walls, consider what colors will work well with your existing furniture and decor. Neutral wall paint colors tend to go well with all styles. These paint colors include shades of beige, taupe, gray and off-white.


Once you’ve narrowed down the options, you can use SmartCoat’s online paint color visualizer to preview what various shades look like in different rooms.


How can I tell what a specific paint color will look like in my room?


Paint color chips offer an accurate look at how particular colors look on a wall. You can pick color chips up at your local paint retailer and place them on different parts of your wall to see how the color looks beside your furniture and in different light, for example.


Some paint brands also let you purchase a sample jar of paint at a retailer. By painting a few paint color samples on your wall, you can see exactly what each color looks like in your room.


Paint colors look at different times of the day. Should I choose a color based on how it looks in daylight?


It’s important to know how a paint color looks in different light. Viewing your color swatch at different times of day will give you a good idea of the paint color’s appearance in your space, whether the room is full of sunshine or dimly lit at night.


How can I tell which paint colors pair well with others?


Create a balance in your space by using both warm and cool colors. For instance, you may opt for a warm beige tone on your walls, with a cool shade of blue for the doors. You can also use décor to complement your paint color, such as pairing darker furniture with lighter wall paint colors.


Does wall paint get lighter or darker when it dries?


Paint’s final appearance typically depends on paint’s sheen.


Flat paint absorbs more light, giving the color a lighter appearance when it’s dry. Flat paint finishes are matte with no gloss and are great for hiding minor imperfections.


Semi-gloss paint has a higher gloss level. This means the finish reflects light more than it absorbs it, so the color tends to look a bit darker after it dries.


Can paint colors affect your mood?


Paint colors can have powerful effects on emotion. That’s why many designers use brighter colors for living areas and more muted shades in sleeping areas. Bright colors evoke joy and happiness, while darker colors can feel moody.


Ultimately, paint color is a matter of taste. And, just as taste can change over time, there’s no need to feel permanently committed to your paint color choices. If later you decide you’re ready for another change, you can always repaint the room.

Locate a Rust-Oleum Retailer

Rust-Oleum products are sold at retailers across the country. Use our store locator to find Rust-Oleum products at retailers near you.