How To Avoid Choosing the Wrong Paint
by Rebecca Ewing, Rebecca Ewing Color & Design
Yellow can lift our spirits and make us smile, or it can agitate and annoy enough to make us want to spit nails. A vase of daffodils is one thing; four walls the color of a school bus is another.
Friends were tired of a drab paneled den. Seduced by “sunshine yellow” at the paint store, John’s labor was a bust: that den was painfully bright, and they, literally, could not bear to be in the room that evening. He was back at the paint store the next day, buying a buttery tone. Forty percent of paint sales are within a week of the first purchase—to repaint that color gone wrong. Forty percent!
No wonder most people are afraid of color.
I hallucinate for a living, and even I, often, can’t make the leap from that dinky little paint chip to the size of four walls. Fortunately, the paint companies give me larger, individual samples of each color to make selection easier, then I can order larger color cards yet. Several companies offer small pots for color testing, and one company even sells an 18 x 36 color sample.
Regardless, be sure to gather color swatches to consider before purchasing paint. I like to put a couple of coats on a board—foam core from the art supply store works well, so you can move it around the room—and watch it for a few days. See how it works on a sunny day, a dreary day, at night, and in the morning, for the color can change dramatically based on lighting. I helped a client select a beautiful taupe for her living room: in the morning the room had a golden cast, and at night, it had a hint of plum. Fortunately, it worked with the room no matter what, but sometimes the surprise is not so pleasant.
Had John (Doe) swatched, or even brought home a few chips before he bought his brilliant yellow, he would have saved time, energy, frustration and money, and likely had something he liked the first time around.
Have a painting nightmare to share? Let us know what went wrong by leaving a comment.