Have you ever found a paint color that looked perfect on the swatch or in a picture only to find that it did not look the same once you got it up on your walls? It can be frustrating, expensive, and time consuming to paint a room and not get the results you expected. There are a number of factors that can impact how paint colors look on your walls. These factors include the way you prepare the surface, the artificial light in your house, the natural light, and the undertones of the paint color. When you understand these factors it can help you in the process of choosing a paint color.
How you prepare the surface
The way you prep the walls before you paint can impact the final product. For example, if you have dark walls and want to paint them lighter the previous paint can affect the color. You can minimize the impact of the previous color on your new color by priming the walls first. A high quality primer will cover up even dark colors and give you a blank slate to paint over with your new color.
The artificial light in your house will have an impact on how paint colors look on your walls. The number of lights in the room will partially determine if it is dim or bright. Colors look vastly different depending on the amount of light in the room. In addition, the type of lightbulbs you use can impact the way the colors look. Walk down the lightbulb aisle of any hardware store and you will see a vast array of options. Some stores even have displays where you can compare bulb types side by side. If you painted and are unhappy with the results, try changing out your lightbulbs before you paint again. It could completely change how the paint looks in the room and save you the trouble of painting again.
The natural light in the room you want to paint is another factor to consider when painting. Rooms with little to no natural light typically do better with light paint colors. It is easy for a room to start feeling like a dungeon with dark paint on the walls and little natural light. Rooms with an abundance of natural light can usually handle darker colors if that is the look you want. The number and size of your windows as well as the direction your house faces will impact the amount of natural light that comes in.
Undertones of the paint color
All paint colors have undertones to them. For example, gray is a popular paint color that can have a number of different undertones. You can find gray paint with purple, blue, or green undertones. These undertones can change how a color appears on your walls versus in the store or in someone else’s house. Why? The lighting in your room, other paint colors on the wall, the furniture, and flooring can all pull out undertones in a paint color. So, it can be difficult to predict how a color will look surrounded by your things.
There are a couple of good options for finding the right paint color without having to paint your room over and over. One of those options is to get paint samples. Choose a few colors that you like and buy the sample size of each color. Then, paint a large square of the sample color in the room you plan to paint. Look at the square at different times of the day so you can know how it will look in morning, afternoon, and evening light. The other option is to get some professional help. An experienced painting company can talk you through color options and make suggestions based on your specific situation.