There are millions and millions of colors. Paint companies provide thousands of different colors with names that often seem to have been pulled out of a hat. If you cannot find the color you are looking for, you can have a custom color made.
If you have decided to paint a room, and you are going to spend money on a high quality paint and pay a professional to paint your room, you will want it to look great when it is completed. Therefore, you should spend some time, if you have not already, choosing the colors that you would like to paint your room. These are the colors that you will have to live with for a long time.
The Color Wheel
Sometime in you past you were most likely introduced to a color wheel. Most likely in an art class in middle or high school. Many home owners choose to go with basic white for trim and white for ceilings. Everything goes with white, so there is usually little problem picking a color to go on the walls. However, if you decide to be more bold with your trim, you may want to start looking at a color wheel and/or spending some time at your local paint store. And, I do emphasize "local." Most of the employees at the box stores know little more about the paint that they are selling than how to mix colors. If you go to a local shop, they will be able to help you choose colors that go together.
Before I go any further, if you really want to know what a color will look like in your room, you have to see the color in the room that it will be painted. The paint store will not have the same lighting conditions that you have in your home. The best way to get an idea of what the color will look like is to get a paint sample to put on your wall.
If you choose to not use white on the trim, then you will want to choose colors that work well together. You could simply go to a paint store and start mixing and matching. However, this can be somewhat overwhelming. There are tons and tons of colors to choose from. If you know the color that you want on the walls then there are many ways to choose a color (on the color wheel) that will match. But, remember that when it comes to picking colors all that matters is choosing colors that you like.
- Complimentary Colors--Colors that are opposite on the color wheel.
- Analogous Colors--Three Colors that are side by side on the color wheel .
- Triad Colors--Three Colors located equal distance from each other on the color wheel.
- Monochromatic--One Color in various shades and tints
One concept to that should be remember when choosing colors is Color Context. Put simply, color appears differently depending on the color that surrounds it. An Example: Grey will look lighter if surrounded by a dark color and darker if surrounded by a lighter color.
Or, Use Online Tools
If you don't want to learn about the color wheel, there is a simple way to find colors that work well with each other. Many paint companies have tools to help you choose colors.
Benjamin Moore - Just click on a color that you like, and it will provide you with two colors that will look great with it.
Sherman Williams - click on the visualizer. This tool will allow you to paint a specific type of room, or upload your own picture.
Who will be Using the Room?
As some point, hopefully it will not happen right after you hand the painter the final check, your new paint job will be "dinged" or you will discover a mark on the wall. If you will have children or grand children running around you house, then you may want to consider a darker color. A dark color will hide the marks ups that will eventually be on the walls better than a light color. The type of sheen that you choose will also affect the your ability to clean the paint. For more on this see the information below.
If, on the other hand, you do not have little ones running around, than the ski is the limit
You should also note that the ability to fix a blemish on a wall economically often has much to do with the paint that you choose. One of the reasons that high quality paints cost more is because they retain their color better than cheaper paints. This means that if you fix a hole in the wall a year after the original paint job, the more expensive paint is the more likely it will blend in with the original paint job.
Essentially a paint's finishes (often called a sheen) will tell you how much light the paint will reflect. Technically, the light reflected on a paint is measured in both sheen and gloss, which are relative to the angle by which it is viewed. But, we do need to get too technical. There are advantages and disadvantages to the amount of light a paint reflects. The paint at the top of the list below (flat) reflects the least amount of light. Flat paints hide imperfections and damage better, but are harder to clean. Gloss paint, conversely, which reflects the most light, will not hide imperfects very well, but are more durable and easier to clean.
- Flat (very little reflected light) Sometimes called Matte (the Benjamin Moore Matte is a washable flat paint)
- Gloss (the most reflected light)
So, when you are deciding what sheen to use, you should consider what you will do in the room. Generally speaking, flat is used for ceilings. Flat and eggshell are the two most commonly used sheen for walls. Sometimes a pearl or a satin will be used on wall in areas that have a lot of traffic, such as a hallway in a common area of an apartment or condo complex. Satin, semi-gloss, and gloss are used on trim.