How to Choose the Right Paint for Your Home

Choosing the right paint for your home is usually the hardest part when it comes to revamping the interior. Most homeowners are at a loss on where to begin. Like it or not, the paint you choose will say a lot about your taste and its finish should be chosen to meet wearability needs. Here are some foolproof ways of choosing the right paint for the interior of your home:

Start with a reference point

Take a piece of artwork, a photograph, an article of clothing or even an album cover that you like. These are colors that you are drawn to and are a good starting point. You can compare these colors with the swatches at the paint store. Just don’t go overboard. Some general rules to keep in mind:

  • Don’t use more than 3 colors in a room. Multiple colors can look fantastic, but when overdone it can be overwhelming. It may be of your eye’s interest to use a bold color on an accent wall, and a second more tame color on the rest of the walls.
  • If you’ve decided to paint a room with multiple colors, try to choose the boldest color first. What may look fun and adventurous at first, could turn into a color that is a bit too offbeat for your home. Pick the bold color initially, and then select more neutral colors with the bold color in mind.

Neutral doesn’t mean beige

A lot of homeowners get stuck in the rut of staying in the beige safe zone. But beige can often translate a room into something unexciting. Take advantage of wall space with some other neutral colors like shades of grey, brown, olive or blue. These colors can pair well and offset a bolder color if you decide to choose one.

Bring the color to the store

If you know what color you’re set on but can’t find it in the swatch books, take it in to the store. They can scan the color and custom mix paint to match.

Just be sure that the sample you bring in is:

  • Uniform in color
  • A flat surface (fabric swatch, carpeting, wallpaper)
  • At least a half inch square

Try a color out

When it comes down to it, the most effective way of choosing a paint color is to take home a sample. Buy a quart-sized can of the color you’re keen on. Paint the color in a 2 foot square on a wall that gets lots of natural light. Throughout the day, check on the patch of paint to see how the light is reflected off of it. Some colors can look very different throughout the day, so be sure that you’ll like the one you choose around the clock.

Beyond color, selecting the paint type

Color is just one small part of choosing the right paint for your home. Now you’ll need to consider which type of paint is right for you. You’ll have several options, but a general rule of thumb is that the glossier a paint is, the easier it is to clean.

1. Flats and mattes

This is the ideal paint for interior walls with nicks and other imperfections. A flat or matte finish is easy for touch ups but is difficult to clean. Avoid using this paint in areas that are prone to surface stains, like the kitchen or bathroom.

2. Eggshell

Don’t use eggshell finished paints where there will be a high amount of traffic. Eggshell can be easily scuffed, so don’t paint it in a hallway or a stairway. Like a flat or matte, an eggshell finish can be touched up with ease, but is a washable finish.

3. Satin

Living up to its name, a satin finish is silky and is also a great choice for woodwork. Although difficult to touch up, it’s certainly scrubbable. Try painting it in a child’s room or kitchen to add a sense of warmth.

4. Semigloss

This finish is the go to for trims, baseboards and moldings with its ability to endure stains and scuffing. Its humidity resistance makes semigloss a staple for bathroom and kitchen walls. Semigloss is chip resistant and easy to clean. However, it is not an easy finish to touch up.

5. Gloss

Gloss finishes are discouraged when it comes to painting interior walls. Still, it does pair well with trim, moldings and woodwork. A gloss finish is the easiest to clean, but in contrast is the most difficult finish to touch up because its sheen shows easily.