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5 Tricks to End the Paint Color Paralysis

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Kara
01.05.16

Choosing what color to paint a room in your home can seem like a daunting task. Get it wrong, and you’ve just created double the work (and double the cost) to fix the mistake! If you’ve been procrastinating your final color choice for a room, it’s time to put a stop to it!

Here are five things you can do, right here, right now to stop procrastinating and pick up the paint brush:

1. Start with What You Have

The easiest way to end paint color paralysis is to take stock of the colors, patterns and textures that are already present in the room!

Take note of the color of your flooring, rugs, furniture, cabinets, tiling and even accent pieces. Use the colors of these items as a starting point to know what goes best with them. Tip: If you’re painting an unfurnished room, furnish it first! This way, you’re picking paint colors based off of known factors, instead of just throwing out guesses.

2. Skip the Paint Rack

Okay, the color-coded paint swatches at your local hardware store are gorgeous, but it can be really overwhelming to actually pick a hue out of that perfectly organized display. Instead, ask yourself what function you want the space to provide. A warm, cozy living room to curl up with a good book? An energizing kitchen space to help brighten up your mornings? Once you have an idea, create a virtual look-book of contextual examples on Pinterest.

3. Use Technology To Your Advantage

If you’re more comfortable using your phone, there are a number of apps that can help you pick the right paint color (and most are free)! Our favorite is ColorSmart by Behr. You simply upload a painting or photo, and the app will automatically create a color palette to match.

4. Avoid Comparing Your Colors Against White Walls

If you put a paint sample up against a white wall, it will appear much darker by contrast. Try to get a poster-sized sample from the painting manufacturer and place it next to your furniture, floors or other pieces in the room. This will prevent you from choosing a color that’s actually too light!

5. Take the Finalists on a Test Drive

The only way you’ll really know how a paint shade reacts in a certain light, or how the color matches with your upholstery will be to paint it on your wall. It’s standard practice to test out a small area on your wall – it’s the final step towards making a decision. If you have a few finalists, try them all out in different areas! You can easily get a few test pots from your local hardware store. Pro Tip: Use the exact finish or sheen you plan to use (high gloss or matte) so there aren’t any surprises when you make the purchase.

Now that you’ve settled on a color, head to Angie’s List to score some great offers on interior painting by highly-rated professionals!

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