• Painting 101: how to select the right paint colour for your home



    So you’re thinking about freshening up your home décor with a coat of paint, but where do you start when choosing the colour?

    With the variety of paint shades, tints and tones out there it can be a hard decision. Here are some tips to guide you in selecting the right paint colour for your home.

    Find inspiration

    Look for colour inspiration within the space you are planning to paint, for example:

    • The décor – if you’re not planning to redecorate and buy new furniture, look to the current décor of the room and consider a shade that will complement it. Colourful curtains and furniture? Perhaps pair these items with a neutral shade.
    • A key item or piece of furniture – select a paint to coordinate with your favourite armchair or piece of artwork.
    • Room lighting – consider how much natural light the space gets or the tone of your light bulbs (cool or warm).
    • The room’s purpose – base your colour choice on what the space is used for, such as a calming colour for your bedroom or a light and bright colour for your kitchen.

    Get a sample

    When visiting your local hardware store, you’re often met with an overwhelming selection of paint colours. Once you have managed to narrow down your choices, it’s recommended to take home some colour cards or a small sample pot of paint so you can test the shade(s) against your walls at home.

    Test the sample in the room you’re painting and see if it works well with the lighting (from the window or artificial lights) and your décor.

    Consider warm and cool tones

    Picking a colour is hard enough, not to mention when you throw tones into the mix as well.

    As a basic rule, if the space you are painting feels ‘cold’ and you want to add more ‘heat’, opt for warm tones such as:

    • Creams and beiges
    • Yellows
    • Reds, pinks and corals

    On the flip side, if you want to create a more calming and relaxing environment, for example in your bedroom, consider cool tones such as:

    • Greens and teals
    • Blues
    • Greys
    • Violets

    Go neutral

    If in doubt you can rarely go wrong with a neutral colour, whether that be a light grey or eggshell white to you.

    By keeping your paint colour neutral, you can dress up your room with furniture, bedding and lighting to suit your mood and with minimal effort. Further, neutral colours tend to remain on trend and do not date as easily as bold shades. This means you won’t need to re-paint until a few years down the track.

    For more painting tips, read our article about how to prep your space for a fresh coat of paint or for renovation advice, visit our archive of advice articles on reiwa.com.