by Tom Reilly, Renovations
This subject might very well be the most subjective topic in any remodel. Our individual tastes vary so widely that making the right color choices can be daunting if not outright intimidating. Fear not, however, there is a process, and it works!
Of course, the preponderance of what color you select is based on what you like. For some people, knowing what you like and applying it to a room color choice can be a conundrum. Here are some steps you can take to make DIY color choices.
Narrowing Down Your Choices
Start with what is called a “fan deck.” You’ve probably seen this at your paint store, or from your painter or remodeling design professional. This is an approximately 1- to 1½-inch-thick booklet of sample strips organized by color and the various shades of that base color.
The samples are small but of sufficient size for you to discern if you are attracted to that color or not. Look through the deck and put a paperclip on all the colors you might consider. Yes — all of them. You might have as many as 20 colors.
The next step is to isolate the samples you have chosen and see which ones might actually work in the space or spaces you are considering painting in your home. Take the fan deck and hold the various colors up to the furniture, floors, curtains, and artwork. By comparing them to the colors that will most likely remain in the room, you can continue to narrow down your choices.
Play With Larger Paint Samples
Once you are down to about six to 10 possible colors, go to the paint store or contact your painter for larger color samples. These will be about 5 inches by 7 seven or even 12 inches by 12 inches. This is a helpful leap from the much smaller fan deck sample and can help you better visualize the possibilities.
Now you might be down to two or three choices. If you like, you can usually get a pint or smaller sample from the paint store and test it on a wall, about a 3 foot by 3 foot area (be sure you have your original paint on hand to cover the test area when you’re done). Don’t be afraid to try those colors around the house. Leave them up for a week. Move furniture next to them, art work, anything you might need to get the feel of how that color is going to work in your space.
Visualization of the color in the space is the key. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment, after all, it’s only paint!