Cringeworthy Paint Color Blunders to Avoid
Steer clear of these six paint color issues homeowners run into when trying to upgrade without the benefit of a professional.
To start, let’s just get this out in the open: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with picking out a paint shade you adore, even if it isn’t the most popular. As a matter of fact, the biggest blunder you can make is picking a color you don’t connect with.
When serious paint color mistakes happen it’s typically due to a lack of professional guidance. After all, interior designers have the unique ability to transform an average color scheme into one that is fabulous. To help you avoid any major paint color pitfalls, here are six pro-tips to keep you on track.
1. Say No to Seconds
Adopting color choices that have been passed down to you from the previous owner of your home may seem tempting — especially if there are lots of other things to take care of right away. But if those colors are not something you would have chosen, they can lead to bigger investments, like rugs and furniture, and essentially trap you into something you don’t even like. Let’s face it: That’s just a waste of money.
Instead, consider teaming up with a professional to help you pick out flooring and paint color options before you even move in so that the tone is already set for your new space. Then all your big purchases will be towards something worth the investment.
2. It’s Okay to Get Emotional
Trendier paint colors are more appropriate for certain areas of the home, such as an upstairs den, mudroom, or hall bathroom. But when it comes to more personal spaces where the bulk of your time will be spent, listen to your intuition. Being trendy just to be trendy is an excellent way to end up with a color scheme you dislike that negatively affects your mood.
One way to work through this is to find a color consultant who makes house calls. They can come into your home, assess the space, and help determine the best colors for you. Ultimately, however, it comes down to you. The only way to hit on a color palette you love is to be completely honest with yourself.
3. Think Beyond Walls
It’s common for things like baseboards, crown molding and door casings to get overlooked. Take note: They do not have to be painted white! Instead, think about taking your wall color — even if it’s bold and bright — all the way up to the ceiling and down to the floor. By painting trim and other architectural elements the same color as the walls, you give the room a classy, elevated feel. In essence, it’s like wearing a classic black dress and using the right accessories to bring it to life.
4. Know Your Limitations
Remember how being honest with yourself was mentioned previously? It applies here, too. If a project is above your skill level, don’t do it. When deciding whether to take on a certain job or not, your talent and time are two of the most important factors to consider. Without taking them into account, the project typically ends up being rushed and done haphazardly, with questionable color choices, missing steps, and a bad end result. That’s something nobody wants.
5. Test Tricky Shades
Due to variables like lighting style, ceiling height, flooring type, and so on, any color can potentially go wrong. However, there are a pair of paint hues that are well-known troublemakers for DIY homeowners: red and yellow. Both can end up looking very different from one wall to the next in the same room, or different rooms in the same house. To combat this, professionals suggest strictly keeping red for outdoor use, and being very careful with yellow. Get a paint sample of your chosen hue and coat several white poster boards with it. Move them around the room and check in at different times throughout the day so you can see how the color changes.
6. Strong Finish
A flat paint finish grants the beginner home painter the most forgiveness, meaning it helps hide imperfections instead of highlighting them. However, small children who tend to touch everything change that recommendation because they’re bound to add fingerprints and smudges to the walls. If children are a factor, go with a satin or eggshell finish. Both will mask some imperfections, but can also be easily washed down as needed.