5 Ways to Decide on Paint Color

If you’re stumped when it comes to selecting paint colors, read through these tips from Mary Lawlor, color stylist for Kelly-Moore Paints.
Use a color wheel.
If you haven’t used a color wheel since middle school art class, find one online. Color wheels are ideal for discovering shades you might not have thought of, says Lawlor. In a space with blue-hued art, furnishings, accessories or window treatments, for example, you can incorporate complementary orange, peach and terra-cotta tones.
Think about light reflection.
On the back of most paint swatches is a number indicating light reflectance value (zero being the darkest), the amount of light the color will absorb or reflect. If you’re working with a highly active space that doesn’t get a lot of light, you can increase the feeling of lightness by choosing a color with a high light reflectance value. In rooms with dark granite and wood tones, Lawlor says, you can provide balance with mid-tones, such as a yellow, teal or turquoise shade. If you’re trying to create a dim, restful environment, it’s usually best to stay on the lower end of the value scale.
Create a palette.
Once you’ve gathered paint swatches, place them throughout the room to be painted. Consider colors that will complement furniture and carpeting, but also think about pulling possibilities off the accessories – such as pillows, lamps or artwork. Lawlor says the most successful spaces often have a great balance of warm and cool colors (pictured), and convey the appropriate mood (bright kitchens, tranquil work spaces).

Make the right splash.
Right now, turquoise is all the rage, Lawlor says. But heavily saturated colors are better for accents and used in small quantities. Because colors can seem more intense once they are applied to the walls, think about selecting a color one shade lighter than your original choice. (A good rule of thumb, she says, is if you want a yellow room, think about a neutral with yellow undertones.)
Check your lighting.
Before a final selection, see how the swatch looks in the daylight and in the evening, when lights are switched on. Lawlor says that warm, incandescent lights make paint colors appear more natural, while fluorescent lights wash out colors.

[via SF Gate]
screenshot of Color Scheme Designer

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    Felicia Corcoran
    March 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Hello! Great site! We hire people to do our gardening – we don’t have the equipment to do it ourselves. And, they do such a great job!

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    Roger Sandovall
    March 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    No lawn but I’d do it myself anyway

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    Susan J
    March 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I love my push-powered mower

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    March 4, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I do my own yard work…mostly. I hire out tree trimming to the pros and will possibly eventually hire out the rest just due to time.

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    Sarah S
    March 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I do it myself – we have a manual push mower for our tiny bit of grass, and I quite enjoy tending to my own vegetable garden. It could definitely use some improvement though!

  • Reply
    Micah Fritzinger
    March 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    We hire our neighbors gardener in the spring and fall then take care of the yard ourselves the rest of the year.

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    March 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Give me the hat!!!!!

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      Crabgrass Killer
      April 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

      Yes, agree with you. Not only hat but also the cute girl.

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    Robert Weaver
    March 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I do most of my own gardening and landscaping, partly because I enjoy it, and partly to save money. On occasion I’ll hire some to trim the really tall palm trees, but even those I usually get out the ladder and pole saw to do myself.

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    Matt Q
    March 6, 2009 at 1:09 am

    My wife and I do almost all of our own landscaping and gardening. I’ve it’s a larger project, such with masonry aspects, I usually contract the job out.

    Either way, I need a new hat for yard work.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    We do it all the spring and summer cleanup, mowing, fertilizer by ourselves. Maybe that’s why we still have crab-grass? But we hire someone to clean up the leaves in the fall. We have a HUGE beech tree over our house that doesn’t shed its leaves until December, so we pay some to clean that up in the cold.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    we bought our 1st home mid-spring last year and this will be my first attempt to have a garden! looking forward to any upcoming posts regarding how to start one! love the site!

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    Ruven K.
    March 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I definitely do my own gardening and yardwork…couldn’t imagine paying someone for the experience I enjoy so much!

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    Sara H
    March 9, 2009 at 3:39 am

    I definately do my own gardening ! I can’t wait for it all to thaw so I can play in the dirt!

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