The System in Selecting the Right Paint Color

The number one question I get from my clients and friends is “What color should I paint my walls?”  Which is an excellent question to ask a designer but is the hardest question to answer.  Yet throughout the years I have created a detailed system to make sure the wall color that is selected is spot on!

Have you ever walked into a room that was beautifully done and felt something was off?  Well, it could be because the wall color was the wrong shade and was throwing everything else off in the room.  Selecting the right paint color is a crucial thing I do in my business and I don’t take this task lightly.  I have strict rules in my system when selecting a paint color and hardly ever stray away from this system as it has turned out to be critical in selecting the right color.

My first rule is I must be in the room in order to select a color.  Natural light and artificial light in a room will play a huge role in selecting the right color.  The other reason is I have to see the architectural materials or the “not replacing” elements that are already existing in the room.  It is one of the hardest things to select a color without being present in the room.  Of course, I have a list of my favorite colors that I like to use but without seeing the architectural elements like the fireplace stone or flooring it’s really had to select a color that will be the right hue in that room.  And, selecting the right hue is critical as you don’t want to find a color that enhances the pink undertone in the stone fireplace or select a purple-gray when the countertops really have a more blue-gray undertone.  Another reason is I like to see your actual furnishings in the room.  Those items can always be replaced or tweaked but most likely they will be staying in the room and it is nice to find a color that enhances these items.

My second rule is I will always order larger samples or put a 4’x4′ sample of paint up on the wall. When I select colors for a client I’m using my color wheel from particular vendors but most of the time these color wheels are showing a small sample of the color.  Once I see a larger sample or place it up on the walls I’m able to see the “true” color of that paint.  You will see right away the undertones of that color, how the color looks in the lighting of the room and ultimately if it’s the right fit for your room.

The final rule is to get a professional to paint!  I know sometimes you need to save some money but in this case, time is money.  It will take you twice maybe three times longer to paint a couple rooms versus hiring a professional.   Another reason is the professional will make sure the walls are fully prepped for paint.  Some walls need to be sanded or primed in order to put the paint on smoothly. I’ve learned this the hard way and will never use a non-professional to finish my next projects.

If you are interested in learning more on this topic I would recommend reading blogs from the paint guru specialist, Maria Killam.  She is a color specialist and writes the blog “Colour Me Happy”. She has a great way of breaking down this complex process in selecting colors and making others understand why it’s so important to select the right paint colors.  I’ve linked her latest blog post down below which is about the color trend for 2018.

One more thing…I’ve recently adjusted a few things on my website.  My website has been a working progress but I have to say I’m thrilled with the final outcome.  We’ve also been trying to send out quality content on a weekly basis through our blog.  We would love if you subscribe to our newsletter and we will make sure you get our blogs the moment they come out.  Also, if you sign up I’ll send you a list of my  “2017 Favorite Paint colors.”   It’s a great starting point in finding the right paint color for your rooms and then use the above techniques to make sure it’s a perfect fit!


Lisa Mo xo

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