Color Ideas for Painting Walls


Each room in your home will take on its own personality. You will want the color of the walls to match the personality of the room. There are several ways you can go about doing this. When you are finished, you will have a room that you can't wait to show off to your friends and family; it may even inspire them and give them some color ideas for painting their own walls.

  • Go to your local Home Depot or Lowe's and pick up a Color Samples Palette. This palette can be a set of twenty shades of a specific color, or it can be a large two hundred and fifty palette with every color shade you can think of. You can hold this color pallete up against your walls to see which shade looks best in the room you want to paint. You can also use the pallete to pick a complimenting shade for the trim.

  • Find a focus object in your room that can become the inspiration for your wall color. You will see this technique used on many designing shows. You may have a couch with some swirls of burgandy in it. Take one of the couch cushions with you to Home Depot or Lowes and have them match the color. They have the technology to do that and give you the number of gallons you need to paint your walls.

  • Request some color samples. These are baby paint cans. Some stores will offer them for free and other stores will charge a small fee for each one. Take your paint brush and stroke one line of each of the sample paints on the wall. This will give you a first hand view of what your wall would look like in that color. You can then pick the one that goes best in that room.

  • Get opinions from others. This will work for your children's bedrooms. Have your child tell you what color they are looking for the walls in their bedroom. Show them some of the shades of that color and have them pick a shade for the wall and another shade for the trim. If your child doesn't have a favorite color, you can help them find a color that works for them by asking them what their favorite animal is or what their favorite toy is. Match the color of the animal or toy to one of the color samples from the palette.

  • Choose dark color shades for rooms that you want to have a feeling of warmth. Dark shades are inviting and even romantic. They work great in studies and dining rooms. Use the color palette to pick the wall color with a complementing shade for the trim.

  • Choose lighter color shades for rooms that you want to make seem larger in size. Lighter colors also bring about a feeling of happiness. Light colors look great in bathrooms and in livingrooms.

  • Use a darker color on the bottom half of your wall and a lighter color on the top. The lighter color on the top will make the ceiling seem higher. Separate the colors with a piece of chair rail. These two colors do not need to be from the same family. For example, you can have the bottom color gray with the top color yellow. Choose the colors based on the furniture in the room you want to paint. If your furniture is blue, you don't want to paint the walls purple.

  • Explore color options with ColorSmart. This is an online service from Behr. See the resource box below for the link. You can instantly see every color that is available in Behr paint. You can narrow in further and further until you find the exact shade of color you are looking for. With this service you can even order the sample color palettes you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't spend too much time worrying that you will make a color mistake. You can always prime and paint over a color if you don't like it.

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  • Photo Credit Dan Shirley
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