How To Choose Paint Colors


When children are young, you don’t have to try to convince them to color.  They dive right in, jumping from one crayon to the next, adding color to their unique creationS. Coloring inside or outside the lines can be a free-spirited time of adventure for them. Sometimes these works of art stay on the fridge for a long time; others never quite make it there. But for some reason, adults have a lot harder time choosing a color for their home than they did when selecting crayons as a child.

Below, we’ll discuss why color is essential in the home, things to consider when choosing a color, how color is affected by light, and options for getting help choosing a color.

The Power of Color


There is certainly more at stake in picking colors for your home than what goes on a piece of paper, but the creative process should be just as carefree and painless.  That’s where getting help from others can make a difference.  Perhaps you consult a friend who has a decorative flair, maybe you check online for the latest color pallets.  You can also pop into a paint store or decorating center for a wide variety of options.

Why so much uncertainty about color?  What difference does it make anyway?  It’s hard to comprehend, but color influences our mood and can evoke certain feelings.  Some colors are soothing and peaceful, others are rich and complex, and others are fun and happy.  The color you paint a room can have a significant impact on how you experience your home.

But the wall color also needs to be selected with the rest of your décor in mind.  What does your room layout and décor currently communicate about you and your home?  How will the color complement or enhance the feeling in the room?  Will it match?  When picking a color, you might ask, do you want to enhance the feeling you already get living in that room, or do you want to change it in some way?

WOOSTER R975-9 Roller and Tray Kit

The Science of Color

The color you see is the result of light hitting an object and reflecting back some spectrum of visible light or color and absorbing other colors of the spectrum. Therefore, the color you see is dramatically affected by the light striking that wall or object.

Incandescent, fluorescent, LED all these light types have different color properties. Different types of lighting within each of those technologies have dramatic differences in the color they produce, and therefore the color that you see. Daylight has a different effect than any artificial light, so when choosing a color, it’s important to look at the color in full sun and the evening if the room has windows.

It’s also important to check the color in various parts of the room. How does it look up high or down low or in the corner of the room? Each color is unique and has its own properties. Color takes on its own character as the moves throughout the room. It’s always important to view the color in various areas and throughout the day.  Color is also affected by the colors around it.  That’s why when selecting a color, it’s often important to start evaluating options on a white background to get the purest representation of that color.

Purdy White Dove 14C811000 Painters Roller and Tray Set, 6-Piece

Selecting Your Color


Fortunately, there are tools and resources to help choose a color. One tool we love at Koopman Paint is the Affinity fan deck from Benjamin Moore. It consists of 144 colors that are all complimentary.  You can use this deck to pick a wall, trim, and accent color, knowing that all the colors will work together.  This tool is also great for homes with open floor plans where you want to use colors in the different areas that are complimentary. 

We have found the Affinity Collection to calm a lot of anxiety in people selecting a color.  There are other tools in each of our six paint stores, as well as staff that help people choose color every day. One of these tools includes the 18”x18” “Big Chips,” which are available in each store. They are convenient to stick up on the wall or hold next to furnishings to get a much better feel for how a color will look in your surroundings.

When you’ve narrowed down your options, you can also purchase a pint-size sample jar of almost any color you can imagine. This small sample will allow you to test different colors on the soon-to-be-painted surface. This is a great way to experiment with color where you can live with it for a few days and see if you like it before painting the whole room.

Linzer A1510 Chip Brush Set, 3-Brush


Hire a Color Consultant

Finally, a growing trend is to have a color specialist come to your home to help you in your selection and allow the color to bring out your personality. Almost everyone who makes the $85 investment in an hour with a specialist is glad they did. A professional considers your unique nature, your décor, and your wishes for your home and offer suggestions that will achieve what you want. 

This way, everything that goes into a color selection can be considered. A color specialist will educate you about why it is that you like a color, what is in the color, and how the color relates to everything in your home. They help you achieve color combinations that are pleasing to the eye. Picking a color is a personal experience, and a specialist has the knowledge and expertise to help select the best color that is right for you.

So consider your options. Don’t be afraid. From painting that basement bathroom to that great spacious room, we have the resources you need to make a decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.

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