We are heading into week 6 of renovations. I can’t even believe it’s been 6 weeks already! We are really starting to hit our stride with progress, but there are things that are still very slow. Like getting the contractor to come install a window. Just one window, that’s all I ask of you, Juan. He told us he’d be there at 7:30AM. Was he there at 7:30AM? No.
There are a lot of things in the renovation process that you cannot control (very hard for me), so it’s important to take a deep breath and focus on the things you can control (like your attitude). One of the things I can control is picking paint colors, so I decided to have some fun with it.
I think for a lot of us paint is a hard decision. I mean, where do you even begin! What’s worse is, you can be so set on a color, purchase a gallon of it, throw some up on the walls only to realize you’ve made a horrible mistake.
I’m sure there are lots of ways to find the “perfect” color, but for this post I’m showing you my process for how I narrowed down 30 potential colors to 5 favorites.
6 Steps to Pick Paint Colors
1. Mood Board
Before you begin thought, I highly recommend creating a mood board on pinterest to see what colors you are drawn to. Are you re-pinning the same color over and over? Do you love the white wall trend or are you more of a color person? Make a mental note of these things and think about what you actually like. When I created my mood board I found that I love Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia line of paints. These are beautiful colors and just my style! I kept these in mind when heading to the paint store and it made it a lot easier to figure out what I liked!
2. At a Glance Picks
Once I had a general Idea of what I liked, I headed to the paint store. I started by picking 20 – 30 “at a glance” picks. Basically, I looked through the color chip section and if I liked it, I grabbed it. Any color, didn’t matter. I didn’t worry about color matching, or undertones — I just chose any colors that I thought I might like based on what I already knew from my mood board.
3. Color Groupings
Once I picked my “at a glance” colors, I noticed I grabbed some that were in the same color family. I grabbed mostly grays, whites, and other soft neutrals. I then started grouping them together. All my grays went in a pile, all my whites went in a pile, so on and so forth. This is where I really started seeing the differences in undertones. Some of the whites I chose were actually kind of yellow, others were more pink. Putting them in a group helped me see that.
4. Choose Favorites
My next step was to go through and find my favorites. After seeing the undertones, there were some I was able to eliminate. Any grays that looked to purple, or any whites that were too yellow or pink were out! I started laying some of my favorites together, and was eventually able to put 16 or so together into a group I liked. There were multiple grays still, and multiple whites, but these were the ones I was interested to see on my walls.
5. Buy Samples
By the time it was said and done, I walked out with 16 cans of samples. It’s impossible to tell from a paint chip, what the color will look like on the wall so I went a little overboard. Samples are cheap and worth the investment!
6. Paint a Swatch & Test It
Here is the most important part of the process that really helped me find my “true colors”– (cue Phil Collins). I painted swatches, and not just one — multiple, all over the room. One tiny square of color was not enough for me to tell what the colors would look like. I did multiple coats so I could really get a good feel for the color. Then I came back at various times in the day when the lighting was different to see how the colors changed. Maybe this is news to you, but light changes the color of things. For instance, there is a gray color that I thought I would love for our Master Bedroom, but in the morning light it looked positively pink! Not the shade I want. If you really want to see what a color will look like in your room, spend a few days observing at different times of the day.
In the end, I found 5 swathes that I loved on paper AND on my walls. Here they are!
My Paint Picks
- Greenblack by Sherwin-Williams
- Homburg Gray by Sherwin-Williams
- Pewter Tankard by Sherwin-Williams
- Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
- Repose Gray by Sherwin-Williams
I hope this helps you on your next painting adventure! If you have experience and tips for how to pick paint colors I would love to hear your process! Leave a comment in the box below!