My Top Paint Selecting Tips

Paint is one of my favorite ways to update a space on a budget and within a relatively quick turnaround. Whether you plan to hire it out or paint on your, it's definitely an update that can stop you in your tracks because the results can be that good!

Paint is also really easy to screw up - no pressure or anything! No but seriously, paint is a super easy cosmetic update but it's important to follow some basic guidelines while you're in the decision making phase. Often times people don't take into account the different factors that can ultimately make your fresh, new paint job come out not so great or even worse, not how you imagined. 

Thankfully for you guys, I've outlined my top tips for selecting paint! Let's dive in, shall we? 


How many paint colors should I choose from and ultimately sample?

I am all about options but when it comes to selecting finishing for a home, I like to keep things as far from overwhelming as possible. Once you've come up with a color direction, allow yourself no more than 5 colors to sample out. This should give you enough to feel as though you've seen a good amount but not too many that your entire wall is covered in 20 different samples thus making it even harder to decide. 


Always, always, always sample your top choices before selecting your final color. 

This is a bit of a loaded one, but I’ve broken down what I’d suggest doing when it comes to paint color sampling. See below!

  • You can totally sample the paint colors right on the wall but if you want the most accurate view of the colors, then I’d suggest taking the extra step and sampling each color on its own white piece of poster board. 
  • How big should the paint sample be? You’ll want the paint color itself to be at least 10”x12” or 10”x14”. A 12”x12” sample is even fine too. I wouldn’t suggest any smaller as you want to get the best possible idea of what the color actually looks like.
  • Why test on the poster board? By testing on the poster board versus directly on the wall where you’d likely be sampling over another color, you’ll see the color in its true state. Often times when you sample paint colors on top of existing wall colors, your eye will pick up the existing wall color behind the new sample which could result in the paint color appearing different once it’s painted on the wall by your painter or even you. 
  • Do I cover the entire piece of poster board? No. You’ll want to leave about 2”-3” of space around the paint sample and the edge of the poster-board. This also helps your eye see what the paint color looks like in its truest state and not directly next to another paint color that may not compliment it well. See the attachment below for a visual!
  • Sample the paint colors in a few different spaces. If you plan on sampling your paint colors on poster board like I mentioned above, you’re able to move the poster board pieces around to different walls...easy peasy! By seeing the paint samples on different walls, you’re able to see the different ways that the colors appear in light, both natural and not natural light. So, view the paint samples during the day and at night. I can’t tell you how times I’ve heard, “wow this color looks so different at night”. To avoid the color shock, be sure to view your samples at all hours of the day. : )
HOP_Testing Paint Colors.jpg


Consider Paint Finish

This is definitely something that some people can easily overlook. Below is a breakdown of paint finishes and where they should be used. Remember, people have their own opinions but these are general guidelines that should help clarify the basics and what I'd recommend!

I hope you've found my tips helpful! 

Thanks for reading, 

Candace XO

Are you looking to paint a space (or even several!) in your home and you're feeling overwhelmed?

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