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How to Choose Wall Paint Colors

Learn to combine a vivid imagination with good paint sense to choose the right colors for your walls and feel good about your surroundings.


  • Step 1: Think about mood Think about the function and mood of each room. If a bedroom, think soft, cool colors. If a kitchen, think social gatherings and cooking projects and choose bold, energetic colors.
  • TIP: Natural light will highlight bright colors, while fluorescent lighting will darken colors. Incandescent lights will warm most colors.
  • Step 2: Consider space Consider the room’s size. Darker colors make rooms and spaces seem smaller, while lighter colors add depth, making them seem larger.
  • Step 3: Consider height Consider the room’s height. Painting a ceiling white will add height, making it seem open and airy. A darker ceiling will make the room feel cozier and smaller.
  • Step 4: Experiment with color Experiment with the color you want to use by painting a small area, a spot between rooms, or even a piece of poster board – hold the poster board against a wall in the room to see how it looks.
  • Step 5: Use variations of the same color Use variations of the same color throughout several rooms to provide balance and flow, using primary and secondary colors or blending with white to shade.
  • Step 6: Use different proportions Use different paint proportions to create variety, such as mid-tones combined with darker shades, and dark shades combined with pale tints.
  • FACT: Did you know? Brain research confirms that color has an emotional effect on the brain, and is often a factor in the design of schools and work environments.

You Will Need

  • Knowledge about each room
  • Paint
  • Poster board

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