Skip to main content

How to Pick a Paint Color with a Color Wheel

Use a color wheel when selecting paint colors for your home as a surefire way to achieve harmonious results and create walls you'll love to look at.


  • Step 1: Take a cue from pros Take a cue from the pros when you pick paint colors for interiors or exteriors by beginning with a standard color wheel.
  • Step 2: Study color wheel relationships Study the relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary colors and understand that there are unlimited color options.
  • TIP: Harmonize exterior paint colors with your landscape and neighborhood.
  • Step 3: Choose monochromatic Choose a single color from the wheel, but vary the hue -- the lighter and darker versions of a color.
  • Step 4: Create a complementary scheme Create a complementary color scheme by picking paint colors in opposite positions on the color wheel, keeping in mind that the best results include a dominant color balanced by a subtle tone of the opposite color.
  • Step 5: Consider adjacent schemes Consider adjacent schemes using colors that are located next to one another on the color wheel and vary the color intensity.
  • Step 6: Build triadic Build a triadic scheme: 3 colors located in equidistant locations from one another on the color wheel. Use 2 as accent colors.
  • TIP: Take home chips of the colors you pick to make sure you like the way they look against your furnishings, woodwork, and carpets.
  • Step 7: Have confidence Have confidence in the color wheel as a tool, but always pick colors you like to create a home reflecting your distinct personality.
  • FACT: Early paint pigments included charcoal, dirt, and chalk.

You Will Need

  • Standard color wheel
  • Paint chips

Popular Categories