TIPS: Wall Paint Samples

Painting the walls (or cabinets) is great way to give your home a fresh new look on a budget. Picking a new colour can be both exciting and overwhelming so come to the paint store with fabric swatches, tile/counter samples, flooring offcuts or your favourite accessory/art piece and don’t forget to ask the staff for help.   Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, one the best ways to make a decision is to sample the actual paint on the walls.  Lighting in your home can dramatically change the way a colour looks.  Plus, paint cards are printed with ink on paper and can often be only an approximations of the actual shade.

Before you take out your paint brush, here are some handy tips.  Paint a large swatch, preferably 4’x4′ and do at least two coats to make sure your sample fully hides the existing wall paint colour.  If you’re sampling a bold colour (or going over a darker shade) paint at least three coats to ensure full cover.  Because lighting can change the way we see colour, I usually recommend painting a swatch on a wall opposite a window and in the corner of the room then evaluate at different times of day and in both natural and artificial light.  Paint next to an architectural feature like molding, next to the floor (don’t forget that counts as a colour too) or behind your favourite piece of furniture.  If you’re sampling more than one colour, space your swatches at least 4 feet apart so your eye can focus on one colour at a time without getting confused.

Picking a new wall colour for the bedroom?  Make sure you look at the samples at night with the lights on and first thing in the morning.  After all, that’s when we’ll see those walls the most.

If you want to sample a colour without painting the walls, find a large piece of foam board, paint enough coats for full coverage and move the boards around the room to see how the shade fits into your home.

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