Many of my calls are from clients that have had a bad paint result or are just frustrated and overwhelmed with picking a color… There are so many resources for paint.. many my clients have spent hours on the internet in search of the best grays or the hottest trends.  While this is helpful and inspirational, it doesn’t always address the specifics of their home, and can many times end in disaster. 

Here are the 6 biggest Mistakes I see my clients make when choosing paint color:

Mistake 1

All whites are treated equal.  Although all whites appear to be the same, they are probably the most difficult colors to work.  There are numerous undertones of whites and sometimes it’s very subtle unless compared to another white… which leads me to…

Mistake 2

Not matching undertones.  Undertones are colors that emerge when comparing one color to another.  Undertones can make a dated kitchen look even more dated or can bring an old, tired kitchen to life. It’s all about matching the undertones in the cabinets and trim with the undertones in the paint color to achieve a desired result.  I’ve never had a client ask for me to choose a kitchen paint color that makes it appear like a 70’s throwback kitchen.  But you never know!

Mistake 3

No Patience.  Paint needs to be viewed on a wall in many different conditions.  Daylight, Evening, Cloudy days and sunny days will all affect the perceived color of the paint.  For this reason, you should not be to quick to decide and live with a sample for several days before choosing.

Mistake 4

Putting Paint Samples Next To Each Other.  Putting up multiple colors right next to each other, complicates the decision. You compare the colors to each other rather than comparing to permanent objects in the room like trim and flooring.  Each color should be viewed on the wall by itself to get the full benefit of how the color will look in the space.

Mistake 5

Too Many Colors.  There are ways to accent a space while still keeping it classy.  Accent walls can be used to enhance a space, but it’s not always right for every situation.  If done incorrectly it ends up looking cheap and dated. The proper paint palette and application will create a purposeful flow from room to room and not choppy breaks in the visual field.  These multiple colors and breaks create anxiety and can be unsettling rather than draw you easily through a space.

Mistake 6

Clients don’t go Bold.  Being a lover of color, I love bold accent colors and bright, fun colors.  Don’t be afraid to paint with bold colors but be aware of the space.  You can use bold colors in a room where you want the space to appear smaller and cozier to create warmth.  You can also use bolds to feature some great architecture!  Don’t be scared but be purposeful.

Color can be your new BFF or worst Frenemy! Have fun with it, but most of all pick something you can live with and a color that makes you happy!

Cathy Di Leo

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