2014-06-11 / Columnists

The color dilemma

by Tresa Erickson

Most of us have been there, done that—perusing paint chips for days on end, selecting a few colors, applying them to the walls and hating the results. We don’t have the time, money or desire for a redo, so we tell ourselves to live with the paint colors for a while to see if they grow on us. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t, and we go through the process all over again or just learn to live with what’s there. How can we ensure we pick the right paint colors the first time around?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to ensure you pick the right paint colors thefi'rst time around.There are some things you can do to improve your odds, however. Will it be a place to relax and watch TV, a place to gather with others and eat or a place to study and work? If you want to use the room primarily as a place to relax, for example, reds and yellows might not be a good choice, as these will evoke energy and passion. A soft brown or blue, on the other hand, might do just the trick.

Shop around for paint colors. Go to several stores and select as many paint chips as possible. Bring them home, take them to the room you plan to paint and lay them all out on a table. Look at them at various times of the day and in various lighting conditions. Toss out the chips you don’t like and tape the ones remaining to the wall where you can see them throughout the day.

Narrow your choices until you have 10 or less.Then research the paint brands andfind out how they stack up against each other. Choose the top ones and make sure the colors of choice come in the type offinish you desire. You might not be able tofind that sassy hot pink orfiesta lime green in the eggshellfinish you want. Finally, get some paint samples. Apply your samples to the wall near each other and check them out at various times of the day under various lighting conditions.

Continue narrowing your color choices until you have the exact palette you want. If you’re still undecided, consider painting some wallboards in the colors in question.Then set the wallboards along the walls in the room you plan to paint and live with them for a while to see which ones appeal to you most. With any luck, you will soon know what you want and love the results!

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