How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

You’ve decided that it’s time for a color change in your home and want to repaint. That’s great! At Grayco, we have all the equipment and supplies you’ll need to properly paint your interiors and have your home looking vibrant and beautiful.

However, deciding to paint is only the first step in your project. Deciding on your color scheme is your next step, yet most homeowners aren’t sure what colors to choose for their home. Today, we’re going to help you understand the guidelines designers use to create beautiful interiors—so you can find the best paint colors for your home.

Oil vs Latex Paint

First, you should decide whether to use oil or latex paint. Oil paint takes longer to dry but is preferable to latex for priming wood trim and moldings. Latex paint dries quicker, is easy to clean up and will last for a long time. Additionally, latex paint is typically resistant to fading and won’t blister as easily as oil paint. Using an oil-based primer on your trim and moldings and a latex for your main coat is recommended.

Choose Your Finish

Next, you should select your finish. Common paint finishes include high gloss, semi-gloss, stain sheen, and flat or matte:

  • High Gloss. A high gloss paint is preferable in places where your walls may encounter greasy stains—like your kitchen—since these finishes will clean easily while giving off a bright shine.
  • SemiGloss. Semi-gloss is also recommended for places like kitchens and bathrooms since it will wipe down quickly and gives off less shine than high gloss.
  • Satin Sheen. Satin sheen can also be used if you need some gloss without much shine.
  • Flat / Matte. Flat or matte paints should be used in rooms where your walls won’t encounter serious dirt or staining since they tend to not clean as well.

Select Your Color Scheme

Once you’ve found the right paint and selected the right finish, you can start deciding what paint colors you’d like to use. There are a few simple principles you should follow to make sure your colors don’t clash and your room looks beautiful.

The basic color wheel involves the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and the secondary colors (green, purple, and orange). Secondary colors are formed by combining two primary colors together and sit opposite the unused primary color on the wheel. For example, green is made by combining yellow and blue and sits opposite red on the color wheel. As a result, green and red are complementary colors, meaning they tend to work well together in a color scheme.

Passive, Active, and Neutral Colors

Colors are available in a variety of hues, tones, tints, and shades that can be matched to fit a certain aesthetic. Colors also tend to be divided between neutral, passive, and active colors to identify appropriate colors for certain aesthetics. Passive colors are calming and soothing, tend to be greens and blues in soft tones, and create visual space. Active colors are typically reds and yellows, are bright and warm in tone, and are visually stimulating.

Neutral colors are normally whites, grays, blacks, and browns, and tend to accentuate the other colors being used in the scheme. Shades of white are by far the most common colors used to paint interiors since they can match well with other colors and create visually spacious rooms. Darker brown colors, on the other hand, set a commanding tone for a room and offer visual richness.

Common Color Schemes

Typically, a room’s color scheme will either be calming or energetic. When deciding what colors to use, it is important to take account of the furnishings within the space and their respective colors to ensure a proper match. Additionally, finding a visual centerpiece for the room and matching the color scheme with the centerpiece is a great way to find color inspiration.

For soothing and calming schemes, we recommend sticking to a monochromatic look by selecting a variety of hues within the same shade. Start with a darker main shade for your walls and match it with lighter shades on your trim. Tranquil colors include cool pastels, soft blues, and purples like lavender, while lighter shades of warmer colors can also create a calming atmosphere.

For a more energetic design, we recommend using bold colors and shades like reds and oranges. Finding a few hues in a certain shade and matching them with a complementary color on the opposite side of the wheel is a standard way of creating contrast without having your colors clash. You can also achieve contrast by selecting two colors next to each other on the wheel.

Find Paint Supplies at Grayco

These are just two examples of how to choose paint colors for your home using simple color theory. Following these basic principles, you can be as creative as you want. At Grayco, we have everything you need to paint your home, from high quality paints to all the tools and supplies. Our knowledgeable staff can also help you decide on the right finishes and colors for your space. From spaces where you want to create energy to calm, secluded spots, there are infinite possibilities for your color story.

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