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Do's and Don'ts for Selecting Paint Color

Patricia Justice Designs tips for selecting home paint color
Do's and Don't of selecting paint colors for you home

Hi friend,

As a double certified color specialist, I see many people make mistakes when making color selections for their home. I’ll keep this short and sweet, but here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that hopefully will help you when making paint color selections for your home.

1. DON’T purchase paint after only looking at color chips in the store. You are in a store, not your own home, and the store’s lighting (often fluorescent type) and all the other surrounding elements can really throw off how you see that color.

2. DO look at them in your own home with your lighting, etc. DO look at the existing elements in your home - countertops, tile, art, furniture, flooring, fabrics and textiles such as rugs that you may incorporate.

kitchen countertop modern look stainless steel appliances

tile samples for kitchen and bathroom

On a side note, as a pro, I can access larger paint swatches to bring with me to client color consultations, when the time comes that you may need me. I also know what color hues these colors can be from, plus have a trained eye which can be super helpful.

3. DON’T look at a color online and think it will look the same in your home. Sometimes your computer screen will portray a color differently, or someone may have “brightened” or enhanced a picture with that color in it for better viewing, etc. You can use what you see to get ideas, but just going out and buying a gallon of paint because it looks good in your neighbor’s house or online can really bring both surprise and disappointment when you see it on your own walls. Your lighting, your style, and your elements are all to be considered.

I remember once seeing a beautiful color I saw in one of the Ben Moore brochures, loved it, and then when I saw the actual paint swatch, it shocked me that the actual color looked nothing like the picture!

4. DON’T Put swatches all over your walls over top of your current existing color. This can really confuse you as the colors can bounce off/reflect off each other. You CAN prime a wall and test colors that way, but don’t put them all beside each other. Try the color in different areas of the room as light will shift throughout the day.

family choosing paint colors blues in home stock

5. DO test your color selection(s)- here’s how: Roll 2 coats on a large piece of Posterboard, etc. Leave about a 1” margin around the sides. Then you can use that as your test swatch.

exterior paint color stock photo

Lastly, we all can see color differently, and also, as we age, how we view color can also change. My husband has some kind of mild color blindness, so I would never trust him to pick out a color, as much as I love him! If he were living alone, then more power to him if he wanted to pick something on his own!

pinks and reds paint swatches house interior color

Anyway, I hope you are doing well, and as we “spring” into the season, if you need a virtual or in-person color or design consultation.

Let me know what spring project(s) you are working on! I love to hear from my people through email. We are all family here!


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