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Deciding what colors to paint your interior walls isn’t easy. Since you have to live with your decision you want to make sure you get it right. Interior paint colors have more to do with your personal preferences, than what the neighbors think. But if you are selling you may want to stick to neutrals so potential homeowners aren’t scared off by your color choices!

If you want to get it right the first time, have a read of these tips for choosing interior paint colors.

1. Think about furniture and decor

If your furniture and decor are staying put, then consider colors that compliment them. It’s a lot easier to choose a paint color to go with furniture and decor than the other way around. They also give you a basis for the range of colors you can go for.

A bright blue couch will demand a more neutral color for the walls, while a beige lounge suite means you can go bolder on your walls.

2. Create a mood board

Don’t just go to a paint shop and expect the perfect color to leap out at you. You need to do a little research. Sites like Pinterest are great for collecting images of rooms with wall paint colors you like. After you’ve collected around a dozen you’ll have a good feel for the colors you’re drawn to.

3. If in doubt, go with neutrals

There’s nothing boring about neutral home paint colors. These can be the best wall paint colors if you’re putting your home on the market. Warm white or grey neutral tones give buyers a base to swap out furniture with bright fabrics and patterns, and introduce accessories with vibrant colors.

Painting all the walls a stark white might be a little clinical, but again it’s about what you feel comfortable with. If you have a minimalist, modern home then this might suit the aesthetic and look stunning.

4. Use tester pots

Tester pots are your best friends. Buying a small sample of your chosen color lets you see how it looks on the wall without buying gallons of the wrong color. Paint colors can look very different once applied and dried. How the color looks at different times of the day and in different lights might also surprise you.

If you’re thinking of a bold color for an accent wall or a bathroom vanity, then buy a few testers in lighter or darker shades on the same color strip. You can always paint over a tester area that’s darker with a lighter shade.

5. Use interior decorator rules

A standard recipe for decorating is to use darker colors on floors, medium colors on walls and lighter colors on ceilings. Another is to use the color ratio of 60 – 30 – 10 (walls – furniture – accessories) to ensure balance.

Often interior decorators will ask owners what colors they like to dress in. It makes sense to then dress your rooms in colors that you like to wear and which flatter you.

6. Paint sheen can make a difference

The sheen you choose for your paint color is also important. A satin or semi-gloss enamel on lounge walls will show up minor flaws but is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens as marks are wiped off easily. If in doubt, talk to a professional at your local paint store, they’ll recommend the best paint sheen for your space.

7. Add depth and interest with color

Painting your entire house the same color of beige might be easy but it can also be a bit boring. By going a few shades lighter or darker in a room or a focal wall you can add more depth and interest. Also consider timeless pairings, such as black and white, that can be accented with color or metallics.

If you are planning to use a few different colors, limit your palette to just three, four at the max, to keep it from looking too busy.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day the opinions of others don’t really matter when it comes to interior paint colors. You are the one who is going to have to live with your choices, and if you love them, then who cares what anyone else says?

About the Author

Angela Pearse is a blogger for Zumper who frequently combines travel with freelance writing. She’s passionate about Art Deco hotels, historical novels, Netflix, hiking and healthy living.

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