Picking the Best Paint Color for Your Home or Business

Ah yes, picking paint colors. Some peoples favorite thing to do and others worst nightmare.

How does one go about doing this so you are internally beaming and not brimming with frustration while watching your budget dwindle?

It would be great if we all understood color theory however, it is an art within its self and is usually reserved for the fine art painters and illustrators of the world.

We have to start somewhere, so how about understanding if you like cool colors or warm colors.  Warm colors are often said to be hues from red through yellow, browns and tans included. Cool colors are often said to be hues from blue green through blue violet, most grey's included.

Cool colors are to the left and warm colors are to the right.

Cool colors are to the left and warm colors are to the right.


One of my "go to" paint manufacturers is Benjamin Moore mainly due to the fact that they have a huge selection of colors. These colors are primarily separated into two decks which represent warm tones/hues named Classic Colors and the cool tones/hues named Color Preview.

Once you have located about four to five options (yes I'm serious!) of the paint color you desire, order large cards or samples from the manufactures web site or the paint supplier in your area. So just to clarify, some times these cards are approximately  3.5"x6.5"  and is pre-colored by the manufacturer.  Some times the card samples are referred to as draw down cards, which you or your local paint store can paint the sample of paint onto. The supplier should sell these "cards" and you can make your own large sample on them. Use multiple coats of paint to resemble the coverage and sheen you are seeking. Here is the link to order the larger pre colored cards through Benjamin Moore.

Images of larger Paint Cards/Chips.

Images of larger Paint Cards/Chips.


The next step is to place 1 card of the same color, on each wall and view it throughout the day into the night with all different types of lighting.  This will show you how the color reads or looks in your interior/exterior. 

I know a lot of designers who purchase little pints of paint and paint the samples or swatches up on the wall of the project.  It is risky to do this for many reasons : 1. you might need a tinted primer if you are using a saturated color to reach the actual paint sample color 2. usually only one wall is utilized 3. you will need the paint of the original color of the wall, if you decide on nothing. 4. If there is a tint on the wall which you are painting your sample, it will change the sample color due to the hue of the paint underneath and more importantly, next to the new color.  With multiple card samples in different areas, you will be able to make a decision.

Okay, you did take all of my advice and you have selected a color.  Now you are ready for all prep to take place and finally paint... Hallelujah!