Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Painting Tip: Paint Samples on the Wall

We moved into a new house last year, and slowly, but surely, we're getting rid of the builder grade paint that was in every room.  Some of the challenge for me has been the fact that our ceilings upstairs are quite high, so in order to paint the bedrooms {and the foyer/stairwell} we will need to rent a taller ladder.  So, I've put off painting upstairs because of that, and we don't have money in the budget to just go out and buy paint for every room of the house at once.

For Christmas this year I asked for gift cards to Lowe's {exciting, I know} so that I could purchase some paint to finish up the girls' bedroom.  With a new baby on the way, and plans to decorate the nursery, I really owe it to my daughters to decorate their room first.  I've had the color scheme in mind since we moved in, and the major portion of their bedding was purchased at TJMaxx last year, but the walls remain bare, and there are absolutely no accessories anywhere!  First step, though, is the paint, which is the purpose for this post.

My number one tip in choosing paint colors is:  PAINT SAMPLES ON THE WALL BEFORE MAKING A COLOR DECISION!!  Colors look completely different on the wall than they do on the paint swatch that you pick out at the store.

When we purchased our first home, in 2007, I desperately wanted a Tuscan yellow kitchen.  So, I bought all of my paint, covered the walls of the kitchen, only to discover that what I was hoping would look like Tuscany looked like a bright yellow school bus!  Ugh!  If only I had known then what I know now!

We went to Lowe's on Monday to buy some samples of paint, and I really liked all 3 colors.  I painted a little swatch of each on the wall, then sat down on Isabella's bed to take a look, and HATED. EACH. ONE.  What did I do?  Naturally, I did what any woman would do:  I sobbed.  Yes, I know, that's very shallow.  And the more I was crying about my dislike of the paint colors, I started to cry about the fact that I was crying over paint.  Has anyone else cried over decor decisions, or am I just really lame??

Bradley agreed that the colors weren't right, and so back to Lowe's I went during the girls' nap time, to pick out two more paint samples and put those on the wall.  Ah, one seemed to work!  But, here comes in tip #2 with the samples.

Not only should you paint the samples on the wall, but it's also good to leave the colors up for a while, so that you can see what they look in different kinds of light.  I left mine up for about 24 hours before heading back to the store to purchase the one I had decided on.

I didn't get their room painted this week, as I had planned, but at least I have the paint, I bought some fabric for pillows and a window treatment, and hopefully their room will be finished by the end of this month {that's the goal at least}.

What painting tips do you have?


  1. These are great tips! One of the main things I'm excited about once we finally find a house is PAINTING! Actually not the actual job of painting, but having walls other colors than just white. I will definitely be coming back to remind myself of these tips... or I'll take you up on your offer to help with our house while I watch your kids :)

  2. This is a VERY good tip! While I did this when we bought our house back in 2007, I didn't wait for long enough afterwards to see the colors in different types of lighting. So, I am now stuck with 2 yellow rooms that I am not fond of, and a green room that turned out okay, but very different from what I had in mind. Yellow is just downright tricky, as you experienced. :-)

  3. HA HA HA. OH MY WORD. I did this all last week too with uor bedroom re-do!!! My walls looked like a crazy paint-swatch lady attacked. (Okay, maybe she did). I decided on gray-- ugh ugh -- the hardest color of them all. Every color I tried went purple or blue. I love painting so, it's finished now. I didn't cry, but I'm sure I ould have if I was pregnany. (I think my hubby DID cry when he stopped, on the way home from work, to buy the paint. cha-ching!)

  4. So which green is your pick?? :)

  5. It is a great blog for me, because I am starting my home painting task from next month. Thanks for these tips!
    Toronto Painters


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