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How To Choose Interior Paint Colours

Updated: Apr 6

How to choose paint colours for interiors, a quick guide for choosing paint colours for interior walls without using an interior designer

In this step by step guide we simplify how to choose colours for interiors. We often have a vague idea of what colours we like, it's the fine tuning to get the perfect colour for our interiors that often sends us into a spin.

Biggest mistakes made when choosing colours

We could have called this part "what not to do" but this is the part that most people actually do. Lets set the scene, you decided on two, three or maybe four colours. The next step is to get sample pots to test the colours.

mistakes made choosing paint colours for interiors, with too many samples colours painted next to each other on a wall

The biggest mistake, by far, is putting sample colours next to each other. Our eyes and minds start to change the shades of adjacent colours placed too close together. The solution is simple, apply your paint samples to sizable sheets of lining paper and stick them to the walls. Putting large distances between samples or different walls completely is preferable to reduce the distractions. Pro Tip- avoid using Blu Tack to put samples on the walls, this can leave small oil residue marks which can show through fresh paint finishes, if you already have Blu Tack stains click here for how to solve the issue.

Give new colours time to work with you

Now you have sample colours on walls, be patient, see what morning light does for the colour, afternoon light and even artificial light in the evening. Try moving your paint samples to different walls or even different rooms, the differences may surprise you.

Making big colour changes to rooms

Making the colour on the wall look like the sample you love can get distorted if your base colour is vastly different. For example, your base colour is a dark green and you're new colour is a neutral grey, the base green colour will often tamper with the new colour. The solution, buy a simple matt white paint and give the walls a quick coat or two, this will neutralise the base colour and give you a nice blank canvas to start again.

Don't be afraid of colour

Small sample colour patches can often make us fear strong or bold colours, it's hard to visualise a whole wall or room and sometimes it's easier to shy away from a striking change. Dark colours loose their impact over large surfaces.

Painters and decorators in Mawgan Porth, Nr Newquay, Cornwall painting and decorating the interior of a waterfront home with fabulous Cornish sea views over Mawgan Porth Beach
A recently decorated home In Mawgan Porth, Nr Newquay, Cornwall

In the example above there are three colours, the end wall is Dulux Natural Slate, the side walls are Dulux Misty Mirror and the ceilings are white. When our client looked at the colour samples there was a fear the room would be too dark as the samples looked so strong against white, however the overall effect is far less dramatic than anticipated and very appealing.

When to use warm neutral colours
Painters and decorators in Newquay, Cornwall, painting warm Neutral tones of grey on wall with accents of white door frames in an apartment

If you're looking to rent a property out as a landlord or selling a property, never over personalise, warm neutrals are the tones that suit most furnishings, are very pleasing to the eye and add space to a property. For some guidance on painting a rental property click here.

We hope this guide was useful, for more pro tips on painting & decorating simply click here.

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