As you think about a new look in your home, and you’ve decided fresh paint will do the trick, you’ll want to take several factors into account. Architectural style, lighting, mood, and the purpose you have in mind for your space all play a role. Light and/or neutral shades are frequently recommended “for re-sale” or for brightening your space, so you may be thinking of a “white” – – – but there are so many shades and tones of “white” you may easily find the choices confusing.
This may help: If you start with a card of plain white primer (as basic a white as there is), it will help your eye compare other shades of white. As you hold up the other “white” options, you may notice some look more yellow or beige, blue or gray? You can narrow down the look you want as you compare them to the “white” primer.
The architectural style of your home can help you with the fine tuning: tradition Spanish homes, Craftsman homes, Victorian homes, ranch homes, and traditional rooms often can benefit more from warmer whites, creating a warmer and more serene setting. Modern contemporary rooms, Scandinavian designs and mid-century modern homes may look best in neutral and cooler whites.
Lighting is another factor to consider: fluorescent lighting tends to cast such a white light that you may want to consider a beige or warm white to create a more cozy and intimate effect. On the other hand, if your room doesn’t get much natural light (north rooms), warmer whites may give your space more life. South-facing rooms may benefit from cooler white tones to offset the additional light they receive.
These tips may help after you’ve narrowed your choices down:
- Tape paint chip cards of the same color together to create a larger “sample” to evaluate.
- Test the color in your home – at different times of day, on different days and with your lights on and off. If available, you could purchase small “sample” container of your paint choices so you can actually apply some to your walls to be sure you are happy with your paint choice BEFORE you take on the whole project.
Taking the time to be sure your white is the best white for you will pay dividends: you can have that new look you want while only painting your space once.