Tuesday Tip: Practical Paint Color Advice

by Landis Carey on April 5, 2011

Last night I was browsing the In Style April issue, the one with Tina Fey on the cover, and I came across a brilliant tip about simplifying what can be the complicated process of picking paint colors. I realized I’m doing something very similar in our home, so I thought I’d share.

If you’re interested in painting several rooms that flow together or even adjoining ones and you don’t want too much variance or too much similarity, choosing a lighter tint and a darker shade from the same paint chip is a great option.

For example, we chose Benjamin Moore’s Shadow Gray for our living and sun rooms and I’m currently in the process of painting our kitchen Sweet Innocence. They are both cool grays that have an undertone of blue and they work perfectly with the Benjamin Moore Surf Blue in our dining room.

Sweet Innocence is great for the kitchen because it keeps the space bright and airy while covering the dirt smudges that have multiplied on the white walls since moving in a year ago. I love Shadow Gray in our living area because its darker shade beautifully contrasts with the rooms’ woodwork and makes it pop. The two colors seamlessly flow into each other but serve the needs of the different spaces.

Another Tip: Check out and download Benjamin Moore’s Virtual Fan Deck to your computer. It’s a really great way to compare colors. You’re seeing the interface here in my screen shots.

The In Style article suggested something similar, but in a more extreme way. They actually advised using a paint chip, like the one above, as the color palette for an entire room. While I think this could work and would create a “sophisticated, color saturated statement,” as the magazine described, it might be a little too dramatic for some.

Choosing the right paint chip is pretty much the key to success with this suggestion. Several colors would have to be fairly subdued and you’d really have to love what you’re choosing.

Questions? Comments? Chime in below!

(Image: Flickr member Sweet Eventide)

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