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How to Choose the Right Paint Color

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Color - Complementary Blue Orj

Complementary colors live across from each other on the color wheel.

Photo C. Nafie Color - Pastel Colors

Colors of similar value, like these pastel tones, combine easily.

Photo C. Nafie Color - Medium Colors

Colors of similar value, like these medium tones, combine easily.

Photo C. Nafie

When it comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. While you may feel that there are so many choices you're bound to find the right one, you may end up feeling that there are so many choices you don't know where to start!

The tips here will really help you if you feel stumped by this important choice. After all, the paint color will set the tone for the room.

Be Patient
It's great to collect paint chips when planning a room, but hold off making final choices until you've developed an overall room scheme. Paint is available in literally an infinite array of colors and is the most versatile element of your room decor, the easiest to change, and the least expensive. Get ideas but make the final decision after rugs, wallpaper, and fabrics are finalized.

Coordinate Decorating Samples
When you go shopping, you'll need to refer to your fabric, carpet, tile, wallpaper, and trim samples constantly. Be sure to take everything with you wherever you go. No tellng where you might see something wonderful.

Really Study the Colors
You'll find clues about the underlying tones of different shades of a color on a full sample strip of coordinated colors. Even if you're not even considering using a darker tone, look at all the colors carefully. Decide if the family of colors is the direction you're headed with your color selection.

Tried and True Formula for Colors
If you're working with a print fabric, you'll probably be happier if you select the coordinating wall paint color from the background of the print. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces. Learn more tips here about how to choose a color scheme.

Trim it Out
More often than not, you'll select a shade of white or off-white for the moldings, doors, and windows. If you're feeling brave, consider the palest shade of color to coordinate with the walls. For a really striking look, try lighter walls and dark tones or bright color for trim.

Choose the Paint Finish for the Job
Consider which paint finish might be best for your project. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, but glossier finishes will reflect more light.

NEXT: Page 2: Warm vs. cool, beige tips, make a note

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