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Tips For Choosing Paint Colors

Decor Don't: Choosing Paint Colors at the Store

I'm excited to present a post from one of my favorite sites, ShelterPop!

It's tempting to pick a paint color on a whim, but don't do it! Here's why.

You've been on the hunt for that perfect shade for your bathroom walls, and you finally think you've found it -- in the paint aisle, at your local hardware store.

Word to the wise: Don't do it.

"Lighting has a huge effect on the appearance of colors and many stores use 'cool white' fluorescent lighting that casts a bluish tint, even though you may not notice it," says interior designer and color expert Kelly Porter. The lighting in your home, on the other hand, is most likely incandescent, which gives paint colors a warmer appearance.

"In addition to lighting, most paint chips are small, so it's sometimes hard to see the color's true undertones or level of intensity," Porter says.

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Take time to test the colors. Try painting a one-foot square in the middle of the wall and observing it for a day or two. Then you can see how the color looks at different times of the day, in various lighting conditions.

If you're hesitant to actually paint a test area on your wall, ask about ordering a larger paint chip, not a painted poster board. "Taping a larger color sheet to the wall will work better than painting on poster board, which absorbs paint differently than your walls."

And most importantly, be committed to the painting process. That way, you'll be willing to test colors until you find the one that's right for your space.

Here are a few more of our favorite ShelterPop posts this week:

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