Choosing Paint Colors, Brands and Types of Paint
Here are three things to keep in mind as you consider paint colors:
- Even more than matching to your furniture and curtains consider the lighting of the room. Even if the paint is a good match it may take on a different life in the lighting of your room.
- Try the samples and testers. Try the colors that you are considering side by side on the wall. You’ll find one will pop and be a no brainer choice. Often, it’s the color that I really didn’t think too much of until I saw it on the wall.
- Remember the mood of the space. I loved the crazy green that we picked for the living room, but that space is more subdued. A place to relax. That color was wild and full of energy. It’s the wrong choice for that room. I’m going to put it in my office. That space needs the energy so I can get through the 31 blog posts I have obligated myself for in the month of January😊. Here's a little taste of the light in my living room. BIG windows but a lot of shade so much of that space is shadowy. This green/gray is too dark for me. I really need the extra light that a lighter shade of paint will add to this room.
How do you know what formula to get – semi-gloss, satin or flat?
There are even more options out there than the ones that I have listed but these are the most common options in every paint line. Here’s my general guide to choosing:
Semi-Gloss – I use semi-gloss in bathrooms and kitchens primarily because they tend to get scrubbed more and semi-gloss paints are more ‘wipeable’ than the other options. If you were doing a play room or kids bedroom this may not be a bad option either.
Satin – Satin paint is the most versatile of the three. I use it in most living spaces, like living rooms, hallways and bedrooms. It has a light sheen to it that absorbs a lot light without a lot of glare but still allows for some cleaning.
Flat or Matte – If you want no glare at all this is the finish for you. I love the look of matte paint, but it can be frustrating to clean. It can turn dark every time it gets wet so that eliminates wiping it off. That being said, I use this finish the most often. We don’t have kids at home and we’re relatively clean, so I go for the finish that I love the most. I always keep any left-over paint too so that I can touch up any spaces that may get a little dirty (like around the light switch). This is the current flat finish paint in my living room. You can see that it doesn't look very clean.
How do you choose a paint brand?
The options for paint brands seem endless these days. I certainly haven’t tried them all but here are my top five picks if you are considering painting interior walls.
- Glidden High Endurance – Zero VOCs if that’s important to you and this paint is resistant to wear but it’s two-coat coverage unless your painting the same color that’s already on the wall (or dang close anyway).
- Pratt & Lambert – This paint is also relatively resistant to wear but it doesn’t always provide a beautiful finish for the money in my opinion.
- PPG – This paint is resistant to wear and provides a better finish than the Pratt and Lambert, but the coverage is not great. If you’re trying to make a substantial color change, you’ll have to do two coats.
- Valspar – This is one of my very favorites. Good coverage, good value and low VOCs. The one drawback I see with this paint is the whole line is not available at all the retailers. If you fall in love with a color online, it may not be available at your local retailer (speaking from experience here – No Hailstorm Gray at my local Valspar retailer.
- Clark Kensington – I also really like this brand. Great one-coat coverage and value. The one drawback to this paint is there just aren’t enough places that carry it. I am thankful we have an Ace Hardware here as they carry this brand. It’s also the brand of paint that I will be using in my upcoming living room painting project.