What You Should Never Do at the Paint Store

How to Choose Paint at the Paint Store | Color.About.com
How to Choose Paint at the Paint Store. ©Sherwin-Williams

Here's How to Choose the Right Paint Color in the Store

Be sure that you're ready to shop for paint when you grab those paint color strips. Even if you're just starting to browse for paint colors, your visit will be wasted if you don't have an idea in mind when you visit the paint store or home improvement store paint department. A browsing trip can be overwhelming and can even make choosing color more difficult later on.

When you don't have an idea in mind when you start grabbing paint cards, you will grab too many and most will be nothing even close to what you'll want. A disorganized pile of color cards, in fifty different shades of your favorite color, will slow down the process of choosing the best paint color.

You don't have to know exactly what color you're looking for at first, but try to narrow it down to two or three hues, then choose varying shades of those colors. Label a few large envelopes with the colors you're starting with, and separate out the samples you collect. Keep an inspiration notebook or mood board with ideas and clippings. You can bring your inspiration to the paint store to help you get started. Here's How to Create a Mood Board

Never Stop at a Paint Store Just Because You Drive by it Every Day

Yes, it's great to have a paint store nearby. But, before you stop into a neighborhood store, research paint brands first to see which one has the colors and products that resonate with your style.

Each paint company has their own unique color perspective.  

Never Assume That Paint Store Staff Can Give Decorating Advice

The professionals at the local paint or home improvement store know their products. You can get excellent painting and product advice, and some basic color questions answered. If you're not sure about choosing the right color, or how something might look in your home, a paint store employees may not be able to give you the comprehensive advice you need.

Instead, ask if they have color consulting events, or if they can suggest a local color consultant. A consultant can view the colors in your home while a store employee will be limited to seeing the colors in their store. 

Never Leave the Paint Store Without Learning the Basics

Paint store employees can help you understand the difference in paint sheen that can affect your painting project. In the store, you can also learn about the tools you'll need to properly paint. A simple question of "is there anything I should know about choosing or using this paint?" can give you the basic knowledge you need to choosing the right paint and tools. Be sure to ask about a paint's undertones before buying, as it can affect the color. Learn about undertones.

Never Buy Paint Without Sampling First

As a color expert, this one is my mantra. You should never put paint on your walls if you have not sampled the color in the space, first. There is really no gray area for this rule. You simply cannot know how a color will behave on your walls until you see it on the wall. Finding out that your paint color is wrong after you've painted the room, is the wrong time. Read Why Sampling Your Paint Color is Essential