A Guide for Selecting Paint Colors for Your Home

A Guide for Selecting Paint Colors for Your Home

When you select paint colors for your home, you might feel overwhelmed. There are so many options available, and you might find yourself staring at the color swatches with no idea what to do. This guide will help to make it easier for you. You can do some of your homework before you go to the paint store, and you will know what you are looking for.

Factors to Consider

The first step is to decide what kind of paint and what sheen you want. Most people choose latex paint over oil paint because it is easy to clean up and work with. Latex paint also dries more quickly, and it is the more common choice for painting your walls.

The sheen will depend on how you use the room. There are five types of sheen:

  • High Gloss: Very shiny, easy to clean, great for trim and cabinets
  • Semi-Gloss: Shiny, easy to clean, great for cabinets and trim
  • Satin: Satiny smooth finish, often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways
  • Eggshell: Most popular finish. Hides imperfections, but easier to clean than flat or matte paint
  • Flat or Matte: Hides imperfections, no-sheen, often used in rooms with low traffic or on ceilings

Choosing Your Colors

You can start by choosing the colors you like the best. This doesn’t mean you will paint your kitchen bright pink, but it does mean that you will start with your base color and move on from there. Once you choose a color, you can decide what kind of look and feel you want from the room. You will want to stick to the color wheel to make your choices.

The color wheel has shades of colors based around the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. If you combine any of these colors, you will end up with secondary colors such as orange, pink, or purple. Generally speaking, the color wheel has the three primary colors evenly spread apart with all of the combinations between them.

Creating a Subtle and Calming Look

If you want to create a subtle and calming look, you should choose lighter shades in the blue, lavender, pink, or yellow families. You will find the subtle variations that go together on the same color swatch. People often choose these colors for bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Creating a Bold and Vibrant Look

If you want a bold or vibrant look, you can choose bright colors including reds, dark purples, golds, and oranges. For smaller rooms, you may want to paint one accent wall in this bold color and use neutral tones for the other three walls. Just remember that these colors will make a room feel smaller, so you want to have enough space.


Neutral colors include white, beiges, and other natural colors, and they give you greater flexibility with decorating and furniture. They are also good colors to use if you plan to sell your house in the near future because buyers can envision their own belongings in the home as well as their preferred color schemes.  

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