How To Choose a Paint Color

Choosing a paint color is not the easiest task. There are underlying tones in every color and not everyone can see that color clearly.   


Paint FanDeck

I recently did a Home Staging consultation and commented that the kitchen and dining room should be painted. The response from the client was “we just did”. Ugh, not the response I would want to hear.

The color was very pink. The client thought they were selecting a basic tan; there is no such thing in my opinion. This tan had a definite pink undertone which became even more apparent with their lighting. A pink kitchen and dining room is not a Home Staging “Do”, it’s a Home Staging “Don’t”.

Suggestions when choosing paint color:

1)     Look at the paint colors on the entire card from the paint store. Some of the other colors on the card may give you a clearer idea of what that underlying tone really is.

2)   The color you see in the paint store is not what you will see in your home. All lighting is different with the types of bulbs used and even the time of day. Check the paint in YOUR lighting.

3)   As I stated above, the paint will look different during different times of the day, you need to look at it in ALL lighting. ALWAYS, ALWAYS pick two to three colors and paint them on your walls in various spots. In a dark corner, near the woodwork, next to the carpet or sofa. Then look at them for a couple days in different lighting. Sunny, cloudy, evening, etc. This makes a HUGE difference. If you don’t want to mess up your walls just yet, paint large pieces of tag board and tack them to your walls.

4)   Hire a professional. If you are nervous or just want a second opinion, it is always nice to bring in a professional who may see tones that you do not see, or have ideas that you may not have thought about. 

With years of experience with color as well as being a Dewey Color Specialist, it is now easier for me to see the true color and have a better idea of what it will look like on a wall. However, you still need to see it on the wall in different lighting. 

Do what I say, not what I do, ha. I learned my lesson on this subject years ago when I was painting my home. I didn't have as much training in color as I have now plus I was swamped.  I described to my painter that I wanted a deep sage green for my living room and left it up to him. He bought a sample and painted it on different areas of my walls just as I recommend.

However, I came home when it was dark, woke up and left for an appointment when it was dark (one of those short winter days) and told the painter to go ahead, I loved the color.



 Oops, I didn’t take my own advice. I woke up the morning after the painting was done on a bright sunny Saturday morning and walked down to a living room so green I thought I was a pimento inside of an olive! Thus, the repainting began.

Not only is it the cost of the paint but the cost of labor if you are hiring it done. 

Take the advice of a professional that learned the hard way. Choose two to three colors, apply them on the wall, and look at them for a few days in ALL lighting.


Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.

 CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer


Written By

Shar is an award winning Designer and Home Stager and the owner of 'Rooms With Style' and the 'Certified Staging and Redesign Acadamy.' She has been in the design industry for over 25 years and her background includes studies in Interior Design as well as Horticulture to assist with your home’s curb appeal. Shar has a talent for taking simple things; placing them in their best light and making them shine. Another Sharlene from North Dakota, Shar and Sharlene knew they were destined to work together when they first met! She has been blogging here and helping bring out the best in the homes of Sharlene's sellers since 2011.

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