How to choose a paint color for walls and not make a mistake: 8 important tips and expert opinion

We choose suitable shades, find out how they will look on the wall, get acquainted with different effects, and learn to avoid mistakes when choosing paint.

To understand what color to choose for the wall, you need to dive into the subtleties that only designers usually know about color formulas, mixing shades, samples and colors, and different effects. After this, you will be sure what color you need and how it will ultimately look in the interior.

1. Find out the formula for the color you like

If you know the exact name of the color, then it has a specific formula, according to which consultants in the store can help you choose the right tone from each manufacturer. For example, you learned that in Scandinavian interiors “Stockholm white” is often used for walls. Its formula is NCS S 0502-Y. This is a formula from the NCS system that uses different degrees of darkness and saturation for combinations of yellow Y, red R, blue B, green G, white W, and black B.

Example: decoding the formula NCS S 0502-Y

  • NCS – Natural Color System. Natural color system.
  • S – Standardized. The standard, most commonly used version of this system.
  • 0502: 05 – percentage of darkness, 02 – percentage of saturation. The percentage of darkness and saturation is very small, which means you get white. The last part of the formula will tell you which white it is.
  • Y – 100% yellow. That is, Scandinavian white is simply a very light and unsaturated pure yellow, without impurities. If the formula were written, for example, Y10R, ​​this would mean 10% R (red), and, accordingly, 90% Y (yellow), since the total should be 100%. If it were Y20G, you would get 20% G (green) and, accordingly, 80% Y (yellow).

All that remains is to find the most similar offer from manufacturers. For example, the Caparol company produces a tone called S 0502 Y. The Tikkurila company has similar shades “Jasmine” and “Calla”. Farrow&Ball has White Tie 2002, and Alcro has Aggskal.

2. Bring home store samples

If you don’t even know roughly what you want yet, for example, pale blue or light green, a palette of samples available in stores will help you choose the color of paint for the walls. Most often these are cards or fans with different tones and their names. Bring them home, hang them on the wall, and look closely for a couple of days to see which one you like best.

Do not limit yourself in choosing samples, try unexpected, bright, and rich options. You may not want to use them throughout the room, but get inspired by a contrasting wall.

3. Choose: tinted material

The paint can be tinted, with a ready-made exact shade that the manufacturer has already created for you. That is, if you know, for example, that you want a pale blue wall, you just need to see how several close examples of pale blue look on the wall.

And if you know you like blue but aren’t sure if it’s deep or pale, you need a tintable option. That is, you will change it yourself, adding white to the basic blue.

4. Do some coloring

Once you have managed to choose an approximate paint color for the walls of the room, and you have begun to select the exact tone, move on from store-bought samples printed on paper to painting – it will give a complete understanding of how the surface will look.

How to paint correctly

  • You choose an area on the wall where you will experiment.
  • Apply the material in 2-3 layers to an area of ​​at least 30×40 cm.
  • Observe your feelings for at least 2-3 days. During this time, you will have time to understand how the surface looks in poor and good lighting, and how it combines with the ceiling and floor. You can even try pasting sheets of paper next to each other in the same shade as the furniture in the room, for example, a sofa.

5. Focus on the palette throughout the apartment

Even if you are faced with the task of repainting one room, you need to take into account what colors you have already chosen for the walls in the remaining rooms. Consider not only living spaces but also the corridor, kitchen, and bathroom. The more thoughtful the color scheme throughout the interior, the more cohesive and professional it seems. It often happens that good and stylish color combinations are selected in each room, but the overall perception of the apartment is not harmonious.

Even if you don’t have a goal to keep every room in the same style and the furniture for the apartment was purchased more than once and does not fit into a single picture, the walls are just the element that will tie all the rooms together.

6. Consider the combination of walls and furniture

When choosing finishing materials, keep in mind the furniture and textiles that you will place in the interior. Is there anything bright or accenting among these elements, for example, a rich red velvet sofa? Or, on the contrary, all the furniture is very laconic and restrained, and you think that the interior will turn out faded? The answers to these questions should become the basis for choosing a finishing material.

7. Change a bad shade

It happens that already during painting you realize that you don’t like the shade on the wall, and you can no longer return the opened can to the store. In this case, you can change it yourself. You can easily make it lighter by adding a white base. But you can add richness by purchasing a special color in the form of a paste.

8. Use different effects

Designer Tatyana Zaitseva also recommends using various decorative effects.

  • Imitation of plaster, which is obtained by adding different materials, for example, fine chips, and sand. The difference from conventional plaster will be the smaller thickness of the coating.
  • The silk effect transforms the room due to its shimmer.
  • Imitation of sand – like matte or pearlescent.
  • “Chameleon” effect – the painted coating changes color depending on the lighting angle.
  • Velvet coating – created by adding solid particles that add extra volume. Using this paint, you can create the effect of a “soft” surface.

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