The one question I’m asked most is about how to pick paint. Truth be told, picking paint is truly a science and very easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for the amateur painter:
STICK TO THE BACK OF THE DECK
Benjamin Moore has a back section called the “Historical Colors.” This is a GREAT place to look for paint. Most colors in this section are very safe and tend to be the ones I use the most. I would not venture into the middle of the deck. Things get waaaaaay too bright and it’s easy to misjudge that perfect green you’re looking for. Sherwin Williams has the same but I would stick to the Exterior Historical Preservations. The interiors are a little too pastel for some weird reason. Don’t worry about the exterior label. It doesn’t matter.
ASK YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER
Pottery Barn and West Elm usually have a partnership with a big name paint company where they display their picks in the store with vignettes of furniture. This is a great way to get an idea in person of a good paint. Check their website for the current color palette. They change seasonally. Here’s what West Elm is currently showing:
DON’T BE MARRIED TO NAME BRANDS
Yes, I love Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. I recommend them the most. You can still take a chip of your favorite name brand color to Home Depot and have them match the color. If your contractor is having paint matched for you through their supplier, make sure they provide control samples for you to approve.
BUY A SMALL SAMPLE AND PUT IT ON THE WALL
All paint looks different in varying environments. Lighting is a major factor as well as your surrounding finishes. You may love the chip, but get the color on the wall and it’s all wrong. I highly recommend buying the sample pot of a color and throwing it on the wall to see what you think. Look at it throughout the day to make sure it works with all degrees of lighting. From there, once you paint, this sample pot can be saved for future touch ups.
WHAT FINISH DO I CHOOSE?
This is a tough one also as there are varying opinions. Personally I tend to put eggshell on interior walls. This is the lowest sheen you can get (before going flat). Semi-gloss is usually preferred in kitchens and bathrooms for clean-ability but I do not follow this rule. I’m not a fan of really shiny paint.
DBK’S LIST OF PERSONAL FAVORITES
Here’s a list of my favorite go-to’s:
Gray: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Revere Pewter, BM HC-108 Sandy Hook Gray
Blue: BM HC-145 Van Courtland Blue, BM HC-165 Boothbay Gray, Sherwin Williams 6244 Naval
Blue/Green: Sherwin Williams 2821 Downing Stone
Green: Benjamin Moore 2145-30 Brookside Moss
Yellow: Benjamin Moore HC-4 Hawthorne Yellow, Sherwin Williams 2813 Downing Straw, SW2834 Birdseye Maple
Tan Brown: Benjamin Moore AC-3 Texas Leather, Sherwin Williams 2842 Roycroft Suede
Red: Sherwin Williams 0008 Cajun Red
Orange: Sherwin Williams 0007 Decorous Amber, SW0009 Eastlake Gold