Paint, paint, paint… oh we love paint. It can make such a HUGE difference in a space. The color we paint on our walls surround us and everything in our home, so obviously it’s important to make sure that it’s the perfect color.

We often have clients who recently moved to a new home, and once they have all of their furniture in, they feel like nothing looks right. When this happens, we always suggest that they start by changing their paint. For instance, the existing paint in their new home might be a warmer tone than the paint in their old home, which can completely throw off the look! You’d be amazed by how different your space can look, just by changing your paint.

Ok, so clearly paint is important, but how do you choose a paint color? Well, truth be told, that can be pretty tricky. There are thousands of paint colors out there, especially when you consider all the different brands of paint. Each brand has slightly different colors and color names, and each company has different sheen level options available. And then sometimes a color looks good on the swatch and then you put it on your wall and for some reason it looks more vibrant than you thought, or it looks purple and now your sofa looks weird… oh no, what’s going on!?!

Don’t worry. Everything will be ok.

To help with the re-painting process, we’d like to share a few tips to help you navigate through the wide world of paint:


The sheen level, or “shininess” of your paint can not only change the look of the paint, but also the clean-ability. Therefore, the sheen should change depending on the room you’re in and what kind of surface it’s on. For example, you’d want a more cleanable paint in the kitchen or bathroom where water, food or makeup are more likely to get on the walls. Plus, your baseboards should have a higher sheen than your walls because they’ll need to be cleaned more often than the walls. Ceilings, on the other hand, should have less sheen than your walls because they won’t (or shouldn’t) have to be cleaned as often as your walls, etc.

Ceilings and Trim

In general, we believe that ceilings and trim should be white, or a whiter shade than your walls. There are exceptions to this, of course, but as a general rule, we think this is pretty important. Painting the ceilings white can make a huge difference in a space. The lighter your ceilings are, the higher they’ll appear, so if your room always feel dark or oppressing, you can completely reverse that by lightening the ceilings! Having white trim also keeps your walls nice and… well, trim.  Keeping door trim, window trim, molding, and baseboards all the same crisp color keeps the uniformity, and plus, it just looks nice.

A Word on White

There are sooooo many shades of white to choose from, and each one has a different hue. The most famous shade of white is Swiss Coffee (which, by the way, varies from brand to brand), but that doesn’t mean it should be your default; consider other white options! Also, the white trim and ceiling rule still applies if your paint your walls white. If you choose a shade of white for your walls, choose an even more crisp or pure white for your trim and ceiling. It’s not often that we would recommend a pure white for all surfaces, so avoid that unless you’ve sought the advice of a professional (hint, that’s us)!

Going Grey

Perhaps even more overwhelming than white paint, grey tones give pretty much all of our clients a run for their money. The trick to this area? Pay attention to the color wheel; colors that are opposite on the color wheel will highlight each other. So, for example, if your floor tile has a lot of yellow in it, you’ll want to avoid cooler grey tones, or your walls might look purple!

Paint Brands

Just a quick note here: sometimes painters will insist on only using one brand of paint. We typically use Dunn Edwards when we select paint colors for our clients, because most of our regular painters prefer it. But if your painter will only use a certain brand, make sure to let us know so that we can bring a paint deck for the brand your painter is using!

Need help choosing paint colors or an overall color palette for your home? Please contact us for a color consultation meeting! We would be happy to help you on your journey to a happier, more colorful life.