How to Pick Paint Colors

Choosing the right paint color is a tricky task.  There are 1000s of options and so many companies.  When painting our new home, we partnered with Valspar Paint.  In looking at paint companies, we loved that Valspar offered a color selecting tool.  Their signature line is made with a ScuffSheild Technology, which is crucial in a toddler home!  Deciding on Valspar was easy, but picking the paint colors was the tricky part!  I’d highly recommend giving yourself at least one week to pick paint colors.  

One of my good friends, Kira David Design, always recommends painting last when designing.  While she may be right, I didn’t have the luxury of time.  We needed to finish all construction before moving in with our one-year-old.  Here’s the process I followed to select our paint colors.

1. Determine a theme for the room & prioritize what’s most important

A room is like an outfit.  The pieces need to complement one another and all textures and colors must blend.  When I design, I decide to either go bold with the paint color or the furniture.  For example, for our kitchen, I knew we wanted greige kitchen cabinets and for it to feel light, bright and airy.  All of my designs revolved around the greige kitchen cabinets – that was my priority.

2. Create a mood board

paint colors

I LOVE mood boards.  I often say mood boards are one of my love languages.  Being such a visual person, it’s helpful to process a room’s look & feel.  I’m not the best in photoshop (yet! I need to finish Kelly Etz’s class with The Everygirl), so I often build my room designs in powerpoint.

3. Research top paint colors & select a brand

Here’s where I may also differ with many designers.  I prefer to stick with one brand for a full home design.  I find it easier to keep track of one brand and a multitude of colors.  When I researched Valspar’s colors, I loved what I saw.  I had a great experience with their color selector and found the samples were true to the paint chips – big win!

I also love to research other blogs.  Pinterest is a go-to as is The DIY Playbook for me.  If you have any favorite bloggers, check out their home sources, too!

4. Pick up samples & painting boards

Once I had my themes, Emmie and I were off to Lowe’s to start exploring paint colors.  I had paint chip numbers with me, but also spent a good 20 minutes looking at other chips to see what I gravitated towards.  Usually, I’d recommend 2-3 paint samples per room.  However, if you’re going with a general theme throughout the house like grays or neutrals, some paint colors may flex to multiple rooms.  For example, I knew our kitchen would be white to make the greige cabinets pop, so I opted for 2 different white samples.  We tested Du-Jour and Dove White.  Ultimately, Du-Jour was the best white for our kitchen.  Dove White had a hint of yellow to it and we wanted something with a hint of gray (ie: Du-Jour).

5. Paint samples & live with the color for a few days

Testing paint colors in a variety of lights is key to picking the right color.  Our kitchen gets tons of sunlight; however, we live in Chicago where it feels like winter for 9 months of the year.  So, I wanted to pick a color that would do well with and without sunlight.  Since we weren’t living there, it was a little tricky.  I went over to the house in the morning, the afternoon and the evening to see how the paint color looked in different sunlight.  I’m glad I did because colors certainly change!

6. Order your paint

Check with your painter for the quantity.  We ordered our paint through Lowe’s and had a great experience.  I’d highly recommend.  While this post is sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always, I appreciate you supporting sponsored posts from brands I love because it keeps the lights on at GMP!

Meet Jen

I’ve always had a love affair with creation. Since I was a child, I handmade my gifts or combined toys to design something new. Fast forward twenty years, and I’m still making my gifts every holiday and designing new ways to do things.


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In order to grow my small business, I earn revenue in a few different ways. I publish sponsored posts from time to time, which are always labeled. Sometimes I earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products or business resources I link to. I only feature items I genuinely love and want to share. Thank you for reading and supporting my small business!

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