Paint by Magic! Paint by Magic!

If you are reading this article you must be ready to choose your paint colors.  If you think this is going to be easy -- think again!   Choosing a paint color will be the hardest task you encounter.  Why?

Three reasons:

  • Too many choices of colors
  • Too many companies to choose from
  • Lighting styles

There are numerous paint companies competing with each other and they offer a variety of finishes.  Flat, Matte, Eggshell? Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr, Ralph, Martha, Pratt, Lambert -- the list is endless.  Each company can match the color of another company thanks to modern technology, so the only real choice left is finish preference.  Eggshell and Flat are best for walls as they clean easy and hide a multitude of sins. However the new Mattes, Satins and other finishes use modern technology to give you easy clean-up with just soap and water. Semi-Gloss and Gloss are the best for trim when you need a pop of color.


Fluorescent lights cast a bluish tint which makes yellows look muddy and beiges look green.  Sunlight is yellow in nature and makes blues green, reds orange and browns look dirty.  Halogens create a sure color, as do spotlights, but the color will vary from day to evening.  Fortunately, most paint dealers offer sample jars.

To get the best comparison, ask for a sample jar. Paint a large area and sit with it for a few days.  Look at it throughout the day -- morning, noon, evening. Make sure you are happy with the color before painting the entire room.  Try the same color on a different wall.  Depending on the direction windows and doors face, the color may look drastically different.  Even educated designers sometimes have difficulty.  Remember the paint store light is different than the light in your home.  The chosen color may look completely different on your wall.  Some stores have a display of the various light types so you can get a more accurate representation at the moment.

Take the colors home and try them out, although if you put them under various lights at the store the odds are now in your favor it will be a good choice.  Don’t make a hasty decision.  Think how the color will look with furnishings, window treatments, cabinetry, etc.  Paint is the backdrop for the stage, not the scenery. 

Lastly, remember that trims, windows and doors will break up the monotony.  Whether you choose to paint or stain these items the solid line of color will be broken.  Contrast is drama.  Even the choice of Navajo white eggshell for walls and pure white semi-gloss for trim will create variety and spice things up.  You can’t go wrong if you pick colors you like. 

If all else fails try, try again.  A gallon of paint is only a few dollars for a look that’s priceless.

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