Neutral paint may sound blah and boring, but it’s far from it. It can be a backdrop for your artwork and furnishings, complement more adventurous colors or make a statement all its own. Picking a perfect neutral color is not difficult when you know what to look for, but picking the wrong color can indeed look a bit blah. Still, there are so many neutral paint options that it can be a bit dizzying trying to pick one. Here are some helpful suggestions to make the experience a little less painful:
Do Your Research
Go to your local home store where they have a larger color and brand selection of free paint swatches to choose from. Even if you don’t plan on getting the paint there, any store will match a competitor’s color. Load up on every possible variation you see. Tip: colors look darker on the little chips then they will look on the wall. If you’re not sure, choose the darker one. Get test quarts or 2 oz. testers of the colors you picked. Paint them directly on the wall so you can see them in different lights, both artificial at nighttime and in natural daylight.
Consider the Existing Space
Sit in the space you plan to paint and fan out the colors. You will notice a huge variation in shades. Some beige’s will have green tones, others pinker, gray or brown. It will also help to look around your room. Is there a predominant color or tone? Very often, without even realizing it, we pick up colors in certain shades while rejecting others. You may see many shades of green and sage around you, or peachy warm tones. Pay attention to this because these are the colors that make you feel good.
Start with the Living Room
The living room is where the color scheme for your house is typically determined. Consider the color of your floorings, sofa, window coverings, etc. The largest pieces in the room will naturally dictate the neutral you end up with. Aim to choose one that matches your overall theme. A warm tan neutral for dark, masculine furnishings, or a sunny neutral for a lighter, yellow toned decor. Or you may want to complement your decor by choosing a neutral with cool gray undertones to set off the warmer colors already in the room. Both of these choices are great; it just depends on what works for you.
Take Extra Steps
Don’t be tempted to skip the extra step of trying the right on the wall. It will be insurance against getting nonreturnable paint in a color that doesn’t look the same as the swatch. More than anything else this will help you pick the perfect neutral paint!