Follow clues to find your perfect interior paint color scheme.
. to any paint store, and you'll find
lots of information about color, but if
you want to create an interior paint
color scheme that's just right for you, don't
overlook your own personal clues.
"Most people are naturally drawn to cer-
tain colors that they'll favor time and again,"
says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert
for the Paint Quality Institute. "Focusing on
colors that dominate one's wardrobe and
furnishings, for example, provides valuable
clues to the best tints and shades to use
when doing home painting."
To that end, Zimmer suggests that you
start your search for paint color not at the
paint store, but closer to home ... in your
closet, in fact. If you're like most people, the
majority of your wardrobe will tend to fall
into one or two color families.
"If you see lots of blue and green gar-
ments, then you obviously are very fond of
these colors, and very comfortable when
clothed in them. That makes it likely you'll
feel very much at home in surroundings
painted in these same hues," she says.
Another clue is the color and character of
the car you own. Driving a racy red sports
car? Then you'll probably be more attracted
to a paint color scheme with bold, bright
shades rather than quiet neutral hues. But
if you own a white or beige sedan, it may
6 Floor Space Magazine • November 2013
indicate that you'll be happier with a more
understated paint color scheme.
"Doubly important are the clues you dis-
cover among furnishings in the rooms you'll
be painting," says Zimmer. "Perhaps a color
that appears in a piece of fabric will pique
your fancy, or one that embellishes a piece
of furniture, or even the color of glaze on a
Building upon color clues like these, you'll
soon make a strong case for a particular paint
color or colors ... and applying them to walls
or woodwork will help "pull together" the
appearance of the entire space.
If your investigation has helped you
identify the dominant color for your room,
but you're still searching for an overall color
scheme, it's time to go to the paint store — if
possible, with a sample of your key color (or
an object in which it appears) in tow.
Leaf through the literature there till you
find a paint palette that includes your hue,
and see which colors are recommended as
companions for it. Pick out one or two that
appeal to you.
If you're adept at visualizing things, you
might be able to purchase your paint at this
point. But a safer tack is to take color cards
home and tape them to walls, woodwork,
wherever; and see how the various colors
look right where they'll be applied. View
them in daylight and at night. This will add
certainty to your selection.
Not sure how much of each color to use in
the room? Choose one color to be dominant,
and another as the secondary color. If you
are planning to employ a three-color paint
scheme, then adhere to the "60-30-10 rule,"
which will help bring color proportional-
ity to the space. Use your dominant color
on roughly 60 percent of the surface, the
secondary color on roughly 30 percent, and
incorporate the third hue on the remaining
10 percent as a "punch color" or accent.
No matter which colors you use to en-
hance your home interior, Zimmer recom-
mends that you work only with top-quality
100 percent acrylic latex paint. It produces a
durable finish that will resist fading, resulting
in color that will remain true year after year.
So, the next time you undertake an interior
painting project, don't be clueless. Evidence
of the best paint colors for your home is sit-
ting right there in front of you!
To learn more about color and decorating,
or to download the Paint Quality Institute's
free color app, visit www.paintquality.com .
More advice on the use of interior and
exterior paint color can be found at blog.