Choose Color with Confidence: 4 Easy Steps

August 18, 2021 3 min read

Choose Color with Confidence: 4 Easy Steps

Walls and woodwork shown here in Living Large KM5442
By Shannon Kaye, Color Marketing Manager
August 2021

So you're ready to paint and this time you really want to choose paint colors with confidence. I can help you with that!

As a decorative painter and color consultant for many years, I've honed a process for creating beautiful interior and exterior color palettes that I'm happy to share with you here.

Start with my favorite, 8 1/2 x 11 COLOR Swatches - have you seen them yet?!

Choose the best paint colors with Kelly-Moore large scale COLOR Swatches paint color samples


These large scale samples are big accurate representations of our colors so you can really see the nuances and undertones of the colors you're considering. Makes it a lot easier to imagine the color on your walls and in your room.

 Let's cover a bit of ground before you order those Swatches.

First: How Do You Want to Feel?

We all have emotional responses to color so to a great extent, you can control how you feel in a room. Isn't that cool?

Think about the activities and mood you want to create. Do you want the room to feel relaxed? cozy? organized? 

And how will you spend your time there? Entertain? Meditate? Sleep?  

Putting these ideas together helps you look at the colors that help you feel those things. For some blue is relaxing, for others it's depressing. It's very personal, so this is your chance to inject your own personality and consider colors that feel really good to you.

Make a hallway casual and fun with Candied Yams KM5343 and 23 Swiss Coffee

Candied Yam KM5343 is cheerful tangerine orange paint color   Kelly-Moore Swiss Coffee is our most popular white paint color

Candied Yams KM5343 and  23 Swiss Coffee


Two: Hone in to select color options

Once you’ve decided on the mood you'd like to create, choose a color or two that make your feel that way.

Next, pick a few variations on that color to help you find the right hue and tone for the lighting and decor you have in your room.

I suggest looking at a lighter tint, a darker shade, and maybe a more muted version of your color idea. Here's an example blues you might choose if soft pastel-y hues agree with you. (I really didn't mean to rhyme that!)

Kelly-Moore Paints Big Sure KM4983 is a light powder blue for bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room     Whale's Mouth KM4997 popular pastel gray blue

Mudra KM5011 a popular light Cloud Sky Blue      Windy Day KM5013 a popular medium pastel sky blue

Clockwise from top left Big Sur KM4983,  Whale's Mouth KM4997,
Mudra KM5011, Windy Day KM5013


Psst: Now's a great time to consider trim and ceiling colors as well. Here's a tip: the more of one color you use, the more mood and impact that color will have on the space. The more contrasting trim you paint, the more your room will be outlined and defined.


Three: Take a really good look

There's no way around it, you have to look at these colors in the room where you're going to paint. So order your 8 1/2 x 11 COLOR Swatches in the colors you're considering. We mail them to you so as soon as they arrive, it's time to take a look. Popular color trends include pastel gray blue

    Walk around the room with your COLOR Swatches holding them next to everything that's going to stay in the room (like flooring, countertops, cabinets) and everything you love (like curtains, pillows, art, furniture).

    The colors that feel the best with your things will start to stand out. So you may be able to eliminate a few color options already!

    Now, tape the COLOR Swatches to the wall near those things we just talked about. Step back and look at them in context of the color covering that whole wall.


    Psst: If look at the color by doorways you'll see how they'll look from other areas in the house.


    Lastly, light changes all day long in your home. So, narrow down your choices (you may already have a winner!) and look at your 'finalist' colors several times throughout the day to see how they look in morning, evening, natural, and artificial light. Kelly-Moore Paints features a modern lavender dining room with blue kitchen and black and white art

    Kelly-Moore Paints Victorian Cottage KM5586  for dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms Kelly-Moore Paints Denver RiverKM4965
    Pictured here Victorian Cottage KM5586 and Denver River KM4965

    The color that resonates with the mood you're creating will emerge and you'll start to feel it!

    And ultimately, the right colors for your home are those that not only fit your personal style and furnishings, they also make you feel good.

    Fourth: Don't ask, don't tell

    I know you're worried about making a mistake, but take a deep breathe and try to explore your color ideas with curiosity and a sense of discovery. If you ask everyone you know for their opinion, you'll get, well, too many opinions. Resist the urge!

    Trust your instincts, enjoy the amazing colors you get to consider and imagine yourself in your new room feeling the way you want to feel and doing the things you want to do with a sense of easy  purpose.

    Oh, and if you need a little more support, here are two videos that explain everything I just said... with pictures. Helps sometimes :-)


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