How To Make Home Painting Less Stressful


Be it a renovation or just a makeover, choosing paint colors for a room can be a daunting experience. The swatches are endless and the stakes seem high—all of which can add unnecessary stress to your life.

“From making a space look bigger to camouflaging defects in a room, color is the interior design component that has the power to instantly transform a space,” says Jen Nash, Design Excellence Manager at Magnet.

So how do you go about selecting the right shades for your space without feeling like you’re losing your mind?

“It really comes down to asking yourself questions about how the color will serve your space—not only from a design perspective, but from practical, psychological and personal perspectives too,” says Nash.

Before you head out to buy buckets of paint, keep these five designer-approved strategies in mind, for a hassle-free home improvement:

  • Start by deciding the mood for the room. According to color psychology, different colors evoke different emotions, so choosing a color that is going to nurture the function of a room will create a space that’s beautifully purposeful and one you feel at ease in. Is it an entertaining space? Is it a space to dine in? Or, perhaps it’s a room to relax in? Think about the mood you want to create and choose a paint color in line with the principles of color psychology to help evoke the desired result. In general, cool colors such as blues, greens and whites, create a restful and soothing atmosphere whilst warm colors like red, orange and yellow, create a sense of drama and energy.
  • Check if the room is light or dark. “Light does more than illuminate a room—it impacts the color of the walls too. Especially depending on the time of day,” says Nash. “It can change the tone of a color and therefore should be a huge consideration when deciding on a paint color,” she adds. To simplify it, if your room is facing north or south, the sun isn’t going to shine directly into the room so it will be indirect and much cooler than east or west facing rooms. This will affect whether colors will need warmer or cooler undertones to balance out the sunlight, Nash explains. “Before settling on a color, get a sample and paint a square on your wall, paying careful attention to how it changes in certain lights throughout the day,” she suggests.
  • Ask yourself if you really like the color or is it just a trend? Just because there’s a general consensus saying a certain color has become popular, doesn’t mean you should neglect your own personal favorites. Instead of going with what’s trending, consider the colors you really like and are intrigued by, suggests Nash. *These are the tones that are more likely to withstand the test of time and you’ll still love in years to come,” she says. “If you’re struggling to discover your personal taste, create a mood board, scrapbook or a Pinterest page of color schemes that you like. Look for recurring themes in the images and use them as the starting point for your color scheme,” Nash recommends.
  • See how it would go with other colors and furnishings in that area. Consider how the new color will contrast with the colors you already have nearby. “This is particularly important if you are doing just a paint makeover and keeping existing furniture and accessories,” notes Nash. From wood detailing to carpets and even the view outside, also take into account how other adjacent and surrounding colors are going to impact your chosen paint. For instance, a white wall in a room of pink furniture will look blush which might be what you are looking for. But if you want a stark white, choose one with a hint of blue and it will resist the pink shading from the furniture.
  • Opt for a diverse color. It’s essential to ask yourself what other colors your chosen paint goes with. “This is really important if you’re looking to paint a room with longevity in mind, where the paint you go for has the potential to complement future decor and palette changes you might want to make through accessories and furnishings,” says Nash. Choosing a wall color that pairs well with a range of other colors, like neutral shades, is a safe option. But if you find thinking about color combinations daunting, take a look at the color wheel. That should help you explore the potential combinations and themes you can explore in the room. “There are three key color combinations that are guaranteed to work together. A ‘tonal’ scheme is the simplest as it includes only different tones of that same color. A ‘harmonious’ scheme uses shades that sit next to each other on the wheel, such as red and orange. Then, there’s the ‘contrasting’ scheme which is the most vibrant of the three. Often referred to as complementary colors, it’s based on two colors that sit directly opposite each other on the wheel, such as yellow and purple,” says Nash.