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How To Choose Paint Colors

Choosing wall colors can be a time-consuming and frustrating task for homeowners-and that doesn't even include the painting part! We're here to help. Check out these 10 useful tips for how to choose paint colors, and you'll be on your way to selecting the perfect hue for each room in your home.

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Pull colors from your existing piecesPhoto: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

Pull colors from your existing pieces

If you have a favorite photo, vase or set of throw pillows, select a color from one or more of those items for your walls. You can even bring small items to your local paint store or bring home a fan deck to find an exact match or complementing color.
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Check out trendsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Check out trends

There are several resources available for finding which colors are trending each year. Fashion magazines, interior design firms and paint companies are great places to start.
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Go with the flowBreadmaker/Shutterstock

Go with the flow

The colors you choose for each room should go together. This is especially important for adjacent rooms and transitional spaces such as hallways. This photo shows that three different colors can work together if there is a theme tying them together. In this case, the wall colors play off of the earthy tones of the fireplace.
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Get a sample firstPhoto: arka38/Shutterstock

Get a sample first

Almost all paint companies now have sample sizes that are perfect for testing colors. Due to factors such as lighting, wall texture and other colors in the room, paint can often look completely different in your home than it does on a paint chip. It could save you time and money if you change your mind on a color!
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Pay attention to color collectionsPhoto: Jane Rix/Shutterstock

Pay attention to color collections

Many paint brands work with designers, artists and other experts to come up with color collections for every room in the home. They hand-select combinations of colors that work beautifully together, taking the frustrating guesswork out of the equation for homeowners.
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Consider the lightingPhoto: Artazum/Shutterstock

Consider the lighting

Different light bulbs produce variations of colors in a room. Same goes for different times of day, if a room relies on windows for light. Generally, incandescent bulbs make colors appear warmer while fluorescents tend to make colors appear cooler. Natural light reflects the truest color, which dims as the sun sets.
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Visualize with high-tech toolsI'm friday/shutterstock

Visualize with high-tech tools

There are many apps available that can help you to visualize different colors in your rooms before you break out the paint! Take photos of your rooms and change the wall colors right on your smartphone or tablet. Apps from paint companies are especially useful because they feature specific colors available in stores.
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Research color psychologyHeinSchlebusch/shutterstock

Research color psychology

You can use color to evoke different emotions and moods throughout your home. For example, green is a great color for a bathroom because it feels fresh, clean and tranquil. The bathroom shown in this photo invites calm and relaxation—just add some nature sounds and it's like a spa at home!
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Know the undertonePhoto: hohotun4lk/Shutterstock

Know the undertone

When choosing color, especially neutrals, it's important to know the undertone. Light gray, for example, can have undertones of pink, yellow, blue, green, etc., that you can't really see until it's covering an entire wall. The best way to find the undertone is to look at the darkest color on the strip in a fan deck. Then you can be sure your colors have aesthetically pleasing undertones.
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Be brave with colorPhoto: united photo studio/Shutterstock

Be brave with color

Incorporating a bold paint color is an easy and inexpensive way to add some pizzazz to your home. But that doesn't mean you should paint an entire room hot pink! Instead, choose just one accent wall to paint a bold color that still works well with the other colors in the room. It's a great way to create an instant focal point.