White…the absence of color or so one would think. Most people would consider this the safest color to paint a room. Ironically it’s the color I get the most calls about after someone paints a room and it didn’t quite turn out the way they had expected.
Years back a friend of mine was moving and wanted her entire downstairs painted white before they put it on the market. I offered to help her select the color, she kindly declined my offer. She hired a professional painter, had her entire downstairs painted while she and the kids were out for an entire day. Got home and called me frantic… “my house is pink!!!” This wasn’t the first time I had encountered this and wouldn’t be the last. So how does this happen?
In all honesty it happens because of the 50+++ shades of white available, which contrary to popular belief are not absent of color. They are full of color, even the lightest shade. From pink to yellow to blue and yes, even green tones these ‘whites’ are not what most would consider white. So how do you go about selecting a white paint that won’t leave you living or working in Barbie Dream World?
Of course this is a great place to have a professional step in and lend a helping hand, as we have worked with many of these shades through the years. However, if you want to go it alone, here are some simple tips to help you select the perfect shade of white. First decide if you want a cool tone or a warm tone to the room. Warm, cool, what? What colors make you feel your best? A sunny sandy day at the beach or a cold crisp blue sky on the ski slopes? If you chose the later, you want a cool tone for your room which would be a blue-ish undertone. If you chose the opposite you will look for a yellow-ish or pink-ish undertone.
Grab a piece of plain white copy paper from your printer, and lay your color swatches on it in the space you want to paint. Sitting against the bright white you will be able to easily see the undertone of the swatches. Blue, yellow, pink… pull the one you like the most from your selection and tape it to the white paper, then tape that white paper to your wall. Leave it there for a few days and revisit it several times a day so you can see what it looks like in the different lighting throughout the day.
Why not just tape the paint swatch to the wall? Simple answer, because it will pick up or play off of the color that is currently on the wall which will not be there once you paint over it. You don’t want to run the risk of loving the color because it’s pulling a color from your existing wall color but once you paint over it and it’s gone and that color isn’t there any more you no longer like it. Because now it looks like a warm color where you had wanted a cool one.
One last tip, if you choose your color from a color sample strip that has other darker colors on it, just look down the strip at the darkest color. Whatever that color is, is what your undertone color will be. Best wishes as you navigate through all the 50+++ shades of white.
Looking for a color consultation? We can help with that! Just contact us, we would be happy to help you navigate through this process.
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