Selecting paint colours can be a very subjective, and difficult, process.
But there are several practical considerations that can help to make your decision easier.
Here are our top suggestions to help you pick out the paint colours and sheens that you’ll be happy to have on your walls for years to come.
1. Use paint sample pots
It can be difficult to tell what a colour is going to look like on your walls just by holding up small paint swatches, so many manufacturers offer sample pots of their colours.
Depending on the brand, they’re available in 100-500ml pots, costing from about $6 to $12.
They’re a good investment, as they may prevent you wasting money on a colour you later find isn’t right.
And because colours can change dramatically under different lighting conditions, instead of applying the sample paint directly onto the wall, you can also try rolling it onto a large sheet of cardboard.
This way, you’ll be able to move the cardboard around a room and view the sample in different spots.
2. Explore colour combinations
Paint companies group their colours into families, collections, concepts and schemes.
These are basically combinations of complementary colours that you may not consider until you see how well they all work together.
There are room-by-room collections, white-only collections, colour combinations for children’s rooms, exterior paint collections designed for specific areas of the country, and lots more.
So take advantage of the research that’s already been done for you by the colour experts.
Check out paint brochures at hardware stores and go online to paint manufacturer websites, and Pinterest, where you’ll find hundreds of samples of interior and exterior colour combinations.
3. Complement existing colours
Base your colour choices on the permanent furnishings in the room or the exterior features of your home.
Inside, consider the flooring, rugs, artwork, blinds and upholstery to help you form colour ideas.
Outside, while the colours of existing elements such as the roof, gutters and brickwork rarely change, they should play a role in determining your paint choices for fences and other features.
The landscaping is another factor, so select colours that fit in with the surrounding palette.
If you have brightly coloured spring-blooming trees, or a sea of green foundation plantings, use complementary colours.