7 Foolproof Ways To Choose The Perfect Paint Color

There are so many beautiful pieces arriving at the House & Canvas store, and I cannot wait to pick up a paint brush and make them beautiful.  The biggest question is, what color do I paint them???!?!?

When I worked at White Pear Studios a while back,  the number one questions customers would ask me is what Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors to choose.  They would spend hours in front of the paint display pondering the various paint choices – many were afraid to commit.

Here are a few tips I have learned over the years to show you how to pick a paint color.

How To Pick A Paint Color

1.Search the internet for inspiration.  The internet is absolutely filled with gorgeous painted pieces in all different colours and finishes.  Create a Pinterest board and save everything you find (I have a whole bunch here)… Search Google, Houzz, and Pinterest.  Did you know that Facebook has a billion different pages dedicated to just painted furniture?  Join a group like this one and see what others are doing.  Don’t be afraid to ask exactly what paint, colour and finish they used.

2. Decide where you will be putting the piece.  This will determine if you want to paint the piece a neutral or a colour which will narrow your colour choices significantly.  If the decor around your piece is already neutral, consider doing a pop of colour.  However, if you’ve got red walls in your dining room, you are probably not looking to paint your buffet a bold color, so concentrate on searching for different neutrals that catch your eye.  Process of elimination makes the process less overwhelming

3. Start small.  I’ve always advised people that if they are considering painting their cherished Grandmother’s blanket box peacock green, to wait and paint something else to start  Paint a small picture frame, a stool or a chair peacock green.  Live with it for a while to be sure you want to tackle Grandma’s precious heirloom!

4. Buy a sample pot.  Most paint lines offer a sample size in all colours.  Do yourself a favour and spend the $15 or so, and buy the sample pot.  Paint a piece of cardboard and leave it in the space for a few days.  This will ease any hesitations you have.  (And save those sample pots!! They are awesome for playing around with mixing colours… which brings me to my next tip…)

5. Mix your own colour!!  If you aren’t using latex paint that’s mixed at the store for you – and you can’t find exactly what you are looking for in a ready to use chalk paint or acrylic paint – mix your own! Most chalk paints are designed to be mixed together.  Grab a piece of wax paper and dip your finger in a few paints and mix away.  Don’t forget to write down ratios!  I’ve done a ton of pieces in my own custom colours.  I even did a whole kitchen in a custom blue.  It was a mix of a few Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors – Graphite, Napoleonic Blue and Old Violet.  The internet is filled with recipes of custom colours… fill up a cup of coffe (or wine!) and browse away!

6. When in doubt, just choose a colour that you absolutely love.  How many times in your life have you been asked “What’s your favourite colour?”, well, now’s the time to let it shine.  You can’t go wrong when you paint a piece a colour that you absolutely love looking at everyday.  My favourite is a bold red.  This gorgeous piece was in my dining room for years (until a customer saw it and begged to buy it!!)

7. My finial tip…Don’t rush.  I’ve had pieces sit in my workshop for years before I could commit to a color!!  I’ve also painted pieces more than once because the colour just wasn’t right.  So take your time, sleep on it, wait until the piece “talks to you”, and remember, it’s just paint… you can always paint it again and again and again!


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