Monday, March 11, 2013

Interior Paint Selection

Choosing the right interior paint color can be one of the hardest things for people without an art or design background, and even for those of us who do, it can be a challenge. 
So I'm here to give you my best tips, but before I do, there's a few color terms you need to know.

So my first question is, have you ever seen the acronym "LRV" on the back of your paint chip? LRV stands for Light Reflectance Value. LRV is a measurement that tells you how much light a color reflects. LRV runs on a scale from 0% to 100%. Zero being absolute black and 100% being a perfectly reflective white, although an absolute black or perfectly reflecting white do not exist in our everyday terms. Around 50-60% LRV is said to be optimal for interior paint. If you choose a lower LRV your room will seem much darker and smaller. If you choose a high LRV you may be "blinded by the light". But like everything else in design, sometimes if you break the rules you can still end up with a great space, but if you don't want to get too adventurous right off, then this is a good rule of thumb. 

Next let's talk about tone, tint, and shade. 

When I'm choosing a paint color I almost always use a toned and tinted color. That is, a greyed down and lightened color. Deep moody colors have become very popular though, so like I said, there are always exceptions to the rule. Just depends on how you want the space to feel.

Enough with the color definitions. Color is very complex. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS buy a few samples and paint large poster boards with each of them. Put them in the room you want to paint and view them at different times of day. The same color can look different on 2 adjacent walls if the light hits it differently. So always do your research before going out and buying 5 gallons of paint that you just liked from the paint chip. Also keep in mind, that the color you already have on your walls may reflect onto the color you are testing.

Benjamin Moore has a line of "Historical Colors" that are great go to options when choosing a color. Benjamin Moore is my paint deck of choice, but you can always have their colors matched if you don't want to pay the price for their brand name. I also recommend using a satin finish almost 99% of the time. Matte scuffs really bad and glossy reflects the light and shows imperfections. 

I am always happy to help you choose the perfect color if it all seems overwhelming! I'll be in Utah from March 25-28 doing consultations, and I'll be in Iowa for 9 more months! So shoot me an email and we'll set something up!

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