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When Selecting Paint Colors, Lighting Is Key

My husband, Tommy, and I were getting ready to leave for a trip to Florida this past winter. While dreaming of the sunshine and packing our bags, we were eagerly picking out paint colors so that we could have a couple rooms in our house painted while we were out of town. Our mistake: selecting paint colors without seeing them in natural light.

Natural Light Shows True Colors

When selecting paint colors with my clients, I meet them during the day to review colors. We look at the colors in the natural light (whether the sun is out or not) to see what true colors shine through. Natural light provides an unbiased spectrum of light that is very different than light from CFL, incandescent, and LED bulbs.

Gray and Bronze

I know better than to make the mistake I made.

Without having to remodel our bathroom or re-do the bronze tile all over the bathroom, we selected a color for the counter and cabinet that we thought modernized the space and fit in with our 1970s home. This color felt more comfortable than the beige currently on the walls. It is the main bathroom for our guests and son, so we wanted to make it a comfortable space.

After returning from vacation, we were shocked to find that the bronze tile looked absolutely horrible with the Benjamin Moore Elephant Gray color we selected, which turned out to be a shade of purple that can only be described as WRONG when compared to the bronze tile on the floor and walls of the bathroom.

How to Select Paint Colors

Today, we selected a new color and will proceed by selecting all future colors by following these steps:

  • Review the color in daylight
  • Review the color in the evening with only manufactured light
  • Paint a sample on various walls to verify the color before painting the entire space

I am sure Elephant Gray has a perfect place somewhere. Let me know if it finds its home in yours!

By Melissa Kennedy

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