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Painting? Here’s a Closer Look at Color

Painting ColorsThe impact of color is often underestimated, but the truth is, color has been shown to have a huge impact in our perception of and preference for objects and places. Additionally, colors are known to affect people psychologically, affecting mood, productiveness, and even intelligence!


With that much to keep in mind, how do you decide on a painting color? There are some ways to narrow it down—starting with a few colors that you like and working from there. When you’re ready to pick a color for painting, ask yourself these questions:


How do I want to feel in the space? Color plays a role in mood, and in fact, each color individually often creates different moods in the people experiencing the color. However, some color families reliably cause certain responses.


  • I want a calm, peaceful room. Cooler colors will create the calm you seek. Blue has been repeatedly shown to be the most calming of colors (and for this reason, is often used in hospital settings!), but green and lavender often produce similar affects.
  • I want a formal room. White is your color, and mix in deep browns or blacks and blues or greens. White and black feel more formal when the lines are kept clean and the space reflects the mood.
  • I want a fun, social room. Go for warmer colors, especially red, orange, and yellow. A note of caution, though: too much exposure to these colors can cause restlessness and even anger, so anchor your bright colors with strong neutrals.

Knowing the purpose of the room goes a long way in helping you decide what color will work for you.


How does it look in the light? For this, you’re going to want to take a couple of paint color swatches you like with you from the store (most hardware stores have strips you can take home).


Take the swatches and put them under any kind of light you can find, but especially put it in the light of the room you intend to paint. Look at it under the lights you usually use in the evening, through the light of a curtain, with the window wide open, and even by the light of the TV!


Light plays a huge role in our perception of color, so it’s an important component.


Ultimately, the space is yours, and you should love it, so pick the color that works best for your space!

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