I’ve made many paint color mistakes in my own home over the years. I’ve come to find out, even the high-end designers can’t just pick a color from the paint fan and have it be the 1 in a 1,000 perfect color for the room. They usually use a technique like the one explained in this post.
Here is a sure-fire way to make it right the first time.
1. Get a piece of drywall from a home improvement store. Saw it in half.
2. Saw one of those halves into 3 or so equal pieces.
3. Use those 3 smaller pieces and paint a color option on each one. Don’t paint several colors on the same board - viewing 2 colors very close together can alter how they appear.
4. Use the other half of the drywall as a neutral background.
5. Move the color samples and background board to several places in the room during morning afternoon and evening.
6. Mark the sample that looks best in each location during each time of day. For example, you’d write “Kitchen, Morning” on the sample that looks best in the kitchen during morning light.
7. Tally up which sample looks best in most locations during most times of the day. Also consider when the room will be used most. For example, if you'll usually be enjoying the room in the afternoon, you may want to select the option that looked best in afternoon light.
Yes, this technique takes more time than just picking a color from the swatch wall at the paint store. But, it can save you time and money in the long run – when NO repainting is required when the job is done.
Also, if you’re tempted to skip the drywall step and just paint the color sample on the wall, be advised that those paint samples will need to be sanded down before the actual painting begins. (Otherwise, you'll see the raised edges of the paint sample when you paint over it.) Plus, it may take several coats to cover the colors of those samples painted directly on the wall. (I know because I've tried to take this shortcut. ;)