How to choose a paint color you'll love

Hey, I'm all about giving your Atlanta home a facelift, but those tiny squares of color that you get . . .

Hey, I'm all about giving your Atlanta home a facelift, but those tiny squares of color that you get at the hardware store? Give me a break. How are you supposed to choose a color for an entire room based on a couple inches of color in bad flourescent lighting? The answer is you don't. A rookie mistake in learning how to choose a paint color is making a blind decision. Try these tips to foolproof the process.

Step outside. The lighting inside a traditional hardware or home design store is designed to light a large space, which means it might have yellowish undertones that skew the paint color. If you really want to see a shade's true colors, take the paint chip outside for examination. Natural light will give the best representation of the actual shade.

Dare to compare. One of the best tips I ever got was to paint a couple of small pieces of poster board with my current at-home paint colors, hole punch the tops and slide them on a key ring. That way, I had my current colors everywhere I went for instant comparison. Seeing a paint color up against the color you already have can help you pinpoint the exact differences as you learn how to choose a paint color.

Spring for a sample. Those tiny sample cans of paint aren't just for fun. They're the perfect way to test-drive a color before you make the commitment. When I painted the exterior of my home a few years ago, I went through multiple samples to make sure I had the shade just right before I invested a large amount of money in gallons of paint. Each $3 sample definitely paid me back in preventing a color oops.

And, if you don't want to do the job yourself, check out Atlanta-based painting contractors on Kudzu.

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