Screwing up a paint color in a room is huge. Every-and-any professional interior designer will tell you that if you mess up your wall color, no amount of money, design tricks, Band-Aids, or decorating magic will save the room.
No wonder that picking paint colors ranks among the highest reported stressors for Design Lovers. It’s also the topic of many a design blogger’s blog post.
But I’m here to tell you that there is a MASSIVE mistake that DIYers tend to make that NOBODY is talking about.
It’s not about correctly anticipating a paint’s undertones; it’s not about screwing up color proportion. These are big sand traps to be sure, but not the tipping point I’m referring to. I’m talking about something even bigger.
The single biggest mistake that is commonly made with DIYers that is the root of wall color problems is this:
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You’re selecting your paint color at the wrong time in your project!
Yes. Way too soon.
Think about a favorite cake recipe that has a whipped cream frosting.
If you added the heavy cream to blend with your flour when you started your cake batter – you just screwed up your cake. As in game over.
Most often Design Lovers select their room color first or way too early and I’m here to tell you that on balance, you should select your wall paint color dead last!
Pushing your paint color selection back deeper into your project will hugely simplify your life and improve your results.
It allows you to pull your wall paint color directly out of an area rug, out of an accent fabric like an accent pillow or window treatment, or from a piece of upholstery or even a piece of artwork.
Can you have a general idea in your head about the direction the walls will take as you are getting started with your project? Absolutely!!
I always do.
However, do yourself a favor and don’t pull out that Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint deck until AFTER your fabric, furnishings, and color plan have been developed and set.
When Can I Choose Paint Colors First?
The 2 key exceptions to this “Color Selection Last” warning would be:
- If you knew you were doing all white furniture in a room and wanted to use a particular wall color to be the signature of the room and to push the whites. (i.e. walls in a vibrant Jade green, a rich navy, a sexy gray, etc.)
- If you’re doing a partial facelift to a room and have a lot of existing furnishings you’re working with. Then of course your wall color selection will happen early in your project because much of your fabric plan is already done.
Discover the Other Paint Color Mistake
Now, there is ONE other big wall paint color mistake that every single DIY Design Lover is at huge risk of making….and so many do.
But it’s too big to cover here and is something I actually cover in a very cool on-line design workshop I offer (for free!!). It has to do with something called your Design Fingerprint. Super powerful.
Curious? I hope so! Visit the link below to check out my workshop!Workshop