If you're anything like me (an anal perfectionist) than picking a paint color and shade can be a challenge. I can often see in my head exactly what I want, but finding something in real life to match it can be frustrating and expensive.
Growing up I shared a room with my two sisters and while I was in high school we set out to paint our room yellow. But not just any yellow. In my mind's eye I could see something cool and soft and beautiful. Not really sunshine, not really butter, but kind of like the pale yellow petals on a daffodil.
We tried out several samples on the wall and none of us liked any of them. My older sister started mixing the samples we had and put her mixture up on the wall and it was perfect! To this day, I still love the shade of yellow in that room and we are well over ten years past when we painted.
But unless you're an artist and really patient, mixing your own paint to get the exact shade you want probably does not sound like fun. It doesn't even really sound fun to me.
Along with white, grey is one of those colors that can be extremely difficult to find the perfect shade of for your space due to what kind of light the space receives and the wide variations of undertones that greys can have. So although there's no magic formula to nail the perfect color or shade every time, here are some tips that I used and found helpful when choosing the blue grey color we went with in both of our bedrooms.
1. Decide your color and whether you'll be going dark or light.
For our bedrooms, I knew I wanted a soft blue grey. You can read why we chose that color here.
It helps you have a color palette picked out before you head to the store to help narrow down your choices before you even get there.
2. Decide what undertones you'd like it to have.
This is a huge playing factor when picking any paint color, but especially when picking whites or greys as the undertones drastically effect the outcome of the color.
I knew I wanted cool undertones, which meant I needed to pick a grey with blue or green undertones versus a grey with brown or red undertones,
3. Go to your local hardware or paint store and pick up any paint chips that look like they may contain the undertones you're looking for or look like the color you're envisioning.
Don't be afraid to grab a million paint chips. They're free and once you get them in the light of your home, they will most likely look completely different than they did in the store. This is only a portion of what I grabbed.
4. Place your samples on white poster board in the light of the room you'll be painting.
Placing them on the white helps the colors not be skewed as much as they would be by placing them next to another color.
5. Start narrowing down your choices by pulling anything you think might be too light or dark or doesn't contain the undertones you're looking for.
I didn't rush this process and took several days to work on it. After you view the colors for awhile it's hard to tell what you do and don't like or see the differences because you're looking at colors that are all very similar but still different.
6. Narrow your choices down to a select few and go out and buy the sample size to test on your wall.
I allowed myself three choices mainly because of budget reasons and buying a bunch of samples can add up quickly. But I also did it to force myself into a decision. I knew if I allowed myself an infinite amount of choices, I'd never make up my mind (I am my mother's daughter) and we'd still be living with yellow and khaki walls.
7. Paint your samples in several spots in your room and view it throughout different times of the day and at night by your light sources.
This allows you to see how the color changes in different light. Also, be sure to paint them up against any other color you might be painting in the room such as trim or if you're painting an accent wall or wainscoting in another color. Placing different colors next to each other can effect their hue so this is an extremely important step.
Over the course of a few days, I would walk in at different times to check out my samples. I can't tell you how important this step is. If I hadn't of tested out the samples, the color I was so sure was the one would have been way too blue for what I was aiming for.
8. Make your decision, take a leap of faith, and go for it.
It is just paint after all, and as big as a pain as it might be, if you really don't like it you can always paint over it.