Confused, too Many Paint Swatches?

We’ve all done it – spent a fortune on tester pots and painted squares all over the house. Of course it’s a good idea to paint swatches (paint as large a sample as possible) in order to check the colour in varying lighting conditions and to make sure you  feel comfortable around the chosen colour (check out my previous post if you wish to mix your own paint colour). However, even after all this effort have you ever felt disappointed with the colour of the room once the decorators have left?

Well I have a simple technique which may help you. Unfortunately I can’t claim that it is my idea, I heard American colourist Lori Sawaya suggest it. Most paint swatches tend to be square or rectangular. However, squares have fairly rigid boundaries and seem to contain the colour inside their shape. Circles on the other hand do not have such rigid boundaries and do not constrain the colour within them. They seem to allow the colour to radiate from the circle and make it much easier to imagine a larger space painted in the colour of the swatch. It’s a very simple idea which I have tried (I painted a cardboard pizza base) and it definitely helps.

Of course there are many other factors to take into account including the fact that if your sample is placed on a white wall, your sample colour will look darker than it will look once it is painted all over the wall. For instance if you put a very pale sample on a white wall it will look quite “coloured” but once all the walls are painted in the pale colour they may almost appear white again.

Lots more decorating tips coming in future posts….