How To

How to select the right shade of paint

Choosing a paint palette for your home can be a little daunting, so we’ve prepared a few simple tips to help you select the ideal colour to enhance every room.

Whether you are renovating your entire home, or simply looking to refresh a room with a coat of paint, there are a few painting essentials worth considering. Discover our best tips for choosing the perfect paint colour for your home.

Start with a little inspiration.

Compile a mood board of your favourite interiors to discover your preferred colour scheme. Consider existing colours in your warbdrove and around the home to idenitfy your signature palates. Pintrest is a great way to source interiors inspiration online. Create mood boards appeal to your taste. For those who prefer printed materials, reference interiors magazines, tearing out your favourite pages and arranging them together with paint chips and fabric swatches to develop your new colour scheme.

Consider the mood and purpose of the space

When selecting your room colour, consider the mood and purpose of the room. A bedroom should be soothing restful space, while the living room may be a more dramatic, vibrant environment. Softer, cooler colours like reds, golds and plums are more stimulating. In contrast, deep blues and greens exude a more formal presence suited to a dining room. You may wish to avoid intense, bright colours on the walls of children’s rooms as these tones cold overstimulate them. Instead, opt for for softer, pastel tones with brighter highlights.

Review the flow of the rooms.

Each room colour needs to function cohesively as part of the entire home. Be sure to assess each room space, how the palettes look together and envision your transition between spaces. Often, when standing in one room you will still be able to see the adjacent rooms, so the colour choices need to harmonise accordingly from room to room.

Check the type of lighting.

Consider the type of lighting in the room as it will affect wall colours differently, making them lighter, darker or even altering the tone. Strong natural lighting will give the most accurate colour result and even intensify colour, while traditional incandescent bulbs will cast a yellow glow to the room warming it up. Fluorescent lighting generates a cool blue tone which will heighten te effect of cooler tones and whites, making them appear even colder.

Consider the colour wheel.

Choose a colour palette which is compatible with your existing furnishings by referring to a colour wheel. Colours on opposite sides of the wheel, such as red and green, are “complementary colours” which are the most intense, vibrant combinations. Colours which are next to each other on the wheel are known as “analogous” offering softer, more harmonious combinations. By using a colour wheel you can identify a variety of new colour combinations you may not have even considered.

Select your paint colours last.

Contrary to popular belief, it is best to choose your paint selection as the last step of the process. It is much easier to find a paint shade to match existing furnishings than furnish a home around a specific wall colour. If you select your paint last, you can then seek inspiration from existing pieces such as upholstery fabrics or accent pillows.


Choose your paint selection as the last step of the process. It is much easier to find a paint shade to match existing furnishings than furnish a home around a specific wall colour.

Test your colour selection

Experiment with colour choices by investing in sample pots and painting test shades onto sections of wall or a piece of baord which you can move around the room and pair with furnishing and fixtures. This way you can play with different colours, including stronger shades or neutrals, and review in both natural and artificial light to ensure they will be suitable.

Choose the right paint finish

Apart from the colour, it is essential to select the appropriate paint finish for your room space. Colours with sheen will accentuate any flaws in the surface so opt for less sheen to camouflage any surface imperfections. To give the illusion of more space in a smaller room, layer colours in the same shade in different finishes. Opting for the same shade with an eggshell finish on walls and semi-gloss on trimmings will give the room a more spacious, cohesive look.

Refer to our simple paint finish guide:

  • Flat matte paint offers no shine and is ideal for low traffic areas such as bedrooms or ceilings.
  • Flat enamel is relatively matte but easier to clean, making it suited to kid’s bedrooms.
  • Eggshell enamel provides a touch of shine and is suited to medium traffic areas, as most marks can be removed
  • Satin enamel has some sheen and is best suited to high traffic areas, or areas with moisture like bathrooms and kitchens, as it can be wiped easily.
  • Semi-gloss enamel is quite shiny, making it suited to cabinets and room skirtings.
  • High-gloss is a hard wearing and long life option for heavy use surfaces like railings and furniture.