How to test interior paint colours before painting

Choosing paint colours for your interior painting project can be difficult, and often the way colours look on sample cards varies from how the colour will look on your walls. Colours on sample cards are only an estimate of what the colour will look like, and factors such as light, accent colours in rooms, and what is being painted over can contribute to unexpected results. In order to avoid disappointment with the finished project, it is important to sample your colours in your home before painting. Follow these tips to make your next interior painting project a success!

Paint large sample boards

Painting sample boards is a great way to test your interior paint colours without painting directly on the wall. You can purchase paint sample boards with adhesives on the back at hardware and paint stores, but you can also use large poster boards for a similar effect. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using sample boards to test your colours:

  • Use boards that are at least 1ft or larger to really get an idea of how the colour will blend. Be sure to paint the entire board, as leaving empty spots can distort your perception of the colour.
  • Paint two coats and make sure to wait for the paint to fully dry before making a final decision. Paint colours will change when they dry, which can take about two hours.
  • Keep your sample boards up all day. It is important to see how the paint colour will look in different lights. Light has a huge impact on the perception of paint colours, and a colour that you love in the morning may appear too bright or too washed out at different times of the day.
  • Place samples on multiple walls. This will also help you to determine how the colour will look in different lighting.
  • Before placing your samples, clean the walls with warm, soapy water.

Use online room painting tools

One great way to test different paint colours is to use online colour visualizers. Two of our favourites are Benjamin Moore’s Personal Colour Viewer and Sherwin-Williams’ ColourSnap. These tools allow you to upload photos of the rooms you are painting and test out different colours. You can also view the rooms in varying lights. This can be a great jumping-off point, but once you have narrowed down your interior painting colours you should still sample them in person.

Working with a professional painter

If you are working with a Vancouver professional painting company on your project, be sure to ask about sampling. Many painting companies can help you choose the perfect colour through a colour consultation, and can also sample colours for you. While the decision should ultimately be made by the client, professional painters are able to help you find what will look great in your home or business and can provide further guidance on the sampling process.