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Color Your World: How to Pick the Perfect Paint

With the holidays just around the corner, October is a perfect time to give your rooms a fresh coat of paint in a fabulous new color. But, unless you’re a design professional, it can be challenging to pick the perfect palette with confidence. Here are some tips for getting it right the first time.

Channel Your Creativity

As a first step, visit a quality paint shop and take paint chips in every color that appeals to you. Don’t edit your selections and try to decide which color goes where—just choose the colors you like. On your way home, stop at a local bookstore and pick up the latest interior design magazines. Flip through the pages and quickly tear out all the images that resonate with you. For insight into the newest trends, visit Pantone (, an institute that defines and develops colors for fashion, retail, and other industries. If repainting is part of a larger interior renovation and you also plan to install new countertops, Cambria® has partnered with Benjamin Moore to create the Paint Match Tool, which helps homeowners match its countertop designs with paint colors. Test out different combinations, learn more about colors, and even order countertop samples. Then, sit down at your dining room table and lay out all your paint chips and tear sheets. Surrounded by ideas and inspiration, you’ll find it easy to create an initial vision for each space.

Get Inspired

Visit Pinterest, Houzz, and Dering Hall, and search for images of rooms in your chosen colors, i.e. “gray master bedroom,” “coral dining room,” or “yellow kitchen.” For the color and coverage of paint with a natural texture, search “grasscloth,” a wallcovering that comes in a rainbow of colors and is a great way to cover old or damaged walls. Study the rooms to determine whether the size, layout, lighting, and windows are similar to your spaces, as these elements will all have an impact on the look of the finished room. Refine your selection of paint chips and attach them to the wall with removable tape for 24-36 hours so you can see how the colors change throughout the day.

Live with the Color

Once you’ve narrowed your color selections, return to the paint store and get small jars or cans of each color. As professional interior designers know, this is a worthwhile investment of time and money as it’s important to see a large swatch of color on an actual wall. Paint a large square of paint on a main wall and let it dry. Live with the color for several days to make sure it plays well with the fabrics, flooring, and furnishings in the room.

Proceed with Confidence

Now that you’re confident in your color selections, it’s time to order the paint. Bring photos and notes about each room, including the square footage, the existing color or wallcovering, the quality and age of your walls, and how the light falls. The staff at the paint store will use this information to select the right primer and the right paint formulation. For example, if you’re painting over a dark color, a tinted primer will provide smooth, solid coverage. In a high-traffic room such as a kitchen, a satin or semi-gloss finish will make it easy to clean fingerprints. For an older plaster wall, an eggshell finish will provide seamless coverage without drawing attention to the imperfections. If you’re painting woodwork, the new acrylic paint formulations will give the look of old-school glossy enamel without harmful volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Be sure to buy top-quality paint as it really does make a difference. While a gallon may cost as much as two tanks of gas, it’s infinitely more beautiful and lasts much longer!

Hire a Professional

Unless you’re an experienced painter, give yourself a hall pass and hire a professional to paint your rooms while you focus on getting the rest of the house ready for the holidays.

Call Cambria Mortgage

The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ are always willing to provide advice and guidance and answer questions about home ownership. For more information, visit or call 952-942-0110.