how to choose paint colors for your home’s interior

Are you wondering how to choose paint colors for your home interior? With so many colors to choose from and places to look for inspiration, the process can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place!

Here you’ll find tips on where to find inspiration, how to choose paint colors, and how to use paint chips and paint samples to make a final selection for a color you love.

Keep reading to get some tips on how to choose paint colors for your home interior to take the stress out of the process.

how to choose paint colors

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior – Find Inspiration

The first step for how to choose paint colors for your home interior is to find ideas and inspiration. If you don’t have any colors in mind, this can feel overwhelming but there are many different places you can look for inspiration. Below are several good places to start.

The Color Wheel

A basic color wheel can give you ideas on what colors go well together. Pick a color you like then use a color wheel to find complementary and contrasting colors.

Complementary colors are next to each other on the color wheel while contrasting colors are opposite each other.

Choosing one to three colors this way can give you a basic color scheme to start with, then you can look at different shades within the color family you choose to narrow it down to a particular shade.

Choose a Color Based on the Feeling you want in the Room.

Have you ever heard that certain colors are energizing while others are relaxing? Color psychology is an old idea that still carries a lot of weight.

When choosing an interior paint color, think about how the room is used and how you want to feel while you’re in the room.

For example, yellow is stimulating to the brain so it may be great in an office, but not as good in a bedroom where you want to relax and wind down. On the other hand, a calming blue may be perfect for the bedroom but less ideal in the kitchen if you want to feel energized while you’re cooking.

Here are some common color associations from to help you choose a color that matches the feeling you want for your interior rooms.

  • Red: Power, love, energy, danger
  • Orange: Joy, enthusiasm, determination, creativity
  • Yellow: Friendliness, happiness, energy
  • Green: growth, harmony, calming, tranquility
  • Blue: Serenity, calm, peace, thoughtfulness, stillness
  • Purple: Luxury, nobility, ambition, magic
  • Brown: Stability, dependability, honesty, reserved, quiet
  • Gray: industry, intelligence, neutral

Use a Consultant

Looking For Interior Paint Colors
Close-up of two women choosing samples of wall paint. Interior designer consulting a client looking at a color swatch. House renovation concept

A color consultant or interior designer can give you expert advice on trendy and timeless colors and help you choose a shade that works for your home.

Color consultants are trained in color psychology and color theory so they know what colors work well together, what they represent, and what feelings they can bring to a room.

When working with a color consultant, they can give you some ideas of tried and true color palettes that work well in a variety of styles, or they can come to your home to look at your rooms and create a custom color palette just for you.

If figuring out how to choose paint colors for your home interior on your own seems daunting, it never hurts to call in a professional to help you find that perfect paint color.

Use Inspiration from Your Home

Just looking around your home can give you all the inspiration you need to choose an interior paint color that looks amazing and complements the furniture and decor you already have.

Look at the existing colors and decor in your home. Do you lean towards a certain color scheme? If so, you may want to choose something in the same style or color family.

Are there certain colors that stand out in your furniture or decor like rich brown wood, chrome furnishings, or accent colors? If so, you can use a color wheel to find complementary or contrasting colors that will work well with the existing colors in your home.

Do you have a favorite piece of art, a rug, or an accent chair with beautiful colors? You could use colors from those pieces to inspire the paint colors you put on your walls as well.

Consider Your Favorite Color

To really make your home interior feel like your own, why not use some of your favorite colors? Think about what colors you already like and enjoy, then look for colors in that family.

If you choose a color you already like, you’re sure to like it once it’s up on your walls.

If you’re not quite sure if your favorite color is right for an entire room but you still want to use it, you could paint just one wall as an accent wall, or put the color under a chair rail or above wainscotting to break up the color and balance it with a secondary color.

Try a Trendy Color

Interior paint is a great place to experiment with color trends. You can look at magazines or online articles to find inspiration on the latest color trends to get ideas that might work for your home.

An on-trend color can quickly transform a dated interior into a modern home that looks fresh and current. If you enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, interior paint is a fairly inexpensive way to keep your home looking fashionable and up to date.

Natural Light

Think about how much natural light you have in each of your interior rooms and whether you want to make the room appear brighter, or darker and cozier.

Colors will look different depending on the amount of light in the room. A dark color won’t look as dark in a large room that is flooded with natural light as it would in a room that doesn’t get much natural light.

If you want to create a cozy feeling in a room like a library, a dark color can help you achieve that. If you want to brighten up a dark space, a lighter paint color can really brighten up a room even if there isn’t a lot of natural light to be had.

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior – Trying Samples

Get Paint Chips

Once you’ve narrowed down the color, get some paint color chips to look at in your space to help you narrow it down to the right shade.

You can get paint color chips for free at most places that sell paint including home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, paint stores like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, and even Wal-mart.

Some websites like Sherwin Williams will send you color chips for free, other sites you may have to pay for the color chips or shipping.

Whatever you do, don’t choose the final color based on looking at paint chips in the store. The harsh lighting in the store causes the paint chips to look different than they will appear at home. Take a few paint chips home and look at them in the rooms where you’ll be using them to get a more accurate idea of the color before deciding.

Sample Several Colors Before Making a Final Decision

When you feel like you have a good idea of the color you want, get samples in a few different colors to try on your walls. Most stores will sell you a small sample for just a few dollars. If you’re having a hard time deciding on the right shade, this is money well spent!

Paint a Large Sample

When you get your samples home, paint a large swatch on several different walls. This will give you an idea of how the color will look in different areas of the room.

Observe the Sample in Different Light

To really make sure the color feels right, let the paint dry and look at the samples at different times of the day and in different lighting. The color will look different in morning light than it will at night with the lights on so observing it at different times will give you the most accurate idea of the color and how it will look on a day to day basis.

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior – Making the Final Selection

Go with your Gut

Once you’ve tried some samples and looked at them in different lighting, the only thing left to do is make a final decision.

There’s no hard and fast rule for picking the perfect color, so just go with your gut. Choose what you think looks the best and feels right for your space.

Don’t Overthink it

If you like the sample, chances are you’re going to like it once it’s painted in the whole room. But if not, remember paint isn’t permanent. If you end up not liking it, you can always paint the room again.

Of course you’d rather not have to do that right away, but knowing that paint is changeable can help take some of the pressure off.

Wrapping up How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior

Hopefully these tips for how to choose paint colors for your home interior have made the process less overwhelming and gotten you ready to tackle the job.

If you’re ready to start looking for inspiration, check out this article on the best Benjamin Moore interior paint colors. And for tips on how to hire an interior painter, check out this article.