Choosing The Right Interior Paint Colors

Choosing a paint scheme for any room can be a difficult decision for you or your customer. There are many factors that go into what will ultimately go up on the wall, such as lighting, what the paint looks like when dried, and even the color of an adjacent room. Although a designer typically has a greater understanding of color theory and design, it ultimately comes down to a customer’s wants. To help you and your customer navigate the process you both must understand at least the basics behind color theory and shading.

Color Theory

Your customer may remember the three primary colors, but beyond that, they probably couldn’t tell you what a tone or shade is. This is where the designer can help guide the customer. Educate them on how changing colors using tinting can lighten bold colors they may otherwise like, or shading a bright color so it is not as eye popping. If bold is what they want, suggest a feature wall to achieve that bold pop but not overshadow the whole room with all-over color. Also help them choose colors on opposite sides of the color wheel to give a feeling of completion.


Help them to understand the role natural and manmade light will play after the paint dries. One the first steps to this will be sampling colors on the wall and checking throughout the day to see how it changes in different lighting. Also remember to consider how the ceiling will be painted. Light-colored ceilings will make the colors pop, while darker ones will bring the eyes up and create true focus on the walls and their decorations.


Focusing on only one room at a time is not an option when designing. Plan ahead and try to at least make an effort to coordinate parts of your house, whether it be hallways and living rooms or basements and laundry rooms. To add a smooth transition between rooms, choose a color for one room and paint an adjacent room two shades lighter or darker.

Colors need to be a designer and customer’s friend. Try out a variety of colors, and utilize paint samples when available. Paint layers of samples upon walls to truly know how it will lay once dried. If you’re a designer looking for color schemes, contact one of our many sponsors for paint samples and swatches.