Color Selection
Christiansen & Company 

Painting your neighborhood since 1984

(610) 247-3944

Step - By Step Color Selection  

1. Identify the “fixed” elements of your room that you are not planning on changing. For example, furniture, rugs, fireplace, color of woodwork or tiling, etc. All paint colors must coordinate with these elements. 

2. Identify the room’s natural attributes, such as room size and lighting, and the way in which you want the color of the room to affect those attributes. Keep in mind cool (blue, violet and green), dark colors recede and seem to pull away from you, making the room seem larger, while warm (red, orange and yellow), light colors expand and seem to come towards you, making the room seem smaller. It’s important that you make a final selection only after viewing a sample of your color choice in the room you are painting so you can see how natural and artificial light affects the color.
3. Identify what the room will be used for – rest, play, work or dining. Think about what colors make you feel comfortable, energetic or inspired. Keep in mind the colors you choose to work with will determine whether the environment is dramatic or subtle. Some colors are associated with moods. 

Here are some basic associations; • Red – energy & passion • Orange – active & inviting • Yellow – bright & sunny • Green – calm & serene • Blue – refreshing & inspiring • Purple – cleaning & soothing • Neutrals – subtle & elegant 

4. Start with colors in tones that naturally appeal to you. Tip; outline a large photocopy of a picture of your room. Duplicate this several times to get a few black & white images. Use colored pencils to experiment with different color schemes and you’ll be ahead of the game before you turn to chips or actual paint samples.

High Gloss
The most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough.

High gloss is a good choice for area that sticky fingers touch — cabinets, trim, and doors. High-gloss, however, is too much shine for interior walls. And like a Spandex dress, high gloss shows every bump and roll, so don’t skimp on prep work.

Practical application: kitchens, door, and window trim
Durability: very high

Good for rooms where moisture, drips, and grease stains challenge walls. Also great for trim work that takes a lot of abuse.

Practical application: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, chair rails
Durability: high

Has a yummy luster that, despite the name, is often described as velvety. It’s easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas. Its biggest flaw is it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups later can be tricky. 

Practical application: family rooms, foyers, hallways, kids’ bedrooms
Durability: high

Between satin and flat on the sheen (and durability) scale is eggshell, so named because it’s essentially a flat (no-shine) finish with little luster, like a chicken’s egg. Eggshell covers wall imperfections well and is a great finish for gathering spaces that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs.

Practical application: dining rooms, living rooms
Durability: medium

Flat or Matte
A friend to walls that have something to hide, flat/matte soaks up, rather than reflects, light. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which translates to time and money savings. However, it’s tough to clean without taking paint off with the grime.

Practical application: adults’ bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t be roughed up by kids
Durability: medium-low

Tips For Choosing the Right Sheen
If your paint color is dark and rich but you don’t want a super shiny effect, step down at least one level on the sheen scale. That’s because the darker and richer the paint color is, the more colorant it has, which boosts sheen. Ditto if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall. The higher the sheen, the more defects will show.