Tips for Choosing Wall Paint Colours at Home

There are so many options for how to choose paint colours for a home. Some people choose to select their paint colours first, then purchase furniture/decor based off that. Others like to choose a statement piece of furniture or decor first, then use that as inspiration to find a coordinating or complimenting paint colour. I usually go with the former. Most of the time I like to select a paint colour that is going to be versatile, and not box me into a corner with decor. 

No matter which order you choose your wall colours in, there are some simple ways to make sure you are happy with the final product. 


Every colour, even the ones that seem the most singular, have an undertone. When I was younger, my parents did a huge renovation on our home. I heard them trying to chose a paint colour and upon looking myself I was slightly confused. They were all green. Why couldn’t they just chose if they wanted dark or light green? Well, as I looked closer and paid more attention (not the first instinct of a teenager!) I noticed that some were yellowy, others seemed a bit blue. Now you might be thinking, of course Olivia, there are millions of different versions and shades of all the colours. And I know this, and knew it then, but here’s the biggest tip: Put all the paint samples beside each other, overlapping even. When they are all close together, you can really see which ones have strong undertones and which ones are more subtle. 

So yes, we all know (now) that its never just as simple as “I want red, let’s get red”. But did you know that whites, greys, and blacks all have undertones as well? I’ve heard from so many people that pick out a grey colour at the store, have it mixed and bring it home. Then they put it on the wall, only to step back in surprise as they realize it’s not really true grey, it’s actually blue (or green, or red etc etc etc). This is because all colours and shades are made up of mixing 3 colours – Red, Green and Blue. It’s referred to as RGB in the colour and design world, and using different ratios of these 3 colours together is what gives us all the other colours of the rainbow and beyond. When all three values are the same, you get a true grey or black or white. The higher the number of all three colours, the lighter the colour will be. The values go from 0-255, with 0 being the darkest black, and 255 being stark white. Most paint colours of these shades usually have more of one colour than the others though. 

Choose an undertone that you like and carry that throughout your home. This way, even if you have many colours throughout the house, the undertone will tie them all together and make it seem less like several random rooms and more like one large intentional space. 

Sample of 5 different grey paints with a green undertone

Paint colours with the same (green) undertone

Viewing Paint Swatches

Take your swatches home. Look at them in every different possible way. Stick them to the wall, put them on the floor. Look at them in the daylight, look at them at night. See how they look with the ceiling light on, then with just the lamp. The same colour will look SO different in all these different situations. The most important thing is that you have the swatches at home, in the room you will be painting. When we got our new home 3 years ago, I sat on the floor of my daughters room, with a thousand paint swatches and her duvet cover, for a very long time. I did this until I was sure that the light grey I was choosing looked the way I wanted it to with the floor and her duvet cover (that we picked out together a year before getting the house and she was so excited to finally use!). For our bedroom, I stood there for half a second with a couple swatches and quickly chose one. And I can tell you that I am not happy with our room, but am madly in love with hers. Take the time, I promise it’s worth it. 

Test a Patch on the Wall

Once you have settled on a colour it can be a really great idea to get a small sample size can of it and paint a large square on the wall with it. Oftentimes the actual paint looks different than the swatch, especially if you are getting a different finish. 


Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Lustre, Semi-Gloss, Gloss, and the list goes on and on. There are so many different types of paint finishes and knowing which one you need/want for your space is so important. This is a whole post on it’s own that is coming up soon, but if you are using anything other than eggshell, I suggest going ahead with the tip above and testing the actual paint in the finish you want on your wall before investing in a gallon!

By using these tips and taking your time, you’re sure to love the colours you choose! And if not, you’re just a paint brush and roller away from making it right!! 

Follow me on Instagram for more tips and projects while we upgrade our new build house into a cozy home. To never miss a new post scroll on down and subscribe to my page! Feel free to also visit my Etsy page for some Instant Download photography wall art. 

Until next time, 


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