Choosing the Right Wall Colors from Paint Chips...

Finding the right COLOR to paint your walls could be a difficult task for you.  It was tough for me for a while, but I ended up being very cut-throat when it came to determining the exact color I wanted to use for one room.  I didn't go through painting tiny different color swatches on my walls...I simply chose the color based off of paint chips I collected from Home Depot or Lowes.  

Greg and I are planning a "Kitchen Facelift" for our 70sqft kitchen in our apartment.  Yes, you heard read that right, 70 sqft. Let's just say it's a tiny kitchen, so we want to do a tiny upgrade, with a budget of $100 (start to finish), and I know we can do it.  Just have to get things rolling (with paint first...LOL).

For this "Facelift", we are doing an accent wall...and I'll save the details of this wall for when we actually begin the transformation.  We went to Home Depot, and eventually made our way to the Paint Department.  Going in, I knew my color palette needed to be White, Grey, and Yellow, but after having talked it through with Greg (while standing in the aisle) he informed me that his childhood home included a yellow kitchen, that his mother ended up hating after years of living with it.  I had reservations about the yellow, and I knew it was only going to be an accent color, so I pushed on.  Greg went for picking out the greys, and I went for the yellows.  After staring at colors called Sunshine, Sunflowers, Daisy, and Lemon, for what seemed like hours, we decided that yellow was JUST not our color.  I was initially going for the "cheery" aspect of it, but Greg reminded me that it would be too "harsh" of a color, and "wouldn't match...it would make everything in that room look yellow - the floors, butcher block, etc".  Yeah, he was right (duh!).  After having picked out the floors earlier in our trip to HD, he was right...it would look JUST TOO YELLOW.  Not to mention, I don't even like yellow - what was I thinking???


The accent color changed from yellow to BLUE or GREEN just like that...and once we got all the paint chips home (3 different piles - grey, green, and blue)...I was a little overwhelmed...because choosing colors for an Accent Wall is where picking out the final colors gets difficult for me.  Not only did I end up having three different color piles to go through, I also had to make a grey and an accent color "make sense" together.  
So...BECAUSE I had such difficulty finding out MY final colors, I figured I would write my method of "madness" in this post.  

First, have a color palette in mind...so that you don't just go to HD and "wing it".  You would think that just picking out paint chips would be the easiest part...until you come home with 80% of the paint chips that Home Depot supplies. 

Then...you need to create a "blank space" for your chips to rest.  In this picture below, I used 4 pieces of construction paper taped together - in white.  Paint chips are easier to view if they're not influenced by the tan color of an IKEA table.  

Next, grab a pair of scissors, take your paint chips, and CUT THEM UP!!!  The goal here is three-fold:
  1. Ask yourself during this process "Do I like this color?".  It's literally determining what colors you initially like and don't.  If you fundamentally don't like the color on it's own, you probably won't like it as an accent on your wall, get it?  
  2. You want to keep the chips that are initially deemed by you as "maybes" and "yes's".
  3. Doing this will allow you to compare and contrast chips to other colors and shades of the same color family, as well as matching them to your base color.  

So...CUT THEM UP - you're not going to hell...promise.  If you've done it right, you should end up with piles similar to the picture below:
The Accents (Blues and Greens) --- The Main Color (Greys)

The picture above includes a pen - you'll use this for the next couple steps to mark which ones are definite "No's" and "Yes's".  I started with my main color (Grey) because I needed to break this pile down to 2 or 3...it would make my life a hell of a lot easier if I was only dealing with a couple.  Take this opportunity to match this paint chip to any surrounding items (countertops, entertainment centers, etc) so that you don't throw yourself completely off...

Now...after I had two paint chips of my main color, I took one of the accent colors, and did the same thing (x'ing ones I hated, circling ones I liked), and matched them to a grey...You'll see that even though I might have liked the pile of greens that I had, I ended up with only 6 greens from the initial pile (that both matched a grey, and that I liked). 

Next, you'll use the same process with the other accent color.  In this picture, you'll notice, I flipped over the 6 greens so that everything is together.  Clearly I like blue more than green, because I have more options to match each grey.  

After going through each accent pile, and matching each color to a "master" grey, these were the scraps I had leftover...makes you feel a sense of accomplishment!!

NOW I have to decide between these two piles of accents for which main color I'm going to use...this is really difficult...because the green would match the living room a little better than the blue...but I just love blue, and so does Greg...UGH!!!  I'm literally the most indecisive person...no joke.  This is where Greg comes in...because this is just too much to handle. 

So...until the kitchen is complete, the Accent Color choice will remain a mystery, as well as the design of the wall...so STAY TUNED!!!  I'll post it - promise!!!! :)

Also - feel free to comment below on the challenges that you face when trying to pick out a color for your rooms (and I'd love to hear your stories too!!)

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