5 Rules For Choosing Interior Paint Colors

It can be both exciting and overwhelming to choose new paint colors for our home’s interior! Many of us feel we have way too many options and some of us don’t even know where to start…Some of us think the paint color will change the whole feel of the home, while the rest of us think paint is just paint…Some of us see painting as an opportunity to add character to our home, while some of us paint our homes to make them as neutral as possible…you know in case we decide to sell it next week…;) Surely, there is a balance to be found! Whatever your style or goals are for your paint project; remembering these 5 rules should help you out!

1. Work With The Colors You Have

Unless you are planning a full remodel; it is important to choose paint colors that work well with other colors that are in your home. Your cabinets, floors, counter-tops, furniture etc will all have an effect on how the color actually shows up in your home. Basic Color Theory tells us that color is perceived in contrast to the colors around it. Notice the difference visible in this simple example I made using 3 different colored pieces of paper. The gray is the same but you can see how it looks slightly different depending on its surroundings.

Gray paper on cool toned light gray background vs Gray paper on warm toned brown background: shows how paint colors are perceived based on their surroundings.

While the difference isn’t HUGE in this image, it is very common for people who have warm toned cabinets and floors to choose a nice cool gray that looks good at the store or even in a friend’s home; only to find that it looks blue or even purple in contrast to what is in their home. (Guilty!)

Because of how easy it is for simple things to alter the overall look; many people who LIKE colors would rather just choose white paint than deal with a color that looks different than they were expecting. Sad. One way to avoid this issue is to actually bring home several swatches of paint colors from the store and hold them up next to the other colors in your home.

If you Do plan on changing something other than just the paint (flooring, carpet, fireplace etc); find samples of whatever that will be as well. Don’t worry about matching paint colors to the couch you’re going to throw out in 3 weeks. πŸ˜‰

2. Remember Lighting Changes The Color

The next thing to consider as you compare paint colors for your space is the lighting. Most paint swatches look very different at the paint store than they will look in the space you will be painting them. This can be for many reasons; such as the tones of your light-bulbs (incandescent, halogen, daylight, fluorescent etc), the amount of direct sunlight that comes in, and even whether that sunlight is morning light or evening light! The temperature or hue of the light (on a scale of warm to cool) makes a big difference in how you see the color overall.

While the amount of light changes throughout the day; so too will your paint colors. Most of us know and accept this, but it is still important to keep in mind as you choose the colors for your home. Here is an example of how the same color can look different in the same room because of different temperatures of light.

In this photo you can notice that the warm toned ceiling lights make both the gray and the white paint colors look warmer in the areas they shine. You can also notice how much brighter everything looks by the window with the natural light coming in. Being aware of how much the light can change a color is a reality we can’t ignore when we choose our paint colors!
Photo by Sidekix Media

3. Trendy is Spendy

A lot of the times when we can’t decide which color we want in our space, we hop on google and find some article about “the best color choices this year” or we scroll instagram and see nicely curated pictures with certain themes and trends and we think “That looks Great!”. We all know how long trends last though; so if our aim is to be trendy and “modern”, it is going to be a continuous work. Some people like to always be renovating and changing up their space, and it is true that paint and furniture and all the things do not last forever and usually will need re-done at some point anyway, so it is not exactly a “wrong” approach. However, taking some time to think about what you Actually like is a more sustainable way of choosing how you design your space.

So much trendy….for now… πŸ˜‰ Photo by Alyssa Strohmann

Choosing Trendy Paint Colors

If you choose the “trendy” color; do you also then have to toss out all your throw pillows and furniture because they don’t match the theme? Do you actually like the wicker baskets that go so nicely with the theme of every image that has the trending colors? Have you looked up how expensive those are?! πŸ˜‰ Were you actually planning on re-doing your fireplace as well? The main question is really— Do you like the Color or do you like the Theme? How much of what exists in your home are you prepared to change, financially? And how much are you expecting the paint to do by itself? How often are you willing to change it because it has become outdated? Because it will.

Choosing Paint Colors We Like

Sometimes we do like trends and the paint colors attached to them; as they can be very like-able. Maybe we Do want to change everything; but for most of us the reality is that by the time we can get all the work done to make all the things flow together- it probably won’t be trendy anymore. This is a non-issue if we are slowly working towards a color scheme that we genuinely like, rather than trying to keep up with the trends. Trends can be a lot of fun and provide great inspiration and new ideas…Just remember not to focus on them so much that you forget what you really like!

4. Aim For Color Harmony

One definition of Harmony is “The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole”. We know that something is visually harmonious when it is pleasing to look at. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being bland and boring, and 10 being chaotic and distracting, we should aim for somewhere near 5! We have all seen paint themes that fall on both ends of this spectrum… I tend to remember that chaotic ones more than the boring ones…but not in a good way…hehehe… While it is true that we all perceive things differently; a balance that is relatively harmonious is found near the middle. Somewhere between under-stimulating and over-stimulating. Harmony is found when the colors are both logical and dynamic.

Most paint companies help us out with finding harmonious paint colors…We just have to harmonize them with everything else! Photo by Clay Banks

When you choose your paint colors; it is easy to find colors that are harmonious with each other, but don’t forget to make sure they make sense with the other things in your home too! The best way to be pleased with your results is to consider all the parts of the whole! Choosing your favorite color might sound great…but it won’t be when it clashes with everything else. Picking white to avoid any of the complexities can be nice…but it can also be incredibly boring. Choosing paint color based on a trend can be exciting…and also way more work than you were looking for. Find the balance!

5. Hire A Color Consultant

A color consultant’s job is to remember all of these things for you. It is their job to tie together what you like with what you have. They will suggest colors that will be a better fit, and eliminate ones that are not going to work. They understand color theory and which tones will work best in your space. Often times, they will have larger color swatches or paint samples that they can hold up or paint on different walls. Painting larger sections of walls can give you a chance to see if you like the color throughout the day and how it will look different from one wall to another. This can help you narrow down which color you actually want based on what looks best to you at the time of day when it matters most to you.

All paint colors are subject to changing tones based on lighting and surroundings, but a color consultant can help you find the best color for you! They may also have ideas you haven’t thought of that could really bring new life to your space! If you work with Sir Paints A Lot, we provide a free color consult when you book a paint job with us! If you aren’t local; check around! Many paint companies have started adding this to their services as well! Happy Customers are the goal!

To Schedule an Estimate with Sir Paints A Lot call 541-600-2025 or click HERE to book one now! Thank You!

UnMasking the Secret to Successful Masking

Ahhh. The anticipation of peeling off masking tape to see crisp, clean paint lines…. Only to discover that the paint has leaked through, the lines are squiggled, and the tape is stuck… in some places… Below I will share some dos and don’ts that may just help you avoid this messy fate!

First things first! There are several different colors and varieties of painting tape or masking tape. I’ll just go over the reason for this and which tape to use where!

  • White Tape: White tape is just your basic masking tape and it is commonly used to hang plastic or paper up around window sills or trim. It works well in most painting situations and can be found in different widths. It is not as highly recommended as blue; but it is much cheaper and works well in all the same situations.
  • Blue Tape: Blue painter’s tape has medium adhesion and is practical for using on slightly more delicate surfaces that you don’t want to risk damaging. For example; You are painting a kitchen and need to mask off the cabinets which have been painted in the past. Blue tape is less likely to pull up the old paint. If that were to happen; then you would need to repaint the cabinets too. Not a fun add-on if you were not planning on it! Go with Purple if you’re really cautious.
  • Green Tape: Green painter’s tape has very strong adhesion and is the best choice if you are relying on tape to get crisp, straight lines with no bleeding; especially if the surface you are applying it too is a little rough. It can pull up the material underneath, though; so use with discretion.
  • Orange Tape: Orange Tape is Basically white tape but stronger. The adhesion level is the same but the strength of the tape (how easily it tears or rips) is a little more heavy duty.
  • Yellow Tape: Yellow tape has strong adhesion that works excellent outdoors. It is waterproof and works great on exterior windows because it will not leave any residue which would later collect dust. Nobody likes dirty windows…

Now here are some tips for How to use masking tape; How to not to; and a few bonus tips at the end!


  • Clean the surface you will be masking first. Your tape won’t stick to dust….well, scratch that, it will! Dust won’t keep your tape stuck to the wall though!
  • Apply your masking as straight and smooth as you can. Avoid using multiple pieces of tape for the same stretch of masking. A tiny bit of uneven overlap will show!
  • Be sure to press down on your tape as you go. This seems like a given; but it can be easy to get moving along a trim board or other lengthy surface and forget to press your tape down the whole way.
  • Allow 2nd coat of paint to dry before removing masking. You want your paint to Just be dry to the touch so that you cannot accidentally smudge it as you roll up your masking.
  • Stick in in the trash. Even obvious things can be forgotten. πŸ˜‰
Sir Paints Crew putting that green and orange masking tape to good use! Can’t forget the coffee…;)


  • Drown the masking tape with a super heavy first coat. If you take it easy on the first coat, it will help to seal the tape to the wall and give you a clean line. If you bury tape with too much moisture; it will not remain adhered to the wall. We all know what happens next.
  • Forget to bolt down free edges of plastic and paper. Wind and even pressure from the paint sprayer will cause these to blow around into your freshly painted surface.
  • Remove masking after each coat. It is very difficult to match your original line if you decide you want a fresh batch of tape for the 2nd coat. Apply both coats (Or more if necessary) before removing tape.
  • Leave tape too long. You want the paint to be dry before you remove your masking; but if you let it dry more than 24 hours it is much more likely to pull the paint right off with it. This completely ruins that perfect line. Epic Fail. (Fear not! There is a tip below just in case this is happening!)
  • Mask around lightbulbs with paper. Some people still use lightbulbs that get hot. Charred accents can be nice sometimes; but that is probably not what you’re going for if you are painting!
  • Throw all your masking on the floor. Dry paint flakes make a big mess and its better to put them straight into the trash. Sometimes there can even be slightly wet paint still hanging out on the plastic; and that will make an even bigger mess.


  • Get yourself one of these masking tools! It is a serious time saver that helps you get straight lines and also lines up your tape perfectly with either paper or plastic.
Hand Masking Tool
  • If you have the time and REALLY REALLY want a perfect line; paint a light coat of the color you are hoping to protect against the masking tape’s seam (provided you have it). This will seal the tape with the color behind it, and then you can continue to paint your new color worry free.
  • The Grande Finale of Tips! When you remove your masking tape; first use a blade to score the edge of the tape so that it doesn’t pull any of the new color off with it. This is especially useful in tight areas like along the inside corners and edges of window trim, or in any circumstance where you find your tape is pulling new paint up with it.

Hopefully these tips make the time you spend masking well worth it! If not; at least you will get practice at cutting in and doing touch up! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading! Have a Great Day! If you would like to see how our team gets all the things masked off; give us a call at 541-600-2025 or click HERE to book an estimate now!!!