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Considerations Before Choosing A Paint Color

After leaving the store, paint swatches in hand, you are excited and ready to choose the next color for your living room. All the colors you grabbed look amazing, but how will they translate to the walls? Are there more things to consider than just what looks good?

Did you know that sitting in a pale-blue room can be relaxing?

Have you ever tried covering bright red with white?

Does tawny brown sadly remind your daughter of her long-lost teddy bear?

painting wall at housing cooperative

Choosing a room color isn't as simple as finding one that pleases your eye. There are a handful of things one should explore before making that new color commitment.

Consider this...


Colors can alter your attitude. Warm colors such as red, yellow and orange psychologically remind us of the sun's rays, therefore, they are energizing and exciting. Cool colors, such as blue, green and purple, remind us of water and are therefore, calming and sedative.

When choosing your paint, keep in mind that you will soon be surrounded by this color phenomenon. A high yellow bedroom may be cheery upon waking, but will it be too stimulating for falling asleep? Choose wisely!

yellow paint on wall with woman eating ice cream


Some colors are extremely difficult to paint over, even with a quality primer. Before you choose that deep violet for your living room walls, consider the consequences when you're ready to change it. How many coats might you need to paint in order to cover it up? Is it possible you could choose just a shade or two lighter and still achieve the same color effect you were looking for? If so, this may prevent future painting headaches.


The lighting in the store is likely different from the lighting in your home. Always purchase a sample of the paint you are deciding on. Test it in your home on the actual wall you will be painting to get a much truer idea of the final color. Just a small 2" x 2" paint test can make all the difference.

bedroom lighting


The same color paint in the container can look much different dried on the wall. Your firefly orange can end up looking like dreamsicle peach after it dries. Consider testing a small patch on the wall, and waiting 24 hours to make sure it's the color you want.


The difference between matte and high gloss is a world apart. A matte finish with a red wall in a high traffic area like a kitchen can mean stains, stains, stains. If the spaghetti splatters, that super porous matte finish will soak it right in, leaving memorabilia on the wall for all to enjoy, or not.

bowl of food

High gloss, on the other hand, is a great choice for a kitchen as the non-porous finish will wipe up easily and leave the wall spot-free. High-gloss can, however, be a bit too shiny and exciting in a bedroom. Ask a paint expert for a thorough explanation of the different kinds of finishes and recommendations on what may be best for you.


You may love the seafoam green color you picked out for the family bathroom, but does your husband? Maybe he has a very bad memory association with that color. Always check with all the members of your household before committing to a color. You'd hate to be the cause of invoking memories better left un-turned.


If your goal is to achieve a glamorous monochromatic (same) color scheme, you might want to take your paint swatches to the furniture store or home. While some of us may be able to match two blues together, one from memory the other from sight, the majority of us need a visual aide.

Taking your paint swatches home or to the furniture store to match the colors exactly is a great way to ensure the right color blue is actually YOUR right color blue.

couch and end table

As you can see, there are more considerations when choosing to paint your home or cooperative than one might think starting out. Take your time and carefully select the paint that fits your needs and desires. In the end, you'll be glad you did.

At Cedarwood Cooperative, we offer our members a chance to paint their walls any color they wish. As a Coop Housing Member, we encourage you to surround yourself will colors that make you smile. Do keep in mind the above considerations, however, before committing.

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