For Architectural Digest, by Lindsey Mather.
Before the lighting and the artwork, the sofa and the throw pillows, comes perhaps the most important decision you will make about a space: the color of the walls. The hue you end up with will affect not only the look of the room but how you feel in it. Picking a paint color sounds fun in theory, but in reality it can be a challenge. Once you land on a color family, you’re faced with seemingly endless shades, and then there’s the finish to figure out. Plus, how do you manage to avoid permanent brushstrokes and way too much paint leftover? We’ve polled industry experts, tapped top brands, and delved deep into our own archives to get intel on every step of the painting process. Find it all in one place, below.
Where to Find Paint Inspiration
Before you pick up a paint can, it’s best to search out rooms that represent the look you hope to achieve. That’s where we come in. Gray is the hot neutral right now, so we rounded up the most stunning gray rooms from our archives. Or perhaps you’d like to see what might be the most flattering paint color ever. In fact, solid-color walls are just the beginning — we’re all about trying an unexpected idea, too. Decorative painting techniques are certainly having a moment, and we asked four designers to weigh in on what we should expect next. If you’re curious to see the power of color, check out how different hues transformed 12 bedrooms. Elsewhere, discover rooms from the pages of Architectural Digest that use cool colors beautifully, along with spaces that will convince you that warm colors aren’t just for autumn.
How to Choose a Paint Color
You’ve got a fan deck of colors in hand — now what? We narrowed down your choices by gathering 30 of the best-selling paint colors out there. If you’re leaning toward classic white, interior designer Bruce Bierman revealed five questions to ask yourself before choosing the goes-with-everything hue for your home (and we also found the most popular shades). Prefer a moodier hue? Check out our roundup of gray paint options. Regardless, an expert’s opinion is always valuable, so we called on 14 top designers to name their favorite paint colors. The style of your home is another good starting point. We asked decorators which shades they’d use in two totally different residences: a rustic cabin and a beach house. Then there’s mixing multiple hues, which is a whole different design game. Miles Redd reveals a selection of snazzy color combinations to try, and we can’t get enough of his palettes.
How to Paint Like a Pro
There’s more to painting a room than than you might think. First, discover the right way to test out a sample. We’ve also got the details on three different paint finishes (and when to use them in your space). Finally found the right shade? It’s time to figure out how much paint you’ll need. Next, read this before hiring a painting contractor or, if you’d rather tackle the project yourself, learn how Ellen DeGeneres’s favorite contractors paint a room, step by step.
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