Choosing the perfect color for your paint job is probably the most important step in successfully decorating with paint. It can be difficult to choose the perfect color because it often looks quite different once you get it home and applying the paint. Then when it dries, it will still look different. So, why not perform a test run before you invest in a few gallons of paint? Most of the larger specialty paint stores now allow you to purchase color samples.

By choosing three or four small samples of the paint colors you think will be best and painting little areas of the wall as a test you are sure to make the best choices. This way you can see how it will look when it is dry and in the surrounding areas of your space. The lighting of the room plus the colors of the décor of the room will make a difference in how the paint will look on the wall.

The benefits of using paint samples are that you can experiment with color schemes for your room by choosing a few different colors. This way you can see firsthand how different undertones of colors will make the room feel like using a gray-yellow, or green-yellow or a pure vibrant yellow. There are so many different tints and shades of each color group it will be easier to get a real feel for how they will affect your space. You will see the way the natural light and the lighting of the room affect your chosen color and how the color will flow into the next room or go with a colorful rug. All this is very difficult to visualize for most people so being able to see it first hand in a small sample painted square will take the guess work out of your choices.

Each paint sample is two ounces and will cover about a two by two foot area on your wall with two applications of paint. This is a great way to be sure you have chosen the perfect color. Do a few different test areas so you can compare your color choices after the paint has dried completely. Look at them in natural sunlight and then with artificial light at night. You might want to use smaller test sections and do a few in different places around the room to get a better feel of the complete look.

When you do your test squares it is best to prepare the surface correctly. It needs to be in good shape with no holes, gouges or shiny spots and be clean and dry. The background of your painted sample is best if it is white or a very pale color. Painting over a dark color will change the appearance of the color once on the wall. The sample square can easily be applied by using a disposable sponge brush or a bristle paint brush. Be sure to use two coats to get the truest finished product. Disposable sponge brushes are fine for doing your samples but should not be used when painting the entire room. There will be a peel-off label on the bottom on your sample color so that you can stick this to the sample square to be sure you remember which paint you used.

Interior and Exterior Painting – How to Use Color Samples Before you Paint