Why is it so difficult to choose a paint color?

Home Stager with Abella Home Staging & Redesign


Why is it so difficult to choose a paint color? As a decorator I see a lot of clients' homes. More often than not I hear, "I thought this was the perfect color until I saw it on the wall". So many times the homeowner has chosen a color that does not co-ordinate with their decor. Why is that? Many homeowners will choose a color that they have seen in a magazine. The problem with that is, you don't have the same accessories as the magazine picture!! Sometimes they will see a paint color they like at a friend's home.Once again, unless you have a carbon copy of your friend's home, it won't work!!

So what do you do? Here are some guidelines to help you.

  • Every color has an undertone. Meaning all beige's started as a color, whether it's yellow, red, green or orange. So pay attention!   



                             SW6105 Divine White (Yellow Base)         SW6035 Gauzy White (Red Base)


                              SW6147 Panda White (Green base)       SW Nice White (Orange base)  

  • Determine what undertones are in your room. Like your carpet, flooring, counter tops, tiles, and so on.


  • Keep all your neutrals the same undertones. By doing this you are assured of having a successful color palette.


  • Don't forget lighting. All colors will look different in different lightening situations, like morning sun, afternoon shade and evening lighting. So make sure you test the colors in these situations.


  • Use large paint samples. Many companies like Sherwin Williams offer 8x11 samples that can be ordered online.This is great because you can now truly see the color.


  • NEVER paint the color sample on the wall. The existing color will influence the color swatch and you will not get a true read!!


These guidelines will help you when choosing your color palette. You can also decide to hire a color specialist. This small investment will assure you that the color you are choosing is the correct one, there-by eliminating any costly mistake. So well-worth the price!!

Comments (6)

Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

you bet....undertones are a vital to making this work !

Jan 04, 2013 06:07 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Yes they are Sally & David, unfortunately most homeowners don't see or understand that!!

Jan 04, 2013 06:37 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Choosing paint color is never easy.  I'm somewhat anxious whenever I suggest a color to a client....you never know until it's completed if it's going to work out the way you plan.  I always sigh a breath of relief when it turns out fabulous!  

Jan 05, 2013 08:20 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Sharon, I took a course that is offered by Joanne Learnt-Weary called "Color with no regrets". Great course and it really takes the guess work out of the equation. Worth taking a look at.

Jan 06, 2013 01:01 AM
Kate Talarico
Kates Home Staging and Interior Design - Goshen, NY
RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager

Great info, it is important the all the undertones coordinate.

Jan 17, 2013 02:14 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Hello Kate, once you can figure out the undertone, it will be much easier to chose a color.

Jan 17, 2013 03:34 AM