I Need Suggestions for Paint Color

Updated on December 23, 2008
M.B. asks from Lake Villa, IL
8 answers

We have a large family room with a hunter green couch as the main piece. The family room is in the lower level so it has a ledge approx. 4 feet high that sticks out.

I would like any suggestions you may have for a color scheme.

I would like to paint the bottom half one color and the top half another color. We have 2 small walls without the ledge and a hallway that is just flat wall.

I don't would not mind using a technique such as sponging.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing any suggestions you may have.


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answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

I would love to help you pick out some colors. I am an Interior Designer. Please let me know if I can help you.



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answers from Chicago on

Buy a few poster boards and some smaller, sample jars of paint. You should be able to find these at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

Paint the poster boards and temporarily hang them on the walls so you can see how the colors might look in your house. Observe the colors at different times of the day and different types of light (natural, sunlight, lights on/off, etc.). This way you can kind of do a 'trial run' without painting the entire room.

Also, I agree with the sponging and/or any other 'effects' style techniques. Unless you trust yourself 100% to do the faux finish technique perfectly, you might wish to hire a professional. After 5 coats, tears of frustration, and hours of wasted time, I was left with a wall that looked nothing like the paint chip despite following the techniques to the letter. I don't know how to people who bought our condo ever got the paint off the wall; maybe they liked my terrible handiwork, who knows!



answers from Chicago on

If you do not have a lot of light in the room or the room does not have a high ceiling, do NOT use a dark color. It will just make it seem really small and closed in. My cousin painted her room a beautiful deep blue--but I could not stand to be in that room. Also, as another poster states, painting the bottom and top different colors could make the room seem smaller. However, If you use neutral colors and the bottom is just very slightly darker, it should be okay. For green any cream color should be okay. That way you could also use other colors in the room. A good source is HGTV.com They have decorating tips that can help choose coordinating colors.



answers from Chicago on

The color depends on a few factors -- what is the feel you're trying to go for? What are your favorite colors?

I'm a big fan of pottery barn so for inspiration, I look at their Website or catalogs for color combos, furniture arrangements, etc. The Website has a decorating section that I check frequently. It covers color, furniture arrangement, etc.

Define what you're trying to accomplish with the room in the way of look and feel and do some searching online. Check HGTV also as they're an excellent resource. Collect photos/tear sheets from magazines of rooms you like and think about how to apply elements to your own room.

As far as paint, I'm a Valspar girl (you can get it at Lowe's.) I have used it for some time now and have found the coverage to be exceptional.

Most important, have fun with paint and color and realize that if you don't like the result, you can always change it for a few dollars. Be inspired!!



answers from Chicago on

Don't do sponging, it's dated (early 90's) & never comes out the way you want it to. I also wouldn't paint 2 colors on 1 wall unless you have really high ceilings (most lower levels do not). It will make your space feel closed in. I would buy a couple of decor magazines & look at some color schemes. Don't be afraid to use a bolder color on the wall if you have enough natural light. If you don't have natural light in your lower level than go with a slightly softer shade. If you have a pillow in the same fabric as the sofa you should bring it with you when you go to the paint store. Benjamin Moore paints have sampler sizes you can buy for a few dollars. I would buy a few of these & then test them on the wall first (make sure you put paint on at least a 1 foot by 1 foot test area). Most paints look different on the wall than they look on the paint card.



answers from Chicago on

People still do various kinds of faux painting but I agree I would only do it myself if I was quite confident about the outcome. You can always practice first, until you get it right. If you have a "chair rail" piece that goes around the middle you can totally do two different colors but that's kinda tricky. Instead do two different shades of the same color- pale yellow/more intense golden yellow with the lighter shade on the bottom. Or white on the bottom and an intense color on top. Or the other way around for that matter. On the flat wall do the whichever color.(not the white)Make sure you pick a color you really enjoy rather then trying to "match" your furniture. You can accessorize to make it all coordinate. Have fun and yeah get some magazines for ideas!



answers from Peoria on

If your store carries Dutch Boy products, they should have software that you can buy for $5-10. You just put it in your computer and use a digital picture of the room and you can test different paint colors. I used it for my painting projects and it works really well.



answers from Chicago on

I typically use benjamin moore paints. you can go to their website to "try-on" color. they have sample rooms and you can choose any of the paint colors to paint the room. they let you vary the trim, wall, ceiling etc. I have used this tool quite often and have been very pleased. I even helped my mom pick colors for her new home this way.

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