paint swatches

How to Test Paint Colors Before Choosing 

Choosing a paint color for your space can be a grueling process. Is it too light, too dark, too … something? Does it look right in the morning light as well as the waning light of day? Does it coordinate well with your decor? That’s why testing a color sample is the best solution for all of your doubts and questions. 

Many homeowners wonder what the best method is to test their paint samples before making the final choice and committing to a color. Here are a few suggestions that may help you in your decision-making. 

paint samples

#1 Choose 2-3 Samples 

In our experience of painting interior spaces, it is a good idea to choose a few colors that you would like to try before making your final choice. The samples may be close in color or be wildly different, it’s really up to you. 

The idea is that once you see your colors in comparison to one another you may be able to clearly see the undertones that you may like or dislike in the space. 

#2 Use the Walls as Your Sample Space 

Some homeowners like to test their samples on a wooden board or a white board to see the color in the space. We recommend using the actual walls as your sample space, due to the texture of the walls and the angle of the light entering the room. 

Wall texture tends to be very different from a flat piece of wood. Also, the direction of the light entering the room from windows and light fixtures could completely change the aesthetic of the color. 

#3 Test Samples on Multiple Walls 

Every wall in your room will experience a different angle of the light. Try the sample on a couple walls in the room you will be painting to see how the natural and artificial light affects the paint color at different times of the day. 

color palette for homes

#4 Use Primer and 2 Coats of Paint 

When you eventually choose a color, you will be priming the space and most likely using two coats of the final color. Do the same for the paint samples so you can see how it will really look with a solid coat of primer on the walls. Otherwise, without the primer or two coats, your paint may show the previous color through your first layer of sample. 

#5 Test Paint Sheens 

Once you have chosen the color scheme that you love in the space, you have one more decision to make – paint sheen. From semi-gloss to matte, the choices are endless. We suggest trying your final color on the wall in a couple different sheens or finishes before you make that last and final decision. The sheen can absorb or reflect the light in different ways and may change the aesthetics of the space.