picking the perfect paint color

Don't get me wrong, I love painting. Or at least, I use to; but I guess there's just something about painting the whole interior of your house by yourself (and now one of those rooms twice) that makes you never really want to paint again.
So, needless to say, I am very happy that I'm done painting for awhile (eventually I'll need to paint all the ceilings... but that's not happening any time soon), and I'm even more thrilled that I finally found the perfect gray paint color for my girls' room!
I've picked out plenty a paint color in my day, and usually pretty successfully, but if you've ever tried to work with gray you know that it can be a tricky color.

By the way, even though I'm American I always really want to spell it grey, I don't know why. I mean, I know it's not technically wrong, and it's just an American vs. elsewhere spelling, but I really have to force myself to spell it with an "a".
Anyway, I digress.

So here are some quick tips for picking the perfect paint color that I've used over the years, including the easy, "duh" moment secret that finally helped me pick the perfect gray color!

//Live with some swatches.//
This is probably one you've done a million times, but go down to your local hardware or paint store and pick up some swatches, pick a bunch. Have a good variety of different tints, shades, and tones in the color family you're looking for. Go home and tape them up in the room you're planning to paint. Sometimes getting multiple swatches of the same color is a good idea because then you can put them in different areas of the room that get different light. Then live with them for a couple days, be patient, see what they look like in early morning, bright afternoon sunlight, at night under your light bulbs. Make sure you see it against the trim in your room too, whether it's white or wood tone or whatever, you want to make sure you'll like it with what's already in the space. If swatches aren't enough for you then once you narrow it down to two or three, buy some sample jars.

//Take a picture.//
I was surprised when I shared this photo on Instagram how different the gray colors translated on a screen. As soon as I saw this picture I could see that three of them were not what I was going for at all.

//Go online.//
Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this sooner. I mean, I had consulted my favorite blogs and Pinterest for opinions on the perfect gray, I'd looked for colors in the past before too. But what I hadn't done is simply Google the colors I was already considering to see it in a variety of settings and lighting! I had two colors I couldn't choose between so I searched them and found tons of different pictures with different lighting... and then I found some rooms with another paint from a swatch that I had already nixed. And I fell in love. I searched that color and adored every room that is was used in, and what really sealed the deal was when one person said this particular gray was "the perfect gray, with no undertones of blue or purple in it." That was exactly what I was looking for!

Just remember, don't get discouraged. If you end up choosing a paint you don't love, or it wasn't really what you'd had in mind, then live with it for a little bit. If it doesn't grow on you, it's just paint. You can paint again. Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to make a huge impact in a room. It's worth it.

So, are you curious what the perfect light gray paint color is? A gray that is somehow warm and inviting, with no weird undertones in it? A gray that looks gorgeous against white trim and with dark toned furniture as well? A gray that covered beautifully with two coats of paint?

Dolphin Fin by Behr.

You're welcome.

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