A fresh paint job is perhaps the easiest home upgrade for a maximum impact with minimal cost. But picking the right color of paint can become overwhelming when you can no longer tell the difference between canary or goldfinch yellow.


Start with some inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas, or even just your friends’ homes or your favorite places around town. Ask your friends or the business owner what paint color they used. Keep an eye out for colors that you are attracted to and snap a photo. Do your best to snap a photo with context. Don’t just take a picture of only the wall or patch of color you like, step back and include the context. Some colors look different in certain lights or settings. Also, take a picture of the room that you are repainting so that you will have it with you when you show paint experts the space you are thinking about. Take pictures of your space at all times of day: morning, mid-day and night. Paint colors can look different at these different times of day.

If you’re not up for talking to experts, there are a number of apps that can help you envision your space. Remember, the darker the color, the smaller and cozier a space will feel. The lighter the color the bigger the space will feel.

Gloss vs Matte

Paints come in a variety of finishes. The most common are gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and matte.

Got kids? A gloss or semi-gloss is going to be easier to clean because the gloss allows for an easy damp sponge wipe-down if crayons or markers get on the wall.  However, blemishes in the wall are more obvious with glossier paints. High-gloss paints are a great option for trim, complementing a flatter sheen of your walls if you choose matte for your walls.

Matte (or flat) is a good selection if you have walls with lots of imperfections and blemishes. You can also usually get away with just one coat of matte or flat paint. Post-drying, matte paints can show more dirt, scuffs or fingerprints. So choose this option for rooms that see a little less traffic… or customized children’s “art.”

Eggshell finish is a good compromise if you’re re-painting most rooms. It hides most imperfections and is easy to wash, and it’s more durable and smooth.


Once you’ve found your color, consider the variations that your paint color may take. Some colors are darker or lighter after drying. An easy solution is to get sample paint cans of a few different colors and shades and to paint swatches on the wall, then wait a couple days for proper drying and to get used to the color(s) at different times of the day.

Consider how the color will look next to your baseboards or carpet or with the furniture you already have in the room. Will it clash?

If you’re painting a darkly painted room a lighter color, consider buying a primer. Some colors can come as a combo of primer and regular paint. Some paints will not require primer, however, not using primer when going from dark to light may mean that your dark color peeks through the lighter color and you may still see traces of the darker color.

Go for it!

If you hate it, you can always re-paint. Here in Kansas City, we use Davis Paint Company for projects. Tell them Ward sent you!