Match your furniture. Unless you’re planning to replace your rugs, drapes couches and chairs, choose a backdrop that complements what you already have. One good thing about the “new neutrals” is that these muted browns, blues and purples go with almost anything.
Examine your paint swatches twice: once during the day and again after dark, at home, not in the store, before you buy the paint. The color might look great under your electric lights but give you a headache in the daylight. A tip: Never choose a color or paint a room at night. You will be so surprised the next morning to find it’s not the color you thought it was.
Buy your paint a shade or two lighter than the color you fall in love with at the paint store. Over a large surface like a wall, paint tends to look darker than it does on a swatch.
Buy only one quart of your paint to start, and roll it onto a wall. Look at it several times over the next 24 hours so you can see how it looks in the light and after dark. Then decide if you want to continue painting with that color.
If you’re painting a wall two different colors because there’s a chair rail in the middle, paint the top half of the wall lighter than the bottom. That way, the lighter color will look dominant.
If you want the color on your walls to pop, paint your baseboards, window trim and other accents bright white. If you’re going for a monochromatic look, paint everything the same color. And if your trim is damaged, paint it a darker color to hide the flaws.