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The Power of Samples: Testing Paint Colours Before Committing

“Filling a space in a beautiful way, that’s what art means to me.”

– Georgia O’Keeffe

Testing paint colours before committing to a full paint job is essential to achieving the best results when it comes to painting your space. In this blog, our London interior designers will explore the importance of sampling paint. It can be both time-consuming and expensive to repaint a room because of an unsatisfactory colour choice. By testing with samples beforehand, you can make an informed decision and save yourself the trouble and cost of repainting in the future.

Applying a small amount of paint to a piece of poster board or cardboard and letting it dry completely, then viewing it in different lighting conditions, is a simple way to test paint. If you want to make sure you like the paint, you may also want to test it on a small area of the wall that is not noticeable.


Interaction with the Current Décor: 

It’s important to choose paint colours that will enhance and complement the current decor in your room, which includes furniture, flooring, artwork, and accents. By testing the colours, you can visualise how they blend with the overall aesthetic of the space. This helps to guarantee a cohesive and pleasing visual experience.

Room Dimensions and Spatial Perception: 

The apparent size and depth of a space can be influenced by colour. Testing allows you to see how the colour influences the spatial proportions of your area and select a hue that produces a sense of vastness or closeness based on your preferences. It is preferable to choose lighter tones when selecting paint colours to give a sense of space. Light colours reflect more light than dark colours, making a room appear larger and brighter. Colour can also be used to create the appearance of depth. Painting a far wall a lighter shade than the other walls, for example, might make the space feel longer. Darker colours can be used to create a more intimate and warmer atmosphere. Dark tones absorb light, making a room appear smaller and more enclosed. shade can also be used to create depth by painting a feature wall a deeper shade than the surrounding walls.

Observing the mood: 

The mood can be influenced by colours, evoking different emotions in each space. Exploring various shades enables one to gauge the emotional response of each hue and choose the one that matches the intended ambience, be it calming, energising, or refined.


Taking Into Account Room Usage: 

When choosing a paint colour, it’s important to consider the room’s purpose. For example, high-traffic areas like hallways may require a more durable finish, while bedrooms may benefit from a calming and serene colour.

Experimenting Around with Different Samples:

It’s advisable to experiment with a variety of colour options when selecting your samples instead of sticking to just one or two. This way, you can discover a range of hues and undertones, providing you with more options to choose from.

Consulting Advice From Professionals: 

Consulting with interior designers or paint experts can offer valuable advice on colour theory, undertones, and how well the chosen colour will integrate with your current decor.

Appearance in Various Lighting:

Paint hues might appear significantly different depending on the lighting. Natural light from windows, artificial lighting from fixtures, and even the time of day may all have a big impact on how a colour appears on your walls. A room facing north receives cooler light, while a room facing south receives warmer light. Testing allows you to see how the colour interacts with light in your individual environment.

Comparing Hues That Are Similar: 

It’s helpful to observe colours in a natural environment as it can help distinguish between shades that may appear alike. By testing, you can compare the subtle differences and determine the most suitable option for your space..


Considerations For Wall Texture: 

The texture of your walls might influence the visual effect of the paint hues you choose. Having the colour tested on a smaller scale helps you to examine how the colour interacts with the rough surface and make required modifications. A rough texture, for example, can make light colours appear more subdued, whilst a smooth texture can make dark colours appear richer. Testing paint colours on textured walls is also crucial because it might expose surface flaws. For example, if your walls have a knockdown texture, you might want to go with a lighter shade to assist in hiding any flaws.

Taking into Account Seasonal Variations:

The lighting conditions and natural colours outside change with the seasons, and this might impact the perception of interior paint colour. Colour testing over seasons can indicate potential changes in appearance and assist in making educated selections. Also, keep in mind how artificial lighting affects colour perception indoors. Testing paint swatches in both natural and artificial light provides a thorough grasp of how colours interact in various situations.

Evaluating Durability and Finish: 

Using paint samples helps you to consider the practicalities of the paint that you’re planning to use. Paint is available in a variety of finishes, including flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Each coating has a different gloss and durability level. Through testing, you can evaluate the practicality of the finish you have chosen based on your cleaning needs and lifestyle, as well as identify any potential problems with the paint or the surface you are painting. This will help you avoid future costly repairs.


Preventing Surprises: 

It is important to note that the paint colours you see on the sample card or in the store may not be the same as they appear on your walls. By conducting a test, you can avoid any unexpected surprises and verify that the colour you have chosen matches your expectations and complements the style of your home.

Here are some extra pointers that can help you prevent any unexpected outcomes while testing paint:

  • It’s important to test the paint in various parts of the room to get a better understanding of how the colour appears under different lighting and viewing angles.
  • Test the paint on a sufficiently large area to get an accurate sense of the colour. A small sample alone may not be enough to give you a clear idea of how the colour will appear on the entire wall.
  • Wait until the paint is fully dry before making a final assessment of its colour. The appearance of paint can vary between when it’s wet and when it’s dry.
  • Opting for a lighter shade is the safer choice if you have doubts about a colour. With additional coats, a light colour can always be made darker, but lightening a dark colour is a challenging task.

Making Sure to Get Colour Consistency: 

Slight variations in paint colours are possible even when they are from the same manufacturer and the same batch. To ensure consistency in your project, testing is necessary to confirm that the colour you choose remains the same throughout the entire project.

Investing time in paint colour testing is a sensible move for improving the visual appeal and value of your property. By carefully weighing your colour options, you may save time and money and create a living area that reflects your style and brings you joy. At Oraanj Interior Design, we wish you the best in using samples to find the perfect paint for your space.

Author: Anna May (Interior Designer)