10 Tips for Selecting Paint Colours For Your Home

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Jillian HarrisDecor, Home Renovations, Jill's House36 Comments

Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore

Morning everyone!! It seems as though the number one question I get asked most often on the blog and social media is which paint colours I chose for our home … or what my favourite white or grey paint colours are … well, today I’m taking the bull by the horns and not only am I going to share my favourite paint colours with you and the colours that are in our home BUT I’m also going to share 10 tips for selecting paint colours for your home!! Trust me, this stuff is DAUNTING … and if you’ve never had to select paint colours before, you are in for a real treat LOL!!

I remember on Love It Or List It Vancouver, Francesa and I would always battle it out (a friendly battle, that is, LOL!) over paint. Francesca believes that you should choose a different colour for every room based on the lighting and how the room is used and while I agree with her on that, I also feel like sometimes I like to use the same colour throughout the entire house. When it comes down to it, it has a lot to do with personal preference but there are certainly some helpful tips to keep in mind, which I will share with you below.

However, before I dig into some paint tips with you, I think we should take a look at the paint I used in our home! All of the paints below are from Benjamin Moore West Kelowna and they are some of my absolute FAVES! You all know that I’m a lover of whites and off-whites, neutrals, and light greys, so it probably won’t come as much as a surprise to you when you take a look at my selections for our home below!

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Our kitchen, dining room, and pantry are painted the colour “Grey Owl”, this is a nice LIGHT creamy grey … that isn’t too stark and is classic and clean! Our kitchen cabinets are the colour “Nimbus” which I loooove … you have to order this colour from the states though I believe??? Our laundry room cabinetry is the colour “Smoke” … on the paint chip it looks like a nice grey, with a hint of robin’s egg blue and it’s insane just how much this colour changes throughout the day depending on the light! It looks like a very light blue on the cabinets with a hint of grey.

Our entry and living room built in’s along with our ensuite and walk-in closet are all painted “Simply White” …. our front door is “Athabasca” and our back door is “Hannah Banana” … can you even believe it?? YELLOW?? LOL!! I went for “Thunder” for the rumpus room built-in’s to switch it up from the Simply White … I love Thunder as it’s a VERY WARM almost brown grey, nice for that ‘equestrian’ or Ralph Lauren effect. It’s timeless and classic and definitely not too cool! Then for a pop of colour in Leo’s bathroom, we painted the vanity “Winters Eve” … I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this but I love it, especially with the gold faucet! The exterior of our house is “Oxford White” and the interior walls are mainly “Cloud Cover” … then the ceiling is a mix of “Simply White” and “Cloud Cover” … LOL!!!! So much paint … so little time!

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I know it can be a bit hard to tell paint colours a part when they are on walls so I created this little graphic below in order to show some comparison between them … and hopefully you’ll find it a bit helpful too!!

Jillian Harris Selecting Your Paint Colours

Alright, now that we’ve covered what paint colours are in my home … here are 10 Tips for selecting paint colours for your home ….

1. How to Select the Perfect White Paint:

It honestly seems to be the most daunting task of them ALL … selecting a white paint is so tough! If you have never had to select a white paint before you will want to gather all of your favourite white paint chips together and look at them side by side. You’ll start to notice that one will look pinker, one will have a tinge of green, the other a tinge of yellow, etc. My end goal when picking a white is to go for the most neutral one.

My favourite whites by Benjamin Moore are:

  • Cloud White
  • Simply White
  • Oxford White
  • Cloud Cover

2. How to Pick Your Primer:

Avoid plain white primer. This one is simply for the fact that it’s just so cold and stark!! I would ALWAYS recommend avoiding plain white primer just for this reason alone!

3. Trim & Baseboards:

It’s no surprise that I like white trim and baseboards … other people like doing a grey/black but my style is more traditional. If you’re like me and you like the idea of white trim and baseboards then make sure the trim compliments your white walls. The trim in my home is Simply White by Benjamin Moore!

4. Look at Your Painted Walls Throughout the Day:

In our home I wanted our walls to look warm and cozy, whereas some people prefer their walls to look cool and crisp. If you can, get your desired paint in the room you want it in and look at it at all times of the day. Throughout the day as the sun changes (and as the seasons change), your paint colour will look a little different from time to time. Take my laundry room cabinetry, for example, depending on the time of day they can look more grey, whereas other times they look really blue!!

5. Swap Out Your Lightbulbs:

The lightbulbs in your home can really affect your paint colour … sometimes it can make your room look cool and purple … if you have those daytime bulbs, it might make things look more yellow. So, before you decide to repaint your entire room (or house!) maybe try swapping out your bulbs first to see how that changes the look of things!

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6. Give Feature Walls the Boot:

That’s right, feature walls are OUT!! If you’re going to paint a room something colourful, do the WHOLE room … when you paint the whole room it looks rich, classy, and timeless.

7. How To Pick Your Bold Colour:

If you’re thinking about doing the above, and you have your bold choice of paint in hand … put it down (or have someone at the Benjamin Moore West Kelowna store help you) and pick up the SAME colour but TWO shades LIGHTER and less concentrated. LOL. Seriously … find one that is more dull, lighter and less intense … your eyes are sensitive and if you were to go with the original one you chose chances are it will look REALLY intense to you once it’s up on the walls.

8. How to Pick the Right Type of Paint for Each Room:

We chose between two great products offered at Benjamin Moore West Kelowna. We use Aura paint all over the house. It has a great coverage (even for darker shades) and it dries quickly. You can re-coat in almost an hour … and most times you don’t need more than two coats. You know me … patience isn’t my virtue so this was a mama’s dream!!! We used Natura Paint in Leo’s nursery. We chose it because it’s environmentally friendly (and still covers great) and we were able to paint his room in the morning and he was able to sleep in the same room at night. It has ZERO VOC, zero emissions, certified cradle to cradle, and also certified asthma and allergy friendly. Both are great options depending on the room you’re painting!!

9. Using Bright Colours:

I would generally only use really bright colours for doors and accent furniture (for example, our back door and Leo’s vanity!) … if you’re going to paint an entire room, you can still use some colour but I would just go with a more muted version … as I mentioned above! Or, if you would like a bright colour in a room, do it in a smaller space like a powder room!

10. Painting your Ceilings:

This is always a doozy … lol. I’ve always struggled with ceiling paint but when it comes down to it if you want your room to feel BIGGER your ceiling colour should be LIGHTER. We ended up going with a 50/50 mix of Simply White with Cloud White. If your ceilings are HIGH and you want them to feel LOWER, go with the same colour as your walls but 50% darker. I am still on the fence about painting Leo’s Play Room ceiling a light blue to give it a fresh feeling …. EEEEP!!

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photo credit

What do you think?? Did this help answer some of your questions?? Do you have any other tips you can share with us? If so, make sure to post them in the comments section below!!

xo

Jilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Benjamin Moore West Kelowna for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own. 

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36 Comments

  • Pat/Ian Pong  • 

    I need your help and advise.

  • My son is asking for a bedroom redo with pops of red and I’m leaning towards a light grey/white on the walls – any suggestions? Too grey looks cold and too white looks a bit circus-like….

  • Thank you! We are about to use Simply White in our bedroom, but we’ve been stuck on the trim…what color do you recommend for the trim?

  • patricia vieyra  • 

    Love this thanks for sharing Your advice. Question do you take pictures and keep a journal of Your home for insurance reasons.. Just wondering.. If its a good idea. ?

  • Hi Jillian! Im currently under a massive reno in my home! I am loving all your personal experiences you have written about to help me through my adventure. What would you suggest when it comes to trim colour and walls? I too want white trim and white walls. Would you paint them the same and just pick a different finish ; matte contrasted to sheen? What colour trim did you choose against could cover walls?

    Jenn

  • Katherine  • 

    Thank you so much for this!!!

  • I love your blog on the paint colours.
    I want to paint my interior all the same neutral color.
    Is this a good idea

  • Maureen Patterson  • 

    Thank you!! Great choices, I love how these colours flow in your home. I love that you are still wearing those pretty pink suede shoes!! Looking gorgeous as usual. #makingprettychoices

  • Brenda Cremer  • 

    A wealth of information, thanks Jillian!

  • Would really love to know where your dining table is from! Thx!

  • Hi Jillian, Thanks for the very helpful info on your paint colors. Last week I used the Benjamin Moore ‘smoke’ on my walls in my laundry room. (The same color you used on your cupboards in your laundry room, which I just love.) My cupboards and accents are semi gloss B.M. cloud white. Well, you are so right about the ‘smoke’ color being moody. Oh my gosh, it totally changes color throughout the day, and I don’t have any natural light in there. Nevertheless, it looks very different in the daytime compared to what it looks like at night.I am going to have to lighten up the color quite a bit to get the same pretty color that yours is. Wish me luck!

  • FINALLY!!! Thank you :):)

  • I am struggling huge because the trims around the doors and window are wood and they have an orange look to them (very cottage-like) which I love but hard to get colours to match that.
    Any suggestions??

  • Thank you for this! Did you paint your bedroom the same colour as your bathroom, classic grey? Or did you paint your bedroom cloud cover?

  • Lisa Nolan  • 

    Like yourself, we have a dog, a Boxer!!;-) What color and materials would you on your master bedroom bed duvet, quilt, etc because the dogs love sleeping on it? I love white and light colors too but seems not doggie proof. Thanks! Love your blog!

  • Hi – what brand are the glasses in the pic on your paint colour post. Thanks

  • Hey Jill, what about your front stairs colour?

  • Andrea Oren  • 

    Hi Jillian!

    We are currently helping my mom redo her home and this Post was very helpful!

    My one question is in regard to your comment about lighting. If we have the “daytime bulbs” what type of bulb would you recommend switching to?

    Thank you!

  • You have such perfect timing! We are closing on a house and have been debating over paint colors. I love your color choices! What type of paint do you use for trim? The house we are moving to has what looks like a high gloss, is it bad to go with a satin?

  • Same question as some of the other peeps below. What color trim to do with simply white walls?! We just painted a room in our home Simply White and I’m not loving it with the white trim. We just used the untainted white the paint comes in….hmmm….debating on painting the trim simply white too but then all the rest of the trim in our home wouldn’t match. Help!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! Super helpful! Could you tell us which BM white you painted your trim throughout the house against Cloud Cover? Would be SO appreciated!
    Thank you!!

  • Hello! Love this post it is so helpful! would be fantastic if you could let me know what colour trim paint you used in your rooms that have cloud cover on the walls. I am really torn.

  • Thanks Jill !just wondering what colour your pantry cuboards are ?

  • Hey Jillian, just a question about tip #2: Why would it matter if the primer is white, you paint over top of it anyway…?

  • Kate Black  • 

    THANK YOU for this post! I am doing renos and I seriously was so curious what colors you did in your home because I love the light and natural feel to it. This is so helpful and makes my job so much easier, well I hope anyways. I wish you could come and design my new home for me.

    Again, thank you so much.

    Now if I could get your classical playlist, that would be fantastic, haha.

  • Hi Jillian,

    Thank you for this post. I am moving into a new home soon, so I will be using some of these suggestions. I’d love it if you could post some tips on picking window treatments. I have no idea where to start with that!

  • Thank you so much for this! Similar to some of the other comments below, I would love to know the trim colors that you used. Did you use Simply White?

  • Hi Jillian,

    LOVE the blog post, thank you for sharing! Can you please let me know what colour you used for your trim? Thank you!!

  • This helps a lot Jillian. We’re thinking of painting our whole apartment.
    Especially love your tip on selecting a bold color, and selecting two shades lighter from the original one.

    I love all of your color choices for your beautiful home. Well done, and thank you.

  • Hi can we see a picture of your kitchen cabinets tomorrow please? Also are they the same as the floor as the pantry cabinets? Thanks!

    • Sorry there were some typos in that original message. It was supposed to ask to see the colour of your kitchen cabinets and wondering if the colour of the pantry cabinets was the same? Thanks.

  • Hey Jillian, do you have any tips on how to paint an old brick fireplace and exterior brick and make it modern white?