Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Coat of Paint Can Change Your Life!

So, what color should I paint the room/house?

Oh the Choices!!! There are so many colors to choose from. For a while now, Paint companies have offered us thousands of colors to select from and have been able to color match anything you bring to them.

Traditional paint fans are great, but can be overwhelming. That is why Pottery Barn has partnered with Benjamin Moore. Their catalog phone operators received so many inquiries about "the color on the wall in the catalog on page..." that they make mini seasonal color fans of the selections that work with the products they are selling in the stores. (

Martha Stewart has cards for her paints that actually make suggestions for trim and accent colors to use instead of the traditional card with shades of the same color all on one strip leaving you with the task of picking the trim and accent color.

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams now offer apps for your phone with a "color capture" feature but I am not to convinced that it is as accurate as having a physical sample of the color you like. Just bring that scarf, your grandma's favorite dress, or the piece of wraping paper to the paint store...they will match it.

You may want to consider the psychological effect the color you choose will have on the people that enter the room. There are studies that indicate that people are more apt to be dishonest in dark rooms and a study by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded that the "Physical environment" (including color)"is an important component in the acute care setting that can directly impact patient safety, nursing and medication errors, as well as contribute to staff fatigue, stress and burnout resulting in errors."

Colors are also very cultural...hence the new line of colors by Sherwin Williams called "Hacienda" ( speaks to the growing number of Hispanics buying their products or that they are trying to lure as consumers.

If you google Color Psychology, you will find David Johnson's research on the question "Do different colors affect your mood?"

In short, Mr.'s Johnson's article states that:

"Black is the color of authority and power...

White innocence and purity, but also in the medical field, to imply sterility...

Red stimulates a faster heartbeat and is an appetite stimulant...

Pink is more tranquilizing to the point that sports teams sometime paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy...

Blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals but can also be cold and depressing." shades matter "dark blue symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms and Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms...

Green is the most popular decorating color, the easiest on the eye and can improve vision. It is calming and why people waiting to appear on TV sit in the 'green room'.

Yellow is cheerful and considered an optimistic color, however, people lose their temper more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It speeds metabolism and enhances concentration and calls attention.

Purple the color of royalty...

Brown implies solid and reliable" ...What can brown do for you?..."

Because color is so highly emotional, the best advice I can give you it to go buy a small can in the colors you are considering and try them out...look at the sample area during all times of day and night. What will the lighting in the room be like when you are there most? How does it make you feel? Do you like it? Benjamin Moore allows you to order wet paint samples that are "actual 2 oz containers of your favorite paint colors that cover a 2’ X 2’ surface area with two coats of paint.
or Our large color chips are 18” X 18” color-filled sheets you can move easily throughout your home. "

I personally carried a one inch piece of fabric in my wallet for a very long time because I liked it. When it came time to paint my house...I went to the paint store and asked them to match it. That is now the color of my Front Door.

Still can't decide what me I am sure I can help you find a color that will make you happy.

Please be mindful if you hire a company to paint a room or building that was built before 1978 you must comply with the new EPA laws for Lead. Renovate Right (pdf) - EPA Lead Hazard Information. If you do it would be wise to follow the procedures as well.

For more on Healthy Indoor Painting Practices from the EPA check out this Pamphlet

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