Home » Choosing Paints for Your Home: A Beginner’s Guide

Choosing Paints for Your Home: A Beginner’s Guide

Color accounts for more than 50 percent of your response to a place or object. That is why you may find some places or certain decorative concrete coatings more appealing than others. Wherever you go, you react to color. However, its significance is often underestimated.

The use of color can be observed in your home, workplace, and even in business establishments you visit. It can transform the appearance of a room and the overall effect of furnishings. Your color choice also serves as a reflection of your personality.

However, choosing color combinations can be intimidating for beginners. To get started, here are some tips you could use.


Choosing Paints for Your Home


Start small

If you don’t know where to begin, consider experimenting in a small space like the bathroom and powder room or an accent wall. Choose an area that is easy to work on, so you can assess the outcome sooner, and see if you’ll be satisfied with it or need to alter it.


Consider the mood of the room

The mood you want to achieve for the room you are decorating is another important consideration.

For the bedroom, choose cool, soft colors and neutrals to create a quieter ambiance. Green, purple, and blue are good options because they are known to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and promote rest and relaxation.

For the dining area, opt for colors that promote appetite, stimulate conversation, increase hunger, and bring luxury and excitement. These include red, yellow, and purple. Avoid green and blue because they can make you sleepy and less inclined to eat.

For the bathroom, focus on colors that promote relaxation, add extra serenity, and bring energy to the room. These include blue, yellow, and purple. Avoid those that are overstimulating, such as orange and red.

For the living room, go with colors that suit the overall mood of camaraderie, conversation, and comfort. These include green, beige, and blue. Avoid using the color orange because it may be too energetic to encourage relaxation.


Try decorative paints

If you want to revamp your room with style, opt for decorative paints. These paint options are art forms that use unique media and techniques to beautify surfaces and corners. Different shades can contrast without clashing to yield the ambiance you desire for your space.

Though decorative paints are specialized products that are more expensive than traditional paints, they can simplify and hasten your decorative painting project.

Here are the available types of decorative paints you can choose from:

  • Metallic – These paints contain metal flakes. They are unmatched for creating a dramatic effect and are hard wearing and glossy. But since they reflect light, they can highlight damaged areas and flaws. Therefore, they must be applied only to well-prepared surfaces, and use sprayers or soft rollers to prevent brush marks.
  • Faux stone – These paints are rough to the touch. They can mimic stone finishes like marble and granite, depending on their formulation. The best thing about them is they won’t require special techniques – you just have to spray or roll them across the surface. They can also be mixed with other faux finish techniques to achieve a more realistic effect.
  • Faux suede – These paints have become popular because of the elegant and soft texture they provide to plain walls. However, they may need two base coats for complete coverage. The available color variations appear like the real thing.
  • Textured – These paints add dimension and depth to an otherwise flat wall surface. They can cover up flaws or create different faux finishes. Today’s textured paints are also more subtle and appealing than their predecessors.

Choosing Paints for Your Home

Use different paint finishes

Decorative paints come in different finishes. These include:

  • Satin – This is the most common paint finish because it is the easiest to clean. It is the best choice for high-traffic spaces like playrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. However, its sheen is more apt to expose brush strokes, which can make touch-ups a bit tricky.
  • Flat/matte – This paint finish has the least amount of shine. It requires fewer coats to hide flaws like nail holes. But since it is the least durable type, it is best used in low-traffic areas or surfaces that are less likely to be touched such as ceilings.
  • Eggshell – This type of finish is slightly more radiant than flat paints. It does a great job at covering imperfections and is best for areas with low or medium traffic, such as entryways, hallways, and living rooms.
  • Semi-gloss – This is reflective, shiny, durable, and resistant to mildew. It is best used in rooms with a lot of moisture or which are susceptible to wear and tear, like the kitchen and children’s playroom. But it can reveal imperfections more than its less shiny counterparts.
  • High-gloss – This is the shiniest paint finish option. It is also considered the most durable and washable because it can withstand daily scrubbing. It is the best choice for cabinetry, trim, and doors. But since it is too sparkly, it can easily reveal imperfections when applied incorrectly.


But before choosing a finish, consider the following important considerations first:

  • Paint sheen – This refers to the shininess of every finish. It affects the amount of light it can reflect back to the room. For instance, choose a slightly glossier finish to brighten a dim space.
  • Traffic – The amount of traffic the room needs to endure will also affect the type of finish you must opt for. Calmer rooms may be better off with flat or eggshell paints, while busy rooms will benefit more from semi-gloss or satin finishes.
  • Surface imperfections – Reflective finishes can highlight the flaws on a wall. So if you are painting a surface with plenty of patches or nail holes, opt for a less glossy paint.


Take note of the lighting

Natural light can show the paint’s truest colors. On the other hand, fluorescent lights can cast a sharp blue tone and incandescent lights yield warmer tones.

That is why strong colors can appear overpowering and very bright if used on walls next to windows, while they may be effective when applied on accent walls with indirect lighting.

Choosing Paints for Your Home

Test the color combination you choose

Testing the color combination you choose on poster boards or any large area of a wall can boost your confidence in your selection. 

Try using colors that are way out of your comfort zone. For instance, choose vivid colors and deep neutrals like olive green and chocolate brown as your main accent hues. You can also add some stronger colors to add drama to a space. You can also use a dominant color inspired by the eco-friendly carpets and rugs, artworks, dishes, or furnishings in the area being painted.

Besides space and décor, the chief elements of interior design also include the quality and color of the paint you choose. 

Whether it is your home or business space, all these elements should come together to create an area which serves its function – whether it’s for people to work, relax or hang out. 

If you are unsure which paint to use, consider these tips, and buy your decorative paints only from reputable suppliers who can also advise you on your choices. 



Ralph El Eid is the Business Development Manager at COLORTEK – Wall & Floor Fashion. EQUIPAINT is the franchise owner of COLORTEK in Dubai (U.A.E.) and Doha (Qatar); an international paints manufacturer specializing in the widest range of decorative paints and seamless concrete & resin flooring, with a unique showroom concept, and thus an ideal destination for homeowners, consultants, architects, interior designers and paint applicators.


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