How to pick paint colours to fix any room’s quirks

Every home suffers a few negatives, but not every solution requires pricey structural changes. Paint is a frugal remodeller’s go-to solution to perk up a problem room.

Here’s how to pick paint colours to give any room a facelift:


Choosing Paint for a Room That’s Too Small

Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colours (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light.

White or light colours on walls lifts the ceiling, bringing your eyes up, which makes you feel like you’re ina larger room.

How to use paint colour to make a room seem bigger:

• Paint trim similar to walls to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space.

• Use a monochromatic scheme to amplify the dimensions of a room. Select furnishings in the same colour. Lack of contrast makes a room seem more spacious.

• Extend wall colour onto the ceiling an additional 6- 12- inches. This will make the room seem taller.

• Paint vertical or horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes enhance room height by drawing the eye up, horizontal stripes lure your gaze around the perimeter, making walls seem further away. Use similar light colours for low-contrast stripes, and your room will look even larger.

• Get a bit of a similar effect if you really want a darker shade by selecting a high-gloss paint sheen, which reflects light and enhances space.


For a Room That’s Too Large

When a space feels cavernous, draw walls inward and make it cozy with warm colours (red-tinged) because darker hues absorb light.

Similarly, a dark or warm colour overhead (in a flat finish) helps make rooms with high or vaulted ceilings seem less voluminous.


For a Room That Needs a Soothing Vibe

The right paint choice can lend tranquility to a bathroom, master suite, or other quiet, personal space. A palette of soft, understated colour or muted tones help you instill a calming atmosphere.

Some good choices include pale lavenders, light grays or greens, and wispy blues.


For a Room With Special Features That No One Notices

Call out notable features in a room with paint. Dress crown moldings and other trims in white to make them pop against walls with colour.

Make a fireplace or other feature a focal point by painting it a colour that contrasts with walls.

“Using a higher sheen of paint on woodwork, such as baseboards and door or window casings,” says Schwartze, “creates a crisp edge and clear transition from the wall to the trim.”


For a Room With Something Ugly to Hide

Not everything should stand out in a space. Using a low-contrast palette is a good way to hide unappealing elements or flaws.

Conduit, radiators, and other components painted the same colour as the wall will seem to disappear.

Selecting low-sheen or flat paint colours also helps hide flaws. Unless walls are smooth, avoid using high-gloss paint because it reflects light and calls attention to an uneven surface.


How to Pick Paint Colours for Any Room

Picking paint colours can be overwhelming, but here are a few tips to make it easier:

• Sample paint colours on a few walls.

• Use large swaths of paint so you can get a real feel for the colour.

• Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint colour from different angles.

• Check the space with the samples in place and watch how the paint colour changes at different times of the day.

• Check the colour on cloudy days, sunny days, and at night when you’ve got artificial lights on.

Paint is the most economical way to transform your space. And best of all? If you realize you don’t like what you chose, you can easily  paint right over it with a different colour!