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Selecting Paint Colors

Design & Ideas

Deep, highly saturated shades have been popular for years, but the palette that’s in vogue right now is just the opposite. Interior designers and colorists are favoring lighter hues that just tease the eye with subtle hints of color.

Vaguely reminiscent of the “pastels” of yesteryear, the light colors that are gaining popularity today are more sophisticated ensembles, often marrying three or more different hues to create soft color that is often hard to put a name to. Layering color in this way also produces some interesting visual effects.

Because the new tints are not pure yellows, greens, or whatever, many have a chameleon-like quality, shifting their appearance slightly when the light changes.

During the daytime, a wall color might appear to be in the pale green family, but at night, under artificial light, it may take on a yellow caste. Likewise, a light bluish tint might gravitate toward pale gray in dimmer light.

Because the new tints are so changeable under different lighting conditions, a useful recommendation is to apply some sizable swatches of the paint color to several of your walls and live with them for a day or two before fully committing to the color. That way, you can be sure you’ll like your new choice at every time of day or night.

The emerging trend to tints is part of the natural ebb and flow that occurs in the paint industry every five years or so, and this stage of the cycle offers some tangible rewards to those who jump on board.

For one thing, repainting walls, ceilings and woodwork in lighter-colored paint tends to “open up” the area, making any room seem more spacious.

Perhaps even more important is the psychological benefit that comes with a lighter indoor environment. Brighter surroundings can lift our spirits, no matter what the color. And soft tints derived from certain color families – green and blue, for example – have a restful quality that can be restorative after a stressful day.

If you’re truly serious about doing some interior painting, there’s no time like the present. Adding some light new paint color is the perfect antidote to winter’s shorter days and gloomier weather. You’ll be right in step with the latest trend in interior painting, and you’ll find 2016 to be a far brighter new year!

~Courtesy of the Paint Quality Institute:

Happy Painting!





There are many advantages to an open floor plan—but figuring out how to paint such a large space can be a challenge.

When you’re choosing a color scheme for an open floor plan, start by thinking about the colors that you love—what speaks to you and makes you happy. Next think of the space and what atmosphere you’re trying to create—cozy and warm, cool and clean or fresh and light. Think about the furniture, floor coverings and other items in the room and your purpose for the space. It’s a good idea to choose your color so that it will complement existing furnishings.

When it comes to painting, there are a couple of strategies to follow. One strategy is to choose varying shades of your favorite and have the color change at a doorway, corner, staircase or other transitional spot within the open floor plan. Help the space look and feel cohesive by keeping the same color on trim, doors, windows, baseboards, molding and wainscoting.

A second option is to choose a neutral paint color, add one complementary darker color and have your favorite color come into play as a bright accent color. A neutral could be warmer or cooler beiges, various shades of grays, browns and whites. Your pops of color can be anything from a claret red to a sky blue, kelly green to a burnt orange, with pillows, throws, and other accents in the room incorporating the color as well.

Next, look at all of the options for hues, shades and tints within your favorites. When you have your top choices picked out, go home with paint chips or swatches and look at the colors at different times of day, next to each other and in both natural and artificial lighting.

When you’ve narrowed down your choices further, paint your top two or three colors on a large piece of cardboard or on a square directly on the walls in your home. Once the colors are dry, check them again in lighting throughout the day. That should help you finalize your choice.

For more interior paint tips, visit your local Miller Paint store—there are plenty of experts on hand to give you pointers that will help you create the space that’s perfect for you and your home.

~This post inspired/contributed by ColorGuild. ColorGuild, the global paint and color authority, is a member based organization serves as a definitive resource on color and coatings.  As a member of ColorGuild, we welcome their contributions and appreciate their opinions.


For The Best Color Selection - Visit Your Local Miller Paint Location

As a paint salesman I see customers everyday looking to add color to their homes. Some of these customers have been using the powerful suite of online tools available in our digital age. While these tools are excellent at certain functions such as determining how much paint a given project requires they often fall short in helping people make the right color decision for their homes. The reason for this is that color as it appears on a PC screen is at the mercy of the screen’s resolution. What looks like a light gray green on a screen can be a bright pastel mint green in the store!

This is not to say that all Internet color tools are useless. They can be very helpful in defining a general color or color scheme for a customer’s home. Tools like the Miller Paint Virtual Painter can help customers visualize trim and wall colors in combination and help narrow their search. I advise all my in store customers to try out any number of color combinations online. Worry about the specifics after you know that you don’t like three blue walls with a red accent wall. When you find a great combination get some swatches at the store or a sample quart and double check that it’s perfect. After all monitors aren’t the only things that change color. The lighting in your house will change color too! When you’re happy with the color I’ll make the gallon(s) and get you on the road to your painting adventure.

Josh, Tigard Location

Still having trouble deciding on the perfect color combination that sings to you?

As always, please take advantage of the Ask a Designer program offered at many of our Portland and Seattle Metro store locations. We have local area designers in a select number of our stores to help you! Visit our website at under “Ask a Designer” and see the locations and times for this free service!