How to choose paint colours for your home

Struggling to select the right colours for your house or latest renovation project? With so many colours to choose from, determining the right painting colours can be difficult.

By Imago Painting Solutions
05 January 2019

Struggling to select the right colours for your house or latest renovation project? With so many colours to choose from, determining the right painting colours can be difficult.

Given just how much impact paint colours on interior and exterior spaces in boosting the look of your house, it’s best to nail your colours.  The process can be made much easier by considering some helpful tips from Imago, the following dos and don’ts:   


1) Consider your audience

Are you selling your property? Or refurbishing it as an owner-occupied or investment property?  

If you are painting to sell or lease your property, you’d be wise to follow more neutral and timeless colours as they tend to appeal to more potential buyers and renters.

Crisp, neutral colours, particularly whites, appeal to most people because they are light and airy. They also work wonders in making spaces appear more spacious (in contrast with dark colours, that can make an area feel more closed and cramped).


2) Be wary of fads

It’s cool to keep a tab on what’s happening. Yet like fashion, painting trends come and go.  While you may have madly fallen in love with a vivid aquamarine for your main feature wall, and want to go with unconventional colours for your forever home, be mindful something bold may not be as appealing to even you in a couple of years.

But if you are really taken with a particular trend, or a bold and riskier colour, try incorporating it in touches that are much easier to change.  Think matts, throws, curtains, and draw handles; they can have just as much impact. Repainting a room (and in turn the house) is much more hassle than changing some of the décor. 

You can also experiment with the texture of the paint to add style to your interiors and exteriors.  The big names including Dulux, Taubmans, Wattyl, Haymes, Resene and Bristol offer paints in a variety of finishes ranging from matt finishes to varying sheens and glosses.  Some of your options include suede, chalkboard, pearl, stone and metallic.  For example, you could use chalkboard paint in your children’s bedroom or in the kitchen instead of bombarding your fridge with reminder notes. 


3) Get some professional advice (that won’t break the bank)

I want something more interesting than just a basic white, I hear you say? How do you feel when you see bright red?  See avocado green?  You probably remember the colour wheel during high school art class, and although the fundamentals are still there, selecting paint colours can be more complicated than you think.

That’s why there are professional colour consultants, who make a living giving advice on choosing painting colours and providing paint colour solutions. They know what works, and they know what to recommend based on your audience, your interests and goals. 

In light of how important paint colours are in lifting the look of your home (not to mention how much money, time and effort you save in nailing your colours the first time round), Imago offers colour consulting from only $125.  (Our colour consultants are that good they’ll even go to the effort to see how the new colours of your house will match the look and feel of your street!)


4) See the colours applied to your house before you apply any paint

It’s one thing to see a certain colour scheme in a display at Bunnings or in a pamphlet. It’s something else for it to match the look and feel of your property and for you to be completely satisfied with it.

Why not use the technology we have available to us to make an informed decision before you spend all that money buying the paint and paying a painter to paint your house?   

Not only are there so many categories of colours, ranging from greys and mochas/browns and neutrals to greens, contemporary colours and heritage colours … there are so many more options within each category.  i.e. natural white, versus whisper white versus antique white.

For as little as $49, Imago helps you visualize your future colour scheme with realistic digital imaging, so you can make an informed decision (rather than just hoping for the best).


5) Test by using a sample board

Whether natural or artificial, light can dramatically affect the colour of paint. 

Test colour samples on a board using sample paint pots. This enables you see how the colour will look in different rooms in different lights and at different elevations.  Your test sample board should be around 1.5m high by 1m across. 

We warn against applying small samples directly on walls. Why? In case certain sealers or undercoats need to be applied before any top coats.  

Also apply trim colours in a reasonably thick line down one side and across the top of your sample board, to see how the combination of colours work together and balance each other under the lighting in your chosen areas. Also gauge how the colours look combined with your flooring and other fixtures.

See this image here for an example of a sample board.

Paint Sample Board


6) The bigger picture

When it comes to painting your house, ensure you can see the forest for the trees. 

Often people focus on the paint scheme in a room here and a room there, all the while neglecting to see how the aesthetics comes together as one whole.  As a result, the house lacks cohesion.  Often less is more and as you step through the house, you want it to have impact through consistency in style. 

If you’re planning on going with different colour schemes in different rooms, begin by placing sample boards from each room together to see how they match each other. If it all feels overdone, strip back bold colours and go with the one colour throughout.

Importantly, consider your current décor and furniture and try to match them.  You don’t want your paint colours to clash with all of those much-loved pieces you’ve spent years accumulating. 

For your exterior paint colours, also think about how they will complement the surfaces you can’t change – such as powder-coated and colourbond surfaces – as well as windows, fencing, driveways and pathways.