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5 Color Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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By : Fiona Creech    99 or more times read
You never realize how many shades there are of any one color until you set out to paint your walls. Then you step into the paint store, and there they are, thousands of subtle shade variations. All too often people look through the colors in the store and simply select something that they like. However, very likely the light in the store is quite different than your light at home, and light changes color. So when you are selecting a paint color, take a sample of the color home with you and try it. That way you can see how it looks in the natural light throughout the day as well as the artificial light at night. It will also keep you from making several common color mistakes.

Mistake #1: Too Bright
Right now bright, saturated colors are in style, and it may be very tempting to paint a focal wall a bright blue or orange. The problem occurs when all of the other walls in the room are left white, and the focal wall simply looks out of place. One way to correct this problem is to transition from the bright blue focal wall to a neutral gray; or with a bright orange focal wall, use warm beige for the rest of the room’s walls.

Mistake #2: Not Quite Right
Sometimes, despite your due diligence, you end up with a shade of color that just does not look right on your walls. If this happens, take the can of paint back to the store and have them add pigment to create the color that you need. Bring in something for them to match like an accessory or a piece of fabric. If you take a paint sample home and apply it to your walls before painting the entire room, you can look at it in the different light throughout the day and make sure that it will work in the room.

Mistake #3: A Matter of Degree
Even after selecting the perfect color for your walls, you may bring new lighting into the room which makes the color either too dull or too garish. The simple solution is to adjust the lighting; Add bright white light bulbs if the room feels dull,; adding a dimmer switch may correct paint that looks too garish.

Mistake #4: Clashing Undertones
After sampling many different colors you find the perfect one and apply it to your walls. Then you bring your furniture back into the room and something is terrible wrong. The undertone of the color on your walls is clashing with your furnishings. With a few simple adjustments you can tone down your walls by adding complementary colors to your decor. For example, if you have too much yellow in your walls, add some warm tone accents like orange or red to help blend the walls into your decor. Stay away from contrasting colors like green or purple, which will just accentuate the yellow undertone.

Mistake #5: Need Sunglasses
That little sample splotch of paint on the wall looked great, but after painting the entire wall, the color is simply too bright for the room. Rather than repaint the wall, you can simply color wash it by applying a layer of glaze that is a few shades lighter than your walls. Then with a damp rag use a swirling pattern to create a light pattern on the wall.
Fiona Creech, who writes exclusively for, offers many suggestions for creating bold interiors with butterflies metal wall art and black metal wall decor.

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