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Choosing floor finishes and paint samples helps the design process

May 17, 2013

Choosing paint colors is similar to picking a wood tone for hardwood flooring, such as Anderson's Southern Vista collection. Homeowners want to get just the right shade so it will look great and not have to be redone any time soon.

Choosing paint colors is similar to picking a wood tone for hardwood flooring, such as Anderson's Southern Vista collection. Homeowners want to get just the right shade so it will look great and not have to be redone any time soon.

But along with color and wood tone, the correct finish is just as important to having surfaces that will look good for the long-term in room design. Along with the multitude of hues that have been developed by paint manufacturers, there have also been a number of changes made in paint chemistry in recent years.

Selecting finishes
Using high-gloss paint is no longer needed for many jobs - although still preferred in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture accumulates - because today's paints allow easy cleanup with flat or low-sheen choices.

"Finishes have come a long way. The surface of your walls no longer needs to be reflective to be cleanable," interior designer Marlene Pratt told the Epoch Times. "Simply put, today's paint is very people-friendly. The smells of the past are gone, as well as the unwanted reflection from every direction."

Using samples
Once they are past the fear of doing the job right, Pratt said consumers still have to deal with color selections from dozens of shades in one hue. She suggested they take six to eight paint chips in different shades of one color, tape them together and hang the combined sample on the wall to get an idea of which looks best.

Pratt suggests homeowners see their choices at three different times - in the morning and mid-day sunlight and in the evening with artificial lighting. Hues that please homeowners at all three times will be the best selections for their home design.

Spinning the color wheel
For those who want to choose a combination of hues and aren't sure how well they will look together, the color wheel is an invaluable tool, according to This Old House magazine.

The wheel is set up so homeowners can see the relationships between different hues, including primary colors of red, blue and yellow to secondary and tertiary shades that are various mixes of the primaries. Complementary colors are set up opposite of each other on the wheel and are often among the best combos. They tend to bring out the best of each other at full strength, but can be muted by mixing in a neutral gray for a toned-down look.