How seasoned DIYers approach color

Whether you’re narrowing in on the perfect neutral or thinking about transforming a room with a bold hue, taking the plunge with any color requires a degree of confidence. Nothing builds confidence like practice, experience and the right tools for the job, so we turned to DIY experts to learn about their journeys choosing and using paint colors over the years. See their responses below and reach out to Sherwin-Williams@clynch.com for more commentary.

When taking a color risk paid off

Hana Sethi of Hana’s Happy Home says she was nervous the first time she decided to test a bold color. “Every single wall in my home was a pristine white, so I decided to test a bold color in the powder room. Small rooms like a bathroom, pantry, laundry room or mudroom are a great place for this, as they’re not spaces that everyone sees. I was very satisfied with the result. After this, I became obsessed with using moody greens as an accent color in my home!”

Matt and Beau were not tickled pink at first blush. “The first time we painted an entire room pink with Mellow Coral SW 6324, we were so worried it would be pink overload. Even when we were finished but hadn’t yet brought in furniture and decor, we weren’t completely sold. It’s easy to forget that paint isn’t the only thing that’ll be in a room, especially when using bolder colors. Once we had the room styled with dark neutrals and some contrasting greens, it really became our favorite in that home, and we were sure that color was the only correct choice.”

Verde Marrón SW  9124
Evergreen Fog SW 9130
Tricorn Black SW 6258

How to test out new paint colors and how you know you’ve made the right choice

Start by imagining how you want the finished space to make you feel, Annika Hinds of Blondesigns recommends. “For example, do I want the environment to be calming, inspiring, energizing? Paint has the power to completely transform how a room makes you feel so I know I have made the right choice when the color evokes the feeling I am aiming for.

“Lighting and paint go hand in hand, so it’s important to test a color in a space before committing. I like to use Peel & Stick samples so that I can leave the color up for a bit to get a good idea of what the wall will look like in the light throughout the day. I used to tape small swatches to the wall but having large peel & sticks has been a game changer!”

For Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals, it’s also all about a feeling: “I know I’ve made the right choice when I step back and look at a color for the first time and my gut says ‘yes!’ With so much trial and error over the years, I’ve learned that if I don’t get that positive visceral gut reaction, I know it’s time to try another option.”

Photography: Sherwin-Williams
Color: Rosemary SW 6187

Trustworthy colors you feel totally confident using in a space

Mandi Gubler is known for mixing her own favorite white hue (dubbed “Mandi White”), but she also has a handful of tried-and-true colors. “I love Tricorn Black SW 6258 because it’s a true black and doesn’t read any other way. I am also the world’s biggest fan of muddy greens and Verde Marrón SW 9124 is my current favorite.”

Annika Hinds says green is her safe go-to color for a new space. “One of my favorite greens and one of the most versatile colors I’ve used is Evergreen Fog SW 9130. This is like the ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ of paint colors; it fits every wall. I also love pale peach colors like Peach Fuzz SW 6344. A light peach can give a room warmth and a pop of color without being overwhelming.”

Matt Armato and Beau Ciolino of Probably This say choosing a color depends on the space and style of the room. “But we very quickly will reach for Roycroft Rose SW 0034, Tricorn Black SW 6258 and Eventide SW 9643 when a room needs a little splash of color or drama. Some of our favorite, most trustworthy shades of white are Intimate White SW 6322 and Pure White SW 7005. One of our favorite places to look for time-tested colors is Sherwin-Williams Historic Collection for both bold and more subdued colors that have been popular for many years. It’s a great place to dip your toes into the world of color!”

Photo credit: Annika Hinds
Evergreen Fog SW 9130