Color Psychology

Yellow– The most visible color. Good for narrow hallways.

Orange—Viewed as cheerful and friendly. Good for family rooms.

Red—Encourages action and aggressiveness. Good for dining rooms

Violet—Regarded as a power color. Preferred by children more than adults.

Blue—Lighter blues are calming. Good for bedrooms.

Green—Considered relaxing. Good for bedrooms.

Gray—Encourages creativity. Use depends on warmth of color.

Black—Viewed as dignified and sophisticated. Enhances most other colors.

Hiding Power of Paint

Many consumers believe that dark colors have greater hiding power than lighter colors. The truth is, darker colors don’t cover as well as whites and pastels. The reason is the way paints are tinted.

Typically, paint manufacturers produce tint bases– i.e., a product with the basic paint, but with little or no pigment. Pigments are added to the tint base to achieve the desired color.

Whites and pastels contain titanium dioxide– a white pigment that gives these colors much of their hiding power. Darker colors do not contain titanium dioxide, and attain hiding power only from the pigments added.

The tint base for darker colors is usually clear; the tint base for whites and pastels is white. The clear tint base allows the product to absorb the pigments, and therefore achieve the darker color. (The titanium dioxide would essentially dilute the pigment, making the darker color impossible to achieve.

While the clear tint base permits darker colors, it also reduces the hiding power of the final product.

Applying a heavier coat of these darker colors is seldom a reasonable option. Runs and sags can result, and the paint film will not cure properly. This can cause the formation of bubbles, and ultimately, premature failure of the coating.

Color Selection Tools

Sherwin Williams’ web site provides tools and ideas for selecting colors.

Pittsburgh Paints’ Voice of Color provides many tools to help you select the right color for your home.

Coral Nafie, of About.comwrites: “When it comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. While you may feel that there are so many choices you’re bound to find the right one, you may end up feeling that there are so many choices you don’t know where to start!”

From Bob Vila.com: The most personal decision involved in any interior or exterior project is color choice. If green is your favorite color, you will be drawn to that color family when you go to your local paint store. If you like blue, you will probably find a place for it somewhere in your home. It’s important to follow your instincts when selecting paint color. Decorating with your favorite hues is what gives your home its unique personality.

From House Painting Info.com: “Well chosen collection of paint colors can revitalize every surface of your home, from the walls and ceilings to the exterior siding and trim. An entirely new look is possible, but with thousands of house paint colors dozens of manufactures and many sheens to choose from the possible combinations of house painting colors can be mind numbing.”