How I Choose Paint Colors


On Monday painters will be coming to do some painting for the first time ever! Y'all I'm so excited to let someone else do this job. I will still have some painting to do myself after they finish as we aren't paying them almost a thousand dollars to paint the built ins when we can do it for the price of a can of paint. We are hiring the rest of the job because it is so big and Mr. Savvy doesn't care to climb a ladder up 23 feet anymore. 
We are having the great room, foyer and stairwell painted plus the ceilings. The ceilings haven't been painted since we built the house in 1995. The trim will not be painted as it's in fine shape since I have painted it numerous times and I touch it up when needed.

Today I'm sharing how I choose paint colors.

wall of windows in living room
I kept this photo a bit darker so you could see the how yellow these walls look when the sun isn't hitting them.

french country living room
Same paint color, but in this photo from last summer the wall color looks great because the room is nice and bright. Well, I want the walls to be light looking all the time and way less yellow. I have been hating the yellow color these walls look when the light isn't on them for some time, but I knew we weren't tackling this project ourselves again so I have been waiting. The last time we painted was in 2013. This wall color is Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore.

This is what the foyer normally looks like especially this time of year. Too yellow for me.

paint samples on wall
So the fun part, or rather stressful part, is choosing a new color. This is how I choose a color. I just paint some areas all around the room to see how it looks at different times of the day and then hope I make the right choice this time. Look how gold the wall looks past the stair railing.

paint samples on wall
It's so hard to get this color to show up well if I brighten the photo too much so I left it darker than I normally would. You can see it is a good bit lighter and no yellow cast to it.

copper molds on breakfast room wall
After trying to choose between White Dove and French Canvas, both by Benjamin Moore, I'm going with French Canvas which is what the kitchen and breakfast room are painted and those walls can be seen from the adjoining areas that are getting painted. This will keep the look consistent.

This guest bedroom is also painted in French Canvas and you can see how bright it looks in a room that gets lots of light. The areas getting painted get  a lot of light most of the year.

Benjamin Moore French Canvas on bedroom walls
And it's the color in the bonus room. Walls and ceiling are in the same color and the walls and ceiling being painted will also be the same.

paint samples on wall of French Canvas and White Dove
Here I painted White Dove on the left and the French Canvas on the right. The White Dove gets way too bright when the room is filled with light. Even though I do love that color I think it would be too white for this area. White Dove is in the dining room, master bath, the farmhouse style guestroom and the sunroom. 

master bathroom Benjamin Moore French Canvas wall color
Sometimes I wish I had gone with the French Canvas in here instead of the White Dove, but it will not be repainted. 😀

So the fun begins this weekend as we remove everything from the walls and move furniture away from the walls. I think I will go buy some more furniture sliders so they can be easily moved about.

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Oh- I love it and I have used French Canvas in the past and I like how it changes with the light and can look a bit different from room to room. I have painted all the woodwork in our last 4 houses (!!!!) with BMoore's White Dove and I still love it and will probably use it in the next house, too. It is a good white but not stark looking.

    I bet you just can't wait to have it done and all fresh for Spring....and now to get everything off the walls, etc, and have them cover all the chandeliers so they don't get any overspray....big job and glad someone else is doing it for you. xo Diana

  2. French canvas is a good selection. I know you are excited to get this job done and hiring professionals should make it go quickly!

  3. Great choice! I know what you mean about the Manchester Tan. I have it in my kitchen and family room and it does tend to go yellow at times. It's much better than the Monroe Bisque that I used to have in there though! Can't wait to see how your spaces look with the new color!

  4. Love the color you chose. I do love my yellow, but mine is a totally different color called Belgium Waffle.

  5. Oh the joys of picking paint colors. LOL. I'm already questioning the paint color in our master that I just painted a few months back. Your home is going to look so much brighter. Cant wait to see it all Kim.

  6. I really like the French Canvas,

  7. Oh how I feel your painting pain! That's what I was doing last year this time--changing the color away from those more yellow-y tones.
    L U V your color choices~ A N D jealous of those high ceilings! I'm sick of 8 footers and low basement ceilings. Yours will look INCREDIBLE when it's finished!

  8. I hate picking paint. It always freaks me out, especially when choosing whites and yellow/tans. It seems as if they would be the easiest to pick, but I always find the greatest variation between the swatch and the wall with those colors. Painting areas first is really the best way. Can't wait to see the afters!

  9. Good choice! I love keeping the flow of colors. We have the same color in all rooms except the kitchen, sunroom and a guest bath are a bit darker. Yes to the sliders. We use them (well my hubby does) and they work great.

  10. Oh, now you have me looking at my walls....The family room with its 20 ft raised tongue and groove ceiling and the walls....painted probably 18 yrs ago....are looking shabby.
    French canvas....hummmm
    It looks lovely in your home...
    Congrats on having painters...we went with painters years ago....
    Have fun!! Can't wait to see what all you do and how it looks.

  11. Love this color French Canvas. I'm a big fan of Ben Moore as it's the only paint I'll use. Looks like the perfect color for you. and you're right, the only way to be sure is to paint multiple areas and check them throughout the day.

  12. Your post couldn't have come at a better time! We are about to repaint our home and I am off to get a swatch (or a small can) of French Canvas. Thanks so much!

  13. Maria Killiam. Is a color specialist. She teaches how to read undertones and writes an excellent blog. Check her out.

    I have found the same paint can vary from room to room depending on the amount of light. I have Manchester tan in my bath and it never looks yellow, but from your photos it is definitely reading yellow.

    What is the formula of French Canvas? Maybe check with Benjamin Moore before making your final selection?? They can tell you the amount of yellow, red, etc. that goes into the paint.

    Best of luck in your new project and it’s hard to believe it was 2013 you painted with the Manchester Tan! Time is flying!

  14. I hate picking paint colors. Just when I make a decision, I see something else I think maybe I should try a sample of.

  15. I love the color you have chosen

  16. That's the problem with walls and colours, there is no flat colour, it changes with the time of day, the sunlight, artificial lighting. It's never as simple as it seems is it?! But I think the French Canvas is really pretty and I also think you are super smart to let the pros handle the high walls!

  17. So timely, as I just hired painters for my two story foyer. I love to paint and hate to pay painters (so expensive), butbit is nice getting it done in one day as opposed to a week. I also when with a lighter color, I went from Ben Moore HC Pink Beige to Magnolia Kilz Soft Linen.

  18. If I were not moving, the painters would be repainting my "blonde" color which turned out a little "brassy" in the great both White Dove and French Canvas and good idea to be consistent throughout the main living area...Will look great after all is done!

  19. I think paint for rooms that connect to others and get different light angles (the stairs, for example) are the most difficult to choose and I believe simplicity is best for those rooms. I like the lighter shade you chose a lot, and not only because it's called "French" Canvas!