I haven't had many paint disasters, except this one, luckily it was on my own home.  For clients homes, I specify and it works.  I don't even do wall swatches.

Whether you're choosing paint colors on your own or with a designer here are some tips for making sure that you avoid a disaster.

1. Good quality primer, paint, and tools.  Bad brushes can leave strokes or bristles in the paint.  Bad paint and primer won't cover properly.

2. Two coats of paint, if the color seems right after one, fine, but usually it takes two.

3. Careful of color matches.  Some places are better than others.  If you're a stickler, it's better to stick with the same manufacturer for color & paint.  Meaning, if you select a Benjamin Moore color, use Benjamin Moore paint.

4. Alright, you can do swatches.  Choose no more than 4-5 paints to swatch.  More than that and you'll drive yourself crazy.  At least 2' x 2', two coats, and on a few different walls.  If you have a strong base color it can affect your samples, maybe prime first in that case.  If you are going to do swatches, it should be on the wall.  Yes, you could do it on another board or paper, but the texture of the walls makes a big difference to how light is reflected and how the color looks.

5. If the painter puts the color up and you feel it is wrong, ask them to stop.  Request that they complete one wall with two coats and sit on it.  Put your blinders on (so you can't see the other walls) and look.  Either the color is wrong or it could be fine and you're reacting to the change or the interaction with the unpainted walls, or two coats are not up yet.  The good news is paint is inexpensive.

What about you?  Any paint disasters?  Any tips on avoiding disaster?

PS: Here are some guides to help:

Exterior House Painting New Exterior Paint Combinations Painting Concrete Best Interior Paint Colors: Dark Blue Paint Guide: Best Reds Paint Guide: Best Pastels Best Interior Paint Colors


Best Pastel Paint Colors by Capella Kincheloe Interior Design PHoenix Words that I wouldn't use to describe myself or my designs are: sweet, soft, dainty, but these words are regularly used to describe pastels.  So one would think that I wouldn't typically use pastel paint colors in my designs.

You're right, pastels are not usually my go-to.  However I do like a pastel with a little kick.  A little sour with my sweet (like Sour Patch Kids) and a little quirk in that dainty.  A little tang in that green, a bit of fire in that pink, a touch of anarchy in yellow.  You get my point.

Here are my selections for pastels that are the right combination of sweet and kick-ass.


 CREAM SILK 2146-60


Emily Henderson





best interior paint colors Picking paint colors is scary to many people - there are so many choices.

I'm sharing with you today all the colors that have never done me wrong.  In other words, they've always worked no matter where I've put them, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms.

But colors are deeply personal and my only advice on choosing colors for your own home is to not overthink it.

Interior design is about how an entire room will come together and if you spend energy picking and evaluating dozens of paint colors you will never even make it to the end to see how everything works together.

When I select paint colors for clients, I do so quickly, flipping through my paint decks, my mind working at hyperspeed until a color just feels right.  Not that a particular color has good vibes, though some like Benjamin Moore Pure Joy just shout happiness, but that a color fits perfectly into your beautiful puzzle.

benjamin moore shadow

Let me know what you biggest paint struggles are in the comments below!