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What Color Should I Paint My Room? A Pro House Painter’s Guide!




So you’re thinking of giving your room a fresh coat of paint but can’t decide on a color? With so many hues and tones to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to select the perfect color for your space. With over 15 years as a reliable house painter in Sydney, I’m here to provide some guidance on how to choose a paint color you’ll love.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Paint Color

There are a few key factors to think about when selecting a paint color for your room:

Purpose of the Room

Consider how you use the room. Is it a bedroom where you want a soothing, relaxing color? Or a home office where you need an energizing, motivating color? Think about the overall feel you want to achieve. Soft muted tones work well for restful spaces while bright bold colors are better for high-energy rooms.

Amount of Natural Light

The lighting in the room greatly impacts how paint colors appear. North-facing rooms with cool natural light take warmer paint tones well. South-facing rooms awash in sunlight can handle deeper, saturated colors. For low-light spaces, lighter tints open up the room.

Room Size

Darker or more saturated paint colors can make a small room feel closed in. Pale tints visually expand space in a small area. Large expansive rooms can handle bolder paint colors without feeling overwhelming.

Existing Furnishings

Take into account furniture, flooring, and decor items you don’t plan on replacing. Choose a paint color that complements these existing elements for a pulled-together look. Using the 60-30-10 rule, have 60% of the room in a dominant neutral tone, 30% in accent colors, and 10% in pops of color.

How Lighting Affects Paint Color

The way lighting interacts with paint color can dramatically impact how a hue appears in your space. Here are some lighting factors to consider:

Natural Versus Artificial Light

Paint chips are meant to show colors in natural daylight. But artificial lighting at night can skew wall colors to look more yellow, orange or even pink. Opt for soft white 2700-3000K LED bulbs to render paint colors accurately after dark.

Direction of Light

North facing rooms with gentle indirect light take paint colors differently than south facing spaces awash in direct sunlight. Adjust hue intensity based on the room’s light exposure.

Sheen Level

Higher sheen paints reflect more light for vibrancy while lower sheens absorb light for a muted effect. Eggshell and satin sheens nicely balance light reflection and absorption.

Popular Paint Color Palettes

Unsure where to begin with your paint selection? Here are some of my favorite professional color schemes for rooms:

Blues & Greens

From soft sage to deep emerald, earthy blues and greens create a relaxed yet refined room. Layer in creams and warm metallics for depth and interest.


Never underestimate sophisticated neutral palettes. Mix warm peachy beiges with cool grays and fresh whites for a stylish, inviting look. Add in wood tones for warmth.

Jewel Tones

Rich jewel-inspired hues like ruby red, sapphire blue and amethyst purple lend drama to a space. Temper bold colors with light neutral bases and metallic accents.

Choosing Paint Finishes

Beyond just color, the paint finish impacts the look and feel of your room:

  • Flat – Provides a matte look that absorbs light to hide imperfections. Ideal for ceilings and low-traffic areas.
  • Eggshell – Soft velvety finish with subtle sheen. Works well in living spaces, hallways and bedrooms.
  • Satin – Silky smooth finish with medium light reflection. Recommended for dining rooms, studies, master suites.
  • Semi-Gloss – High light-reflective finish adding vibrancy. Useful for kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms and trim.

Paint Color Tips from a Pro

With decades as a professional painter in Sydney, I’ve picked up some helpful tips for choosing the perfect paint color:

  • Decorate with color palettes in mind, not just individual colors. Tie everything together for harmony.
  • Add depth with a colorwash or ombre wall treatment. This looks amazing with blues, greens and grays.
  • View paint chips at different times of day. Natural and artificial light affect tones.
  • Use brighter colors strategically as accents, on focal walls or furnishings vs all over.
  • For a fail-safe neutral, choose a warm greige (mix of gray and beige). It works with any style.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks! Paint is easily changeable so have fun with bold colors.

Frequently Asked Questions on Painting Rooms

How much paint do I need? 

Measure room dimensions and multiply height x width for wall space. Add 20% more for 2 coats. For a 10×12 room with 8′ ceilings: 10x12x8 + 20% = ~115-130 sq ft or 3-4 gallons.

Should I do all 4 walls the same color?

For a cohesive look, it’s best to paint all walls the same tone. You can add visual interest through lighter and darker shades of the dominant color.

How long does it take paint to dry?

In ideal conditions of 65-85°F and 40-60% humidity, light touch dry in 1-2 hours and full dry within 24-48 hours. Allow extra drying time in cooler or more humid conditions.

Should I paint before new flooring?

Yes, always paint first. Paint can stain floors or leave splatters. Once floors are installed, cover with drop cloths when painting.

What prep work is needed before painting?

Fill holes, remove hardware and outlet covers, degrease surfaces, spot prime patched areas, caulk trim, lightly sand glossy surfaces, clean walls and vacuum before painting.

Final Takeaways

Choosing a paint color for your room may take some time and consideration but it’s worth the effort. Test out paint samples on walls at different times of day. Collect inspiration from photos online or in design magazines. Trust your instincts! 

There are many stunning colors to freshen up your space beautifully. For a stress-free paint project completed by expert professional painters in Sydney, visit our website at i We offer top-notch interior painting services to help realize your design visions.


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