How To Pick the Perfect Accent Paint Color

How exactly DO you pick the perfect paint color, particularly when it’s an IMPACT color? I have a 5 step plan! It’s tried and true and works every single time. I promise.

Before we dive right into the process, let’s walk through it with a real life example.  The room we are planning to add green to is a client’s former Sunroom. We’ll revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the inspiration and plan.

Design Board by Evans Construction and Design

So, as you can see, GREEN is a main design element here and we plan to paint all of the walls in it. This is what I call an “Impact Color”. In this case, you’re definitely NOT looking for a whole house interior color to tie everything in. We’re looking for impact! Drama! A statement!


So, how exactly DO you select the perfect impact paint color? Follow these 5 steps


1. Start With SOMETHING

You need inspiration. A pillow, a plate, hell…a shoe will work. Something you love, something you see as an inspiration for the room. Some place to jump off from. This Kate Spade plate is our inspiration piece for the room. Super cute, isn’t it?


2. Gather and Narrow

Next, we’re heading to the paint store. This is the dangerous part! Paint stores can just suck you in with all their fancy dancy displays and trick you with their lighting. Bring your inspiration item with you and use it to pull some paint chips. Hold them together, see what “goes”. Look at the lighter areas, the darker areas, the middle, and so on. You can see this above in the top photo. Bring home ALL of your chips. Pay no attention to the cashier giving you the dirty look as you walk out with a bag full of paint chips, they’re free after all! Once you’re home, spread them all out and look at them in YOUR house with YOUR lighting. You will likely change your initial thoughts and that’s OK.  Now we NARROW! We are going to eliminate the ones that don’t work and narrow it down to 2 or 3…no more than 5. Really. Now we have a short list of 3 or so paint colors we like. Progress!

Bunker Hill Green

3. Research, But Not Too Much

Now, we head to the computer. Pinterest is your friend here. Search the name of the colors you’re considering and see what you think of them on a big wall. Of course, computer screens look different than real life and you have the actual color sitting in front of you on the chip. I believe it’s still helpful. Don’t go too far down this rabbit hole, but get a good overall feel of what these colors look like in a room. It’s helpful to see a color used over and over again, by many designers. It’s a little confidence booster! Many designers (like me) create handy charts of our favorite colors, so lean on our expertise. Here are my favorite tried and true greens. Pin it before you forget it!



4. Put Up Samples

Another field trip! Head to the paint store and buy sample quarts of the short list of colors you’re considering. Put them up on the wall, live with them and see what you think. How does it look in the morning? At night? With the adjacent room? Again, keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you. Here is my favorite Bunker Hill Green up on the wall.



5. Marry It

Make a decision and stick with it.  You’ve done your due diligence and you should be confident in your decision. Paint the wall(s) and enjoy. It’s going to look great! Here is the color we selected up on all the walls. It looks amazing.

Design by Evans Construction and Design


What are my favorite greens? Here you go!

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