Paint color is a blessing and a curse: a pop of color or a sophisticated neutral can give your room a bright, luxe feel as easily as make it feel outdated, dirty or just plain weird-looking. So we’re pretty into this primer (ahem) on how to work with a room’s light to get the desired effect on your walls, courtesy Apartment Therapy.
Before you commit, test the color with paint chips or samples, and be sure to:
- Factor in the direction the windows face. Rooms with southern exposures, for example, get the most light, so any color will look more intense.
- Evaluate the color over the course of the day. Morning and evening light are a lot warmer than the sun at high-noon, and you’ll want to be sure the color works in all parts of the room (post the paint swatches in different spots) no matter what the clock says.
- Turn on all your lights; check how the color looks with different combos of artificial illumination. Depending on what type of bulbs you’ve got—incandescent, LED or otherwise—that robin’s egg blue may look decidedly icier than you’d expect.
Just as important for renters, you’ll want to follow the rules of painting in New York City:
- Before you move out, remember to paint the walls white or risk your security deposit.
- Landlords in buildings with three apartments or more are required to repaint your walls every three years.
If you’re ready to get started, read our “5 foolproof steps to painting any room—successfully.”