How did we cull down the thousands of paint colors in Benjamin Moore’s entire line to land on our 32 favorites? We just closed our eyes and threw darts. Just kidding. Picture our couch covered with paint chips and conversations like “I feel like we need a few more neutrals – wait, now it’s too safe, let’s add a few more bold colors.” Then of course there were the chats we had about which colors we had seen in person and fell in love with, both in homes that we’ve photographed for our blog (which we call House Crashing) and for secret projects that’ll be in our upcoming book, which we tackled with over 30 Benjamin Moore colors a few months ago (we got quarts of Aura paint in a ton of different colors and had fun doing everything from painting walls of our house to furniture with them – and then hid the furniture and repainted the walls since we can’t reveal those projects until our book comes out this fall). Yup, there was lots of debating and shuffling of chips and looking back on paint colors that we’ve used and loved. Then we finally stepped back and said “done.” And then we slept on it, tweaked things yet again, and finally really were done.
When it comes to how we like to choose paint colors in general, every room has different lighting, so things can read differently depending on the time of day or the direction that the room faces (ex: even when painted the same color, a north-facing room in your house might look different than a south-facing room). Our best advice is just to grab a bunch of swatches and bringing them home to see which ones look best on your wall. Tape them right up on the wall so you’re looking at them on the exact plane that you’ll be painting, and be sure to check them out in the morning, noon, and at night to note how they change (your favorite one in the morning might get weird and become your least favorite one at night).
Comparing them at all times of the day should hopefully leave you with just a few contenders (untape any that aren’t quite right as you go and see what’s left). Then if you’re still caught between a few choices, it’s a great idea to grab some test pots of paint, which are usually only a few bucks, to paint those last few contenders up on the wall and see which one you really love the most. It might sound like an extra step, but if you’re truly unsure it can save you tons of time spent repainting a room because you rushed into the color choice. When you’re applying your test paint to the wall, be sure to apply a nice big square of each one, and to do two coats and wait for them to fully dry before making a decision (paint tends to darken as it dries). Once again, looking at them in all times of the day helps, so after they dry it’s best to wait at least 24 hours to make a final choice, just to see how they might change at night or in the early morning light. The great thing about these much-larger-than-a-paint-swatch squares on your wall is that you can even hold up a rug or some bedding that you might be using in the space to each square to see which one works best. Hope it helps, and happy painting!