Building & Renovating

Clever Tips For Mixing Paint Colors At Home

No paint-mixing center? No problem.

Photography: (Main Photo)

Painting a room in the right color can be a daunting task for most. Not to mention, mixing colors can be like piecing a puzzle together—you need to achieve the perfect blend, otherwise, the entire look might be ruined.

Clueless about color, too? No worries, we're here to help you come up with the right shade and tint. Check out these tips:

1. Find inspiration first. 

Leaf through books and magazines to find out what images tickle your fancy to help figure out what you want. If you're drawn to bright colors, consider having a bright accent wall and keep the rest of the room subtle. If you're more of a minimalist, go for neutral or brown-based shades. 

2. Identify the shades you want in paint swatches. 

Focus on your main inspiration because it's the starting point. If for example, you were inspired by the beach, choose among the light blues that you will see in paint swatches (at hardware stores). 

3. Be brave in mixing colors.

Feel free to experiment with seemingly unusual or unpopular colors. The trick is to avoid mixing big batches all at once and swatching different shades of paper instead. 

4. Add other colors to achieve the shade you want. 

Before you get excited, you should know that this depends on the colors you are working with. For example, if you want to produce a light gray, you can add white to soften the basic gray and a splash of yellow for a more vibrant finished product. 

5. Before painting the entire wall, paint a small area of your wall first. 

This is to see how your mixed color actually looks when painted on a surface. You should also let the paint dry for a couple of hours and look at it in natural light to see the color clearly. 

This article ("Roomful of Colors") originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. Main photo by

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