Tips and Guides

7 Solutions to 7 Paint Problems

Sidestep these common mistakes when it comes to picking colors for your home with help from design experts


Choosing colors for your space has always been a touch challenge -- given the numerous factors that need to be considered. Will your chosen color go well with your decor and furniture pieces? Will your palette work with the overall theme of the house? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered.

Make the right color choice with the help of these tips from professionals.

Main photo by Vincent Coscolluela.

The Problem: Picking a color that's too bright or saturated.


“When you use bright colors on walls, the room looks a lot stronger and sharper,” says Hannah Acab-Faustino, principal interior designer of IDeal Interior Design Services and assistant professor of interior design at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

“The only way a saturated color will work on walls is if you pick neutral or white furniture to complete the room. Lighter colors, therefore, work better on walls. Keep it simple, never over-do your design.”

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The Problem: Sticking to your favorite color.


Just because you love pink doesn’t automatically mean it will translate well in a room. “Colors come in various shades and tones, so before picking the exact shade to paint your space with, consider the temperature and size of the room, and your existing furniture and accessories. Colors chosen should harmonize with these elements,” says Hannah.

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The Problem: Not considering the house as a whole.


“Deciding on the design of your home should not be a ‘one-room-at-a-time process.’ This means that even if you do not use the same colors per area, rooms should feel connected or have a sense of continuity. The entire house should make sense as one unit,” reminds Hannah.

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The Problem: Too many colors are combined together.


“Refer to the color wheel for combinations that actually work,” says Alyssa Amanda Valenton, co-founder and principal interior designer at Créatif Interior and lecturer at the SoFA Design Institute. Your best bets are complementary colors (those that are across from each other on the color wheel) and monochromatic ones (colors that are shade or tint variations of the same hue).

”Never use different colors in the same amount in one area, so your room doesn’t end up looking too cluttered. A good formula to follow is this: sixty percent of the given space should be the dominant color; thirty percent should be the secondary color; and ten percent should be your accent color,” adds Amanda.

The Problem: Not testing the color before applying it.


Don’t rely on the color you see on a small paint swatch. It may not be the same once applied on larger surfaces. “Ask your painter to brush on at least three shades of the paint on a small portion of the wall. This is a good way to test the paint, and see which color suits the room, given its natural conditions such as lighting, dimensions, and wall texture,” Amanda advises.

The Problem: Being too scared to try a different or new color.


While there’s nothing wrong with having a preferred color scheme, shying away from other options may cause you to end up with a drab, boring palette. “Don’t be afraid to use color. When in doubt, use a mood or swatch board to see the big picture—how the colored elements in the room, including the sofa, throw pillow, rugs, cabinets will look together, and how these elements may affect your preference,” says Ivy Tablante Darilag, principal architect at Structura Architects.

The Problem: Taking others’ opinions to heart.

“Consider other people’s advice in relation to the intended function or use of your space,” says Ivy. “The red paint that works perfectly for your friend’s dining room may cause restlessness—instead of rest and relaxation—when used in your bedroom,” she adds.

More on

5 Painting Mistakes to Avoid

Building 101: Paint FAQs

Building 101: Choosing the Best Colors for Your Space


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