How to Choose Paint Colors
for Woodwork - part 1

A lot of homeowners don't know how to choose paint colors for woodwork. So what they do is, they either use the same (wrong) shade of white everywhere, without regard to the room color scheme, or leave the decision to their house painting contractor (who usually has no clue either and can only recommend pure white).

Have you ever been in a situation where you painted a room and love the wall paint color, but something about the room still seems off? Chances are, your chosen interior trim colors are the culprits.

When you don't know how to choose paint colors for trim, a wrong shade of white can cause some real dissonance and interfere with the flow of your interior color scheme. That is why professional decorators devote a lot of time to finding that right shade which will look harmonious and relevant within the context of your existing room colors.

Choosing Interior Trim Colors Can Be Tricky

choosing paint colors can be tricky

There can be as many as 200 shades of white in a paint color deck, and only 1 of them is truly white (it is usually called "Pure White", "Extra White", or something along these lines). Other shades have a hint of other colors to them - they come in gray, orange, yellow, red, green, blue or purple tints.

Although some shades of white are used more often than others and are considered "go-to colors", there is no one single shade that works all the time.

The right shade will be the one that relates to the overall room color scheme.

How to Choose Paint Colors for Trim
When White is Already Present

how to choose paint colors for trim

If your kitchen cabinets are pure white, it's best if you choose pure white for the trim, doors, windows and baseboards.

If the cabinets are bone white, you need to use the same shade on the woodwork.

Otherwise, the room may look really amateurish and uneven - some white surfaces will look new and clean, the others will appear old and dirty (shades of white are really capricious), and you will notice that only after the room is painted. Ouch!

choose paint colors for woodwork

So when you have some fixed white objects in the room (like cabinets, countertops, tile or window blinds that are staying), match your woodwork color to them as accurately as possible.

But what if there are 2 or more white fixed objects in the room, and they are all different shades? One of the shades must lead and dominate if you want a consistent, professional look.

So pick the most prominent white fixed object in the room and repeat the color on the woodwork.

how to choose paint color

Sometimes people re-paint selectively - they may just repaint the doors where the paint finish has soiled or worn out the most, and leave all the other woodwork as is.

If you ever do the same, make sure you keep all your woodwork the same color. If the new shade of white doesn't match the old white, the room will scream "We didn't have the money to repaint completely, we could only afford to paint this door!".

If you properly choose paint colors for woodwork, your home will finally start resembling those beautiful houses you see featured in decorating magazines.

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets

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