Color Scheming: Using Color Theory for Your Home Painting Projects

Published On: March 1, 20210 Comments on Color Scheming: Using Color Theory for Your Home Painting ProjectsTags: , Last Updated: February 8, 20244.8 min read

Are you getting ready to refresh your home with a new home painting job? Are you having trouble picking colors that work together? This is when it’s time to take a page from an artist’s book and look into color theory. Using color theory when you’re painting your home will ensure that your paint colors will work together and combine into a cohesive look.

Color Scheming Using Color Theory for Your Home Painting Projects

Not sure how that works? No problem; we’re here to talk about it. Keep reading to learn how to use color theory to refresh your home.

What Is Color Theory?

If you’re not an artist or experienced home painter, you might not know anything about color theory. That’s okay! That’s why we’re here. Color theory is a set of basic ideas behind how colors work with each other. It discusses the visual effects of colors when used alone or in combination, and how each color can be achieved. People utilize color theory in home design to give their home an attractive and cohesive appearance.

The Color Theory Basics

You don’t need to know everything about color theory when you’re giving your home a fresh coat of paint or redesigning the decor in your space. You just need to know a few basic ideas (and how to use them). First, check out a color wheel. A color wheel shows you all of the colors of the rainbow, as well as the relationships between these colors. There are three basic categories of colors. They’re primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. Many of us know the primary colors already. They’re colors that can’t be made by combining other colors. They consist of red, yellow, and blue. Secondary colors are made by mixing primary colors. They’re green, orange, and purple.

Tertiary colors are made by mixing the secondary colors. You also need to know the difference between color relationships. We’ll talk more about that as we progress through the tips, but take a look at your color’s place on the color wheel to find out which of these relationships works best for you.

Use Color Temperature to Your Advantage

Colors have temperatures. While they’re not literally hot or cold, our eyes associate temperatures with them. Warm colors are reds, bold yellows, and oranges. Cool colors include blues, greens, and purples. In-between colors (like tertiary colors) have some wiggle room. Use this temperature to your advantage. If you want to give a room a cool and soothing look, shades of blue give that effect. If you want a room to look warm and cozy, reds, warm browns, and oranges are great for that. Figure out what “vibe” you want the room to give off and choose a temperature accordingly.

Use Contrasting Colors for a Bold Look

Contrasting or complementary colors are great for giving your home a splash of color. People often use these colors as main colors and accent colors. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Red and green, for example, are complementary. This adds visual interest. When you use complementary colors you should try leaving large spaces neutral. In other words, a red accent wall and green chairs or furniture can work well, but red walls paired with green carpeting is too much. Instead, make your walls white or beige to offset the look.

Split-Complementary for a Softer Look

If you want the visual interest without the bold and aggressive complementary colors, try a split-complementary color scheme. When you look at the color wheel, pick your main color. We’ll stick with red. Instead of going for the color right across from it (true green), we’ll move one space each to either side. This means that the red is paired with teal and a yellow-toned green. This look is much softer, but you still get the contrast. You don’t have to rely on neutral tones.

Color Scheming

Change Colors With Neutrals

When you want to go with a more monochromatic look, you shouldn’t stick with one shade of a color. There’s no visual interest and the color is overwhelming. Instead, add neutrals to your colors to turn them into something new. Let’s say you’re starting with pink. Too much pink doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you use different kinds of pink but mixing pinks together that are mixed with different colors (like true pinks vs magenta) results in a messier appearance. Instead, you should tint, shade, and tone your colors. Tinting your colors means that you’re adding white to them. Shading them means that you’re adding black. Toning them means adding grey. All of these will result in different, but similar, colors that look good when they’re combined.

Consider Analogous Colors

If you like the look of colors that are similar but you want a bit of a change, analogous colors are for you. These colors make up common “color schemes” in design, and they’re also the colors that are often present on paint chips at home improvement stores. Analogous colors are the ones that are next to each other on the color wheel. If you choose a teal color, for example, you would have one greener color on the right and one bluer color on the left. These colors combine well and give the room a cohesive appearance without being too “matchy.” Choose one color to be the dominant color and make the others accents.

Is It Time to Paint Your Home?

Use these painting tips to give your home a fresh and beautiful coat of paint and a design that’s easy on the eyes. You don’t have to be an artist to utilize color theory in your home design. For more helpful articles about home improvement, visit the rest of the site!

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