Reality

Here is what you need to do before painting samples onto the wall

Fortunately, there is not a lot of preparation work, besides getting the rest of the room ready, before you can start painting samples onto your wall.

Paint samples are a great way to test out a paint color before you commit to this color permanently. It can also be a great way to decide between the different paint colors that you are considering.

What is a paint sample?

If you are having trouble committing to a color for your walls, a paint sample can be a great way to experience your paint colors in real life.

Paint samples are small amounts, usually single pints of your chosen paint color, which you can use to test out the color before you buy a bigger size of that paint color.

These paint samples usually cost anywhere from $3 to $10, and will end up covering between 12 and 30 square feet of surface on your walls. This is just enough paint to get a feel for the paint color within your space.

Benefits of using paint samples

Paint colors often look very different in your actual home and lighting, as compared to the color card and swatches in store. It is also common for homeowners to be torn between a few different colors when they are deciding on their wall paint colors.

Paint samples are a great way to ensure that you have a realistic idea of what your paint color will look like on your actual walls and to help you to decide between a few different shades.

The clearest benefit to using a sample paint instead of a peel and stick or sample card, is that it is actual paint.

This will give you a better idea as to the texture and color that your final paint job will have, which should help you to know if the color or which color is the right choice for your space.

Do I need to do anything before painting samples onto the wall?

Given these benefits to using painting samples, it is important to know what preparations need to be done before you paint the sample onto your wall, for you to get the best possible results.

Most of the preparation work for paint sampling really centers around getting the room ready to be as close to the end product as possible, for you to get the most realistic idea of what each paint color will look like in the room.

This includes mapping out where windows will cast bright lights and shadows, planning and setting up the lighting of the room and installing the flooring and trim.

If you are considering a very bright or saturated color, it is a good idea to add some primer to the spot where you want to test your paint sample first, as you will need to do this to the entire wall if you choose this color and this will, once again, give you the most accurate representation of what that color will end up looking like in your space.

Tips for using paint samples

Once you are done with the preparations and can start actually painting the sample colors onto your walls, there are some tips and tricks to consider, including:

  • Choose no more than three colors to sample.
  • Paint at least a 1 x 1 foot patch on the wall in your sample color.
  • Paint two coats of your sample color, just as you would for an entire wall.
  • Paint these test patches on multiple walls.
  • Observe these patches in different lighting conditions throughout the day.

These tips and tricks will help you to be sure of whether the colors you have selected are right for your space and will look good once this color is painted all over the walls.

Comparing paint samples

It is also important to compare these sample patches to different elements in your room, to ensure that your entire color scheme for your overall design will coordinate and look good together.

In order to get a good idea of what your sample color will look like in the end, it is always a good idea to paint this color next to your trim, instead of just in the middle of a wall.

This will help you to see how your wall color will interact with your trim color and also keep your current wall color from interfering with your perception of the new color.

Final thoughts

The preparation work to apply painting samples to your wall is minimal and just ensures that you have a realistic idea of what the paint will look like in the space once it is all over the walls.