My Scientific Method for Choosing Paint Colors

I freaking love paint. Colors get me hype. The guys at Sherwin Williams know me by name, and we’ve spent alot of beautiful quality time together. I’m lucky the store is less than a mile away, and these angels are doing curbside pickup during the plague!

historic white interior
how pretty is this white??

But still, there are so many color options it’s overwhelming! Just picking out a WHITE paint color for my main spaces was like picking baby names. There’s the undertones to consider, oh god. Some have more of a blue tint, some yellow, some pink, etc. Each has a LRV-light reflective value, that basically tells you how light or dark the shade is on a scale. There are dark whites, like what?

sherwin williams white paint colors

Plus, different colors look different in natural vs. artificial lighting, which is impacted by which direction your windows face, the weather, even what’s outside your windows! For example, if you have trees right outside your windows, it will reflect a green light onto your walls. G*d damn.

sherwin williams pure white in different lighting
in this light the kitchen looks kinda gray and the wall in front looks beige to me, even though they're painted the same color

To start, I popped into Shergood Wilcott, I mean Sherwin Williams, to grab a bunch of paint chips. I love free stuff. When the coronavirus hit, the paint chips were off limits so they gave me this fan book with every single color!

sherwin williams paint color fan book
remember those Brain Quest things??

Then I took them home to see how the colors look in my house. I put the samples next to the fixed things like my floors, cabinets, and other furniture I have to make sure they wouldn’t clash. I’m glad I did, instead of just buying based on the colors online, because some of them were thrown right out. They just didn’t look right!

Like this: the greige color is going on some kitchen cabinets. They all looked the same in the shop so I had to make sure the undertones match with the floor pattern like a design geek.

sherwin williams greige paint colors
yep they all look the same to me!
sherwin williams pure white and agreeable gray
these work!
sherwin williams greige paint colors
these don't! Undertones not vibing.

I knew I wanted the kitchen and living room to be a bright, crisp white, but not like a sterile white. I wanted the other paint colors to be cool blues & greens. Then a neutral color to balance everything out. And I gotta bring it full circle and make sure the colors all come together in beautiful harmony.

You can check out the design I’m looking to achieve here.

After extensive research and consulting with numerous subject-matter experts (Dante, Alex, and their colleagues at SW) I went with:

sherwin williams pure white, rookwood blue green, olympic range, agreeable gray, waterloo paint colors
  • Pure White – main spaces
  • Agreeable Gray – bottom kitchen cabinets, insides of doors, bathroom walls
  • Waterloo – office
  • Olympic Range – studio
  • Rookwood Blue Green (but there’s really no blue in it, it’s green)

I painted the main space walls in semi-gloss and did the trim the same color in high-gloss, which looks super good, gave it just the right amount of contrast. Its the perfect tiny bit off-white.

sherwin williams pure white in living room with ikea kallax shelves
get dat bal
sherwin williams pure white semi gloss and high gloss on trim
"alexa, tell me my paint looks sexy"

And the deep green I chose for the studio (that which made it on the wall) looks amazing! 100% visitor: compliment ratio (there’s only been 1 person over since painting but numbers don’t lie).

clean paint trim lines with sherwin williams olympic range
look at that line! it's like paint porn
mirror selfie in home studio with dark green walls

I’m not done painting yet, nooooot even close, but so far I’m happy with how everything is turning out so far! I’ll post painting updates as they come, for now I have some inner work to do regarding painting.

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