One of Our Best Painting Tips: Painting First Is a Big Decorating Don’t

What’s the first thing you should do when you’re moving into a new home? Ten times out of ten, people are going to tell you to get the painters in there. You’ll be so happy you did it before all the boxes and furniture arrive and it gets harder to maneuver around things, they’ll say.

But they’re completely ignoring the period of time after that, when your stuff is in the space and you realize none of it looks exactly right with the paint color you chose. The dove-gray rug you just bought appears downright dingy in there.

But the idea of painting again? Ugh. So you start looking for a new rug – and looking, and looking, and looking. The reality is you should’ve done it the other way around, says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager.

That’s right, your best bet is to paint after all else. “Paint colors are virtually unlimited and you can tint to nearly any paint color that you would like,” Dee explains. “Once the decor elements are considered, you can match your paint color or choose a complementary tone from the other colors in the home’s palette.” There’s a method to this madness.

First, grab a fan of paint chips and select a few shades that pick up on colors in your furniture and accessories, like the curtains. They don’t have to be the main colors, either. “For example, your perfect paint color may be an aqua tone in a thin thread running through your fabric,” says Dee.

A navy accent wall makes this black velvet chair look even more luxe.

Don’t just hold up the paint chips next to your sofa and flooring, although that’s a good start. “Once you’ve narrowed down the color selection, PPG recommends purchasing a sample quart of the color and painting a swatch that is at least two feet by two feet so you can see the colors against different lighting throughout the day and evening,” Dee says.

After you’ve decided on a paint color, it’s true, you’re going to have to push your things into the middle of the room and cover them with a tarp to get it on the walls. It’s extra work, but it’s worth it – ten times out of ten.

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