The Right Way to Test Paint Samples on Walls

The Right Way to Test Paint Samples on Walls

Looking for an affordable way to completely change the look and feel of your home this Spring? Fresh new paint color can completely transform a room and make it feel like a whole new space!

Now, let’s say you’ve already committed to the idea of adding a splash of new colors to your walls. However, like many of us, you may be hesitant to begin your home renovation project in fear of choosing the wrong paint color and regretting it afterward.

No need to worry, you’ve come to the right place! Read the step-by-step instructions below and watch our helpful video to start testing paint samples for your next DIY home improvement project!    


Step 1: Visit your local paint store. Typically, you would pick up free paint chips of any color to test and take them home. However, it is better to purchase 3-4 small color sample paint canisters to see a clearer view of what the colors would look like on your walls.

Stick to a few colors at first to prevent confusion or the stress of too many decisions. (Note: One pint of paint covers about 30-50 square feet.)

Step 2: Paint large strokes (at least 1-2 feet wide x 1-2 feet high) of each color directly on the room walls you want to paint. Leave space in between for better comparison.  

Step 3: Paint another coat of each sample color on top of the first to get a more accurate and saturated read of the final colors on your wall.  

Step 4: After the paint dries, look at the sample colors for 1-2 days in different lighting (daylight and nighttime). Especially look at the colors using the existing light fixtures and bulbs you intend to use in the room.  

Step 5: Look at how the colors match with your trim, ceiling, floor, and even what you see outside your windows. If you already have furniture pieces you intend to use in that room, imagine it (or even place it in the room) to see what will match best.  

Step 6: When you’re ready, take measurements of the room you would like to paint, go back to the paint store and buy however many cans you need for your project.

Three gallons of paint can cover about 350-525 square feet if you do two coats. You can use this nifty online Paint Calculator to estimate how much paint you will need to purchase. 

Step 7: Have fun decorating your new walls — happy painting!

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Check Out Our Video

Lastly, don’t forget to watch this YouTube video! It provides a great visual walkthrough on how to best test paint samples directly on the walls of your home.

Staff Highlight

If you have any questions about paint products, ask for Mike, our store’s paint expert who has been working at our San Jose Bay Area store for almost 25 years and has worked all things paint for the last 49 years!

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