Whether you are completely renovating, or simply looking to rejuvenate your space – adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most effective ways to transform a room. The right paint colour and finish can liven up a drab bedroom, open up a tiny washroom or add a touch of luxury to doors and wall accents. Ensure you are picking the right paint for your project with these tips:

1. Buy Test Size Quantities of Different Colours. Most paint stores have sample paint sizes available, these are inexpensive and usually have enough paint to cover a large wall area. Using these samples allows you to test different options in your space before you commit to buying a full gallon.

2. Look at Swatches in Natural Light. Take swatches/paint chips to a nearby window. Paint tends to look different under artificial light. If you have ever looked at a swatch in a store and found that the paint looked different on your walls – this is why. Look at swatches near a window to get a better feel for how the colour will look in your home. It is also a good idea to look at swatches against a white surface -this will help you see tonal values clearly.

3. Give Your Favourite Colours a Test Run. Think you narrowed down a few of your favourite options? Buy smaller test sizes and paint swatches on one section of wall in a high-traffic area. After looking at these colours every day for a week or so, you should be able decide on your favourite one. Testing colours this way will help you judge which hue works best in the space and you will be able to see how the paint looks in daylight and at night.

4. Try Customizing! If you are unsatisfied with the colour selection in a store, you can mix extra black or white to darken or lighten your paint. Although this is great way to get a custom colour – this extra step can make it very difficult to match the paint colour in the future if you ever needed to do touch-ups.

5. Pick the Right Finish for Your Space.

Flat – A chalky finish that has a matte sheen. It absorbs light and helps hide surface imperfections. Ideal for high-traffic areas.

Eggshell – A bit more luster than flat paint, eggshell paint is easier to clean.

Semi-gloss – Reflects light, is bright and shiny and great for rooms with a strong light source. Best used in areas that are cleaned frequently such as kitchens, bathrooms, closet doors, and trim. Generally, the shinier the finish is, the more durable and easier to clean it is.

Satin – Offers a warm, pearl-like finish. Excellent at resisting mildew, dirt and stains. Suitable for frequently-used spaces. Great for hallways and children’s rooms.

High-gloss – The higher the sheen (or gloss), the more vivid and rich your colours will appear. It is a great choice for deep, jewel-toned colours such as reds, deep greens, and navy blues. It works great for wood surfaces such as trim, cabinets, and doors. Should be used only on surfaces where blemishes are minimal because they are easier to see.

When selecting a paint finish, keep in mind that shiny surfaces are reflective and can help make a space feel larger – glossier finishes can help visually expand a small kitchen or bathroom. Talk with a paint expert at your local paint store for information, ideas and advice!