Ask the Expert - Paint Colors

We are trying to pick colors for painting the interior of our Naples home.  I have been looking at paint color swatches for weeks, and when I see them at Home Depot, Lowes, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore here in Naples I love the colors.  Then I bring them home and they look completely different.  My neighbor painted the inside of their Naples home and I really like the color.  I tried some of the same color on our walls and it looks completely different. Can you please give us some advice. Totally Frustrated, Shelly O-Naples, Florida

Yes I can help you with your paint color selections for your Naples home.  What your are experiencing is called "Metamerism," a phenomenon whereby paint colors seem to change when viewed under different light sources.  It's always best to view paint color swatches in the actual space and lighting conditions in which they'll be used.  Some colors are particularly prone to "metamerism," including tans, taupes, grays, grayed-blues, mauves, lilacs and grayed yellow-greens.  I always recommend to my clients to look at the color in the room they are going to paint, but to also look at the paint color swatch at different times of day.  Direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, and artificial light can completely change the look of a paints color.  I also recommend to my Southwest Florida clients to put down a piece of white paper and look at the paint color swatch on top of the piece of white paper.  Cover the surrounding color chips on the page with a piece of white paper also so you are just looking at the one paint color chip.  This way you will get a better feel of what the color will look like.  Remember surrounding colors impact how any one color is perceived. Don't put the paint chip up against the wall, the old paint color will affect color you are trying to choose. An ivory wall can appear pink when paired with a vibrant red carpet.  Before you make a final decision on the paint color for the interior painting of your Naples home create a list of the key elements that will remain in each room--sofa, rug, flooring, bedspreads, window treatments, etc....Think about the room's purpose and how you'd like to feel in the room.  For example, do you see your family room as a quiet haven from the world, or as the lively entertainment center of your home?  Determine your own personal color preferences.  Once you've gathered your ideas, take a look at your collection and see which design elements stand out.  Are there specific colors, styles or other elements that attract you.  While moving through your Naples home, consider the colors that can be seen from the openings in each room of your Naples home.  Whether you have a open floor plan or the space in your Naples home is clearly defined, select paint colors that flow from one area to the next to create a thoroughly pleasing effect.  Good Luck with your interior painting project.  If you need further help please call me and I will be happy to have someone from our design team meet with you.


I want to paint the inside of my bathroom using Martha Stewarts  Light Strokes paint, but it is so expensive.  This there any way I can get that same look using a cheaper paint and mixing something with it.  Dawn B-Miami

My recommendation to you Dawn is to purchase the Martha Stewart Light Strokes paint to paint your bathroom.  You will not be able to duplicate the look you are looking for using a lesser grade of paint.  Any line of the Martha Stewart paint is made specifically to get a certain effect on your walls, when you change the paint you will get a different effect and look.


My husband and I are going to paint the exterior of our home and we are trying to pick paint colors.  What colors are popular now? KathyG-Bonita

When picking paint colors for the exterior of your home you don't always want to go with what is popular, as those colors may not work on the exterior of your home.  You will want to look at your existing roof color and try and pick a color that will compliment it.  People don't change their roofs very often so that will be a big factor in picking your house color.  Once you feel you have picked a color that will compliment your roof, then pick your accent color and you can also pick a third color for your front door, as your front door should be the focal point of your home.  After you have picked all paint colors, go to your local Sherwin Williams paint store and speak with the store manager, show them the paint colors you are thinking of painting your home as ask them, " How will these colors hold up to the Florida sun?"  If the colors your have chosen are more towards the earth tone they will have a better chance of holding up well.  Many colors do not hold up well to the Florida climate and will fade out quickly.  Many times homeowners will pick colors, paint their homes and the color will fade out in 2-3 years then blame the paint, when it is actually the color they have chosen.  By asking the store manager at your local Sherwin Williams they are familiar with the colorants used in paints and what colorants fade out quickly, they can help guide you in your paint selection.  I always deal with the Sherwin Williams store on US 41 near Crystal Drive, Tom Will the store manager there is who I always check with for my clients.