I’m currently finalising the colour scheme for my recently renovated loft. No more settling for plain white walls. This time, I’m going bold and need to pick the right shades wisely. I’m being careful in choosing colours for the walls, ceiling, trims, and even the en-suite bathroom, so the whole space flows smoothly—from the staircase to the bedroom and bathroom—creating a harmonious atmosphere.
It’s not just about picking four colours that work on their own; they need to blend perfectly and match the Cole and Son Hummingbird Wallpaper.
As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to share my insights on how to best select paint colours. This blogpost covers well-known brands like Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball, Little Greene, Coat Paints, and Liberon.
As a side note, I’m talking from my experience in France, where I’ve dealt with different branches of these brands. Things might not be (exactly) the same in their home countries.
1 – Quality of The Paint:
High-quality paints, with their dense consistency, ensure superior coverage with fewer coats, ultimately reducing painting time. These paints boast enhanced color saturation due to higher pigment solids and reduced water content. They adhere well and provide smoother application when rolled onto surfaces, reducing splatters and imperfections. They also offer increased resistance to peeling and flaking, resulting in extended durability. Additionally, they are easier to clean and exhibit UV ray resistance. It’s important to note, however, that quality comes at a higher price (as mentioned in Point 6).
My preferred choices are: Farrow & Ball, Little Greene, and Benjamin Moore.
2 – Brands’ Commitment to Sustainability:
Eco-friendly paints prioritise safety by significantly reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which minimises health risks. They use recycled materials in their products and packaging and they reduce waste through made-to-order production, enhancing resource efficiency. Some brands go the extra mile by promoting local sourcing and production to support communities and reduce the carbon footprint.
Coat Paints seem to be doing a good job focusing on sustainability and waste reduction.
3 – Extensive Choice in Colour Palette:
I usually begin with an idea or mood board (though this might not apply to everyone). Thus, having a broad range of colours to select from matters to me. For my loft, I’m in search of colours that exude modernity, elegance, and timelessness.
To bring this to life, I’ve been exploring paint brands that provide a wide variety of colours and align well with the latest trends. Initially, the abundance of options might be a bit overwhelming, but as you invest more time in searching and researching, you become adept at choosing colours that resonate with your vision.
Some of the brands offering a plentiful (and satisfying) array of colours are Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball, and Little Greene.
4 – Getting Samples Easily:
Choosing colours blindly isn’t wise; I learned this the hard way a few years ago, and the mistake came at a high price. It’s essential to keep in mind that colours never look the same across screens, in shops, under different lights, on paper, or in pictures. True judgment comes from testing them in the actual room where they will be used, observing them from different angles, including natural and artificial lighting. So, it’s vital to get a sample before making a final decision.
Here is my usual process before ordering the final product, in this sequence: start with the colour chart (usually free or inexpensive), then move on to peel-and-stick stickers, order small tin samples, go for a quarter of the desired colour in the appropriate finish, and finally, place the final order.
A few insights I’ve gained about these brands:
Coat Paints: Opting for peel-and-stick samples proves economical for trial applications on walls. A single peel-and-stick sample costs €2, and a pack starts at €5. A colour card is available for €4.
Farrow & Ball: A 100ml tin sample from Farrow and Ball comes with a price of €9.50. The Colour Card is free, but they don’t offer peel-and-stick sheets.
Benjamin Moore: Unfortunately, as of August 2023, peel-and-stick stickers aren’t available in France. A 236ml tin sample is priced at €15, which is not only expensive but also more than needed for testing (dommage!), leading me to skip the brand.
Liberon: A4-sized Stick-and-Peel stickers can be found online at €1 each. This is something I plan to explore further.
Little Greene: Sample tins cost €9.50. They don’t provide peel-and-stick sheets.
I like Farrow & Ball, but I’m curious about Coat Paints and Liberon. They provide stick-and-peel sheets, which are helpful for testing colours before deciding. Plus, it’s a cost-effective option.
5 – Different (and Sometimes Confusing) Types of Finishes:
Pre-packaged paint samples usually display a flat finish but remember that the same paint colour can appear differently depending on the finish you select. The level of reflectiveness in various paint finishes significantly affects how your chosen colour will appear on the wall. Sometimes, getting a quart of your preferred colour in the desired finish might be needed to truly see the final result.
While you can use any finish in any room, certain options like satin, eggshell, and gloss work particularly well in bathrooms.
Here’s a breakdown of various paint finishes:
Flat Finish: Without any shine, flat paint effectively hides wall imperfections.
Matte Finish: Offering a bit more gloss and shine than flat paint, matte finish effectively conceals wall flaws.
Eggshell Finish: Slightly shinier than flat paint, eggshell finish brings a soft touch and limited reflectivity, perfect for bedrooms.
Satin Finish: Striking a balance between flat and semi-gloss finishes, satin finish adds an elegant touch to bedroom walls.
Semi-gloss Finish: Perfect for trim, doors, and cabinets, semi-gloss paint combines durability and visual appeal.
High-Gloss Finish: Known for intense shine and light reflection, high gloss paint highlights accent pieces like furniture, doors, or cabinets. It’s a specialty finish that draws attention.
Brands usually provide clear explanations of the differences between each finish and offer guidance on their recommended use.
6 – Considering the Cost:
Price certainly matters when choosing paint, especially for larger surfaces. Below is a pricing breakdown, ranging from the priciest to the most budget-friendly brand, derived from my exploration. For each brand, I opted for a neutral color in a flat finish:
Farrow & Ball (Wevet): A 2.5L tin is priced at €126 – 1L costs around €50
Little Greene (Hollyhock): A 2.5L tin comes in at €113 – 1L costs €45.2
Coat Paints (Mindful): A 2.5L container is priced at €69 – 1L costs €27.6
Liberon (Camomille): You can get a 2.5L tin for €54.90 – 1L cost €22
Benjamin Moore: Unfortunately, their French website is currently inaccessible, making a fair comparison with current pricing difficult. I’ll provide updated information once it becomes available.
In conclusion, I hope this comprehensive guide equips you with insights for selecting the perfect paint. From quality and sustainability to extensive color choices, testing samples, understanding finishes, and considering costs, you are now prepared to make well-informed decisions that transform your space with confidence.