The Paint Tip To Keep In Mind If You Love A Color That's Too Dark For You

Choosing the perfect paint color for a room can be a swirl of samples and swatches, but it can also be frustrating and overwhelming if you just can't find the right shade. Often, so much depends on matching existing decor, finishes, or furniture just right. This can mean that colors that may seem perfect in tone and shade in the hardware shop may not work for darkness or intensity reasons when you take them home. According to TiKTok user @thehomenarrative, however, there may be an easy way to get exactly what you want simply by asking for a shade to be mixed at the paint store slightly lighter than the sample. 

Most paint stores will mix you a custom lighter shade for no additional cost. By keeping the same basic shade of paint rather than nixing it in favor of an entirely different shade higher on the sample, you can retain what you love about the original while avoiding the feeling that it's just too dark. 

Lightening up

All too often, paint swatch sample cards can be misleading, with a spectrum of shades going from light to dark. According to @thehomenarrative, these are often completely different shades. While to the untrained eye, the next rung up on the sample may seem to be a lighter version of what is below, it is likely an entirely different shade. This means the undertones may be slightly different from the shade you have your eye on. While this may look fine on the sample, putting it on the wall in larger doses may spell disappointment for you in the long run.

An easy solution is simply asking the paint or hardware store to lighten it up for you by 25 percent. This will retain the original tones and undertones of the paint, but will simply add more white, resulting in a brighter shade that perfectly matches the original.  Since factors like natural lighting, artificial lighting, and other elements of the room have a big impact on the look of the paint, this will avoid slight undertone variations that can change the look of your finished product.

How to use lighter and darker versions of the same shade

Mixing different variations of lightness in a single color is also a great way to provide unity both in individual spaces and throughout an entire home. While a darker shade may work on cabinetry in the kitchen, combine it with a 25-50 percent lighter version on the walls, which will help keep the room lighter and brighter. Or use the lighter version on the upper cabinets with the darker shade on the bottom for a two-toned look.

Choose your favorite shade and use it in various rooms of your house or as a way to distinguish open-concept spaces. While a dark shade may look dramatic in a small space like an entryway, hallway, or stairwell, use a lightened version of the same color in larger rooms if you want to keep them expansive feeling and light-filled. Echo the deeper shade through the house in spots like cabinetry, moldings, and trim with the lighter version appearing on walls and larger expanses of space. You can also use a lightened version of your wall color on the ceiling.