Painting Article

How Lighting Affects Paint Colour and Why it Matters

If you’re looking to make some decorative changes in your home, there’s no easier way than with a fresh coat of paint. Whether you are adding a pop of colour to your bedroom, redecorating your kitchen, brightening up a dark room or tackling your entire house, you are going to put some time and effort into the interior painting. So, how do you pick the right colour to make sure all that effort wasn’t for nothing?

One of the best ways to select a new paint colour for any room is to think about how lighting – both natural and artificial – will affect that colour. Did you know that one shade of paint can look very different during the day and night?

There are a few ways to make sure that your chosen paint still looks right as the quality and type of light changes in your home throughout the day. So before you purchase a few gallons of paint, read the simple tips below!

Natural Light:

Natural light will always show the truest representation of your chosen paint colour. Unfortunately, most people choose their colours in a store under fluorescent lighting and not in bright daylight. Luckily, there are ways to figure out how your chosen paint will look in different natural lighting conditions:

  • Take a look at the size and number of windows in your home, and consider the direction that they face.
  • Consider the climate that you are living in, and the seasonal changes in light. Does your area get a lot of sunny days, or is rain more common?
  • Your geographical location can also make a difference to your paint colours – as natural light appears more blue in the North and more red in the South.

Artificial Light:

There are two main ways to measure the colour of a light bulb: colour temperature (measured in Kelvins), and the colour rendering index (CRI). Your paint colour will appear differently depending on the colour temperature or CRI of your household bulbs, so check these numbers to help you determine how your paint colours will appear. Bulbs with higher colour temperatures will make dark colours appear brighter and light colours appear washed out. Bulbs with the highest CRI ratings will make paint colours appear the closest to their true representation.

Test out your colours

There are two ways to test out your paint colours before committing to painting your entire room:

  1. Paint small swatches in a few different areas on each wall.
  2. Paint a small square of drywall, which you can easily move around the room to view the colour in different lighting.

Over the course of 1-2 days, periodically check in with your paint at different times of day in varying light conditions. Try to do this on a sunny day if you are particularly concerned about how your chosen colours will appear in harsher light. If possible, paint your swatches or drywall the evening before you do this so they will be dry for the next day. Once you get a sense of how these colours appear in different lights, you can either go ahead with painting the entire room, or make adjustments to your lighting, blinds, or the paint colour itself!

Still not sure what colour will work best in your home? Our team is happy to help with colour consultations and painting in Victoria BC if you find yourself short on time. Contact us for a free quote today.