Color Your World

Transform what you have into what you want with a simple stroke of a brush.

Color is a powerful tool that helps shape the way you feel, act and react. Finding the right paint color can be challenging, and narrowing your options is even more difficult. We learn early on that the primary colors are red, yellow and blue. And secondary colors are purple, orange and green — while tertiary colors are a combination of one primary and one secondary color, such as blue-green. It’s this breakdown that expands color combinations, including complementary colors, monochromatic shades, tints and more.

Think of your home as a blank canvas, and find colorful inspiration below.


Prime Time

Color your world with PPG Pittsburgh Paints

Color Affects your mood, and PPG Pittsburgh Paints’ ColorSense Game 2.0 ( is a fun, easy way to narrow your possibilities from thousands of random choices to a select number of five-color palettes that are custom-created for each color personality. The easiest way to unite your palette from the inside out is through consistency in brightness and contrast.  

“If the exterior of your home is a mid-toned sage green, you don’t have to use green indoors. In fact, you could use purple — just be sure it is similar in brightness,” says Steve Shorthouse, Voice of Color Marketing Manager at PPG Pittsburgh Paints. “As for contrast, if your exterior trim is in high contrast to the main body color of the house, then your interior trim should also be of high contrast.” Shorthouse offers answers to four FAQs about getting started:

What are the benefits to using primer before painting?  
Primer extends protection to the finish throughout the lifetime of the paint. Use a specialty primer when your project involves new plaster, wood or trim; stained or damaged surfaces; significant color changes; glossy surfaces; wall coverings; and concrete or masonry. For interior uses, primers will seal and hide surface imperfections, make the surface more uniform, and provide better adhesion to glossy surfaces. Exterior primers seal and hide the surface imperfections, and are designed for specific substrate and environmental conditions — such as moisture, UV light, tannin bleeding, porous surfaces, weathered wood and masonry, efflorescence and so on. PPG offers a complete line of PPG Seal Grip specialty primers as well as several Paint & Primer in One products, including PPG Pittsburgh Paints Manor Hall Timeless interior and exterior, and PPG Pure Performance.

What is the best wall paint shade to use as a backdrop to hanging artwork?  
Windmill 415-5 is a great mid-tone neutral with a stony brown undertone that will help artwork stand out. I recently used it in a kitchen cabinet showroom as the backdrop for the wall of cabinet-door fronts.

What is the most underappreciated color?  
Warm gray, or “greige.” Stonehenge Greige 515-5 from PPG Pittsburgh Paints is easy to work with, as it creates a grounded backdrop for more bold elements, such as brightly colored window treatments or metallic accessories like lamps and mirrors.

What’s a hot color for summer?  
Tangerine Dream 123-7 is part of PPG Pittsburgh Paints 2012-2013 color trend Deco Candy. The clean orange represents vibrancy and fun.  The trend is focused on organized, purposeful color-blocking that exudes energy and optimism. Orange is the cheerful side of red and can be paired with a playful turquoise blue, minty green, bright yellow or white. All of our trends are available at


Pick Your Colors Like a Pro

Steve Shorthouse offers these valuable do’s and don’ts:

Do consider the light. If your room gets daylight from the south, colors will look more yellow, and whites will appear creamier.

Do test out a large sample of color by painting two coats on a scrap of plywood or other sturdy material for best results.

Do select your paint color last. It’s much easier to choose a paint color to coordinate with rugs, artwork or window treatments than the other way around.

Don’t paint a sample directly on the existing wall, even if it’s white. Your sample will be adversely affected by the existing color, making it more difficult to make a selection.

Don’t try to match paint colors exactly to a color in your upholstery or decor.

Don’t choose colors at night if you spend most of your time in the room during the day.

PPG Pittsburgh Paints are available at more than 40 retail locations in western Pennsylvania, including Masterwork Paint, Westmoreland Supply and Rollier’s Hardware. Find a location at


Color by Color

Color your world with Benjamin Moore Paints

Envision orange, blue and yellow. When you think of these colors, you’re thinking of families of related colors that vary in intensity and value. “Whites, for example, come in a staggering variety. A pure or ‘clean white,’ which contains no deep pigments, is the whitest,” says Lesley Riva, author of Benjamin Moore Paints’ Interior Style: How to Use Color Throughout Your Home. “And yellow — warm, cheerful, uplifting — may feel too intense in large quantities, so consider softer shades of apricot, peach and mango. The secret to a broad appeal is the use of rich texture and layered neutral shades.”  Riva offers secrets to finding your palette:

How do your clothes impact your paint choices?  
The shades in your closet — or the absence of them — will tell you a lot about what colors you’re comfortable with. If you wear bright colors, you probably don’t want to live with them.

How does the style of your home impact paint color?  
Ornate Victorians or streamlined contemporaries — architectural style can help determine interior as well as exterior color choices.

Does the location of your home decide a color palette?  
Yes, take color cues from your environment. A downtown apartment may lend itself to brighter, saturated jewel tones because there is no nature outside the window — or it may beg for soothing neutrals to balance the bustle on the street.

What’s a hot color for 2012?  
The universal appeal of blue, Wythe Blue, as it evokes the sea and sky.


Pick Your Colors Like a Pro

Lesley Riva offers these valuable do’s and don’ts:

Do what you would for any painting project: Prepare the surface and mask off the ceiling, baseboards, doors and window trim.

Do keep most of your colors within the same tone, using a few accent colors when creating a mosaic border.

Don’t apply a finish over a coat that isn’t fully cured; it may end up blistering or peeling over time.

Don’t remove tape straight out from the wall. Instead, fold the edge back on itself and pull gently.

Don’t forget to organize the paint job so that you have enough time to complete a full step or an entire wall before taking a break.

The Benjamin Moore Paints line is available wherever paint is sold, including Ace Fixit Hardware of Oakmont, Daniels Hardware & Variety Store and Westmoreland Supply. For store locators and where to buy Benjamin Moore Paints, go to


Wall-to-Wall Wow!

Color your world with Glidden Paints

“We all respond to color,” explains Barbara Richardson, director of color marketing for AkzoNobel Paints for Glidden. “Yet sometimes we don’t realize the impact.” Some colors influence us more than others — such as red, which has the ability to cause a physiological response. Normally, we feel a certain way about colors: We like warm or cool shades, and most people have a favorite. “If we understand the mood we want to create in our homes,” she says, “we can identify a color to achieve the feeling we want.” Richardson offers the following advice:

How can you give a room a grand entrance with color?  
Select one color and make it the hero of the room. One of our most popular shades is Glidden Red Delicious. Use this color on a feature wall and then select other elements in the space to accent and draw attention to the fact that this is the personality of the space. You can do this with any color; just make certain it’s a color you and your family love.

Describe the importance of texture.  
Texture is key because it provides another dimension to your space. If everything is flat, you are missing out on the importance of shadowing that takes place if you incorporate elements such as three-dimensional appliqués on pillows, the play of light on an arrangement of flowers or the unique patterning on upholstery fabrics.

When painting, how important is the ceiling?  
Think of your ceiling as a fifth wall. If your room is neutral, consider using color on the ceiling. For something different, paint the walls of your room with a neutral color of Glidden’s, such as Smooth Stone, and then use a color such as Steel Blue on the ceiling. This is a great option for a dramatic living room, and you can use accents in the room that reflect this color to pull the space together.

What are some of the new colors for summer?  
We are seeing are very vibrant, dynamic shades — such as Granny Smith Apple for a crisp take on green, Refreshing Mimosa for a bit of citrus flavor and Canary Song for the warmth and zest of a sunny day. It’s all about color that’s fresh, vivacious and wonderful.”


Pick Your Colors Like a Pro

Barbara Richardson offers these valuable do’s and don’ts:

Do ask yourself: what is the end result you wish to achieve? Do you want the space to be light and airy or darker and dramatic? Do you want it to be warm or cool? Think about all the other elements in your home and how will they coordinate with your new color.

Do make sure you test the color in your space. View it in the lighting of your home at all times of the day.

Don’t let someone influence your decisions. If you have a color in mind, try it out and spend some time with it — and if someone doesn’t see your vision, that’s OK. It may not be good for them, but it may be perfect you.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It may take you a few times to play with color options, but that’s the fun of painting.

Glidden paint is the most widely available brand in the nation. Consumers can pick up a gallon wherever paint is sold, including The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Glidden Professional Paint Centers and more than 1,000 independent retailers nationwide. Glidden Paint is a brand of AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paint and coatings company. For more information, go to


Categories: HOME + Design