The One Thing Most People Forget to Do Before Picking a Paint Color (According to Joanna Gaines)

Any person who has slapped some paint onto the walls of their home —whether they be a seasoned professional or your run-of-the-mill DIY-er — will tell you that the results don’t always match the swatches. Don’t believe us? Just sit back, relax, and listen to our story of paint-planning gone wrong…

One time we helped our pregnant BFF paint her baby’s nursery with what we thought was a “light gray,” but once the stuff dried we were greeted with quite the depressing, very dingy-looking room. You see, we hadn’t accounted for the fact that the nursery didn’t get much natural light, an overlooked detail that ended up completely dashing our hopes of achieving a “gentle gray” look.

It goes without saying that our BFF didn’t want to bring a new, precious life into a room that felt like a dungeon, so we repainted almost immediately. Not the most exciting weekend of our lives!

It’s a story that we think back to often, so when we came across Joanna Gaines’ — i.e. the home rehab GODDESS’ —
brilliant paint remedy for this all-too-common problem, we knew we had to share it with you.

Recently, the HGTV star launched an absolutely breathtaking, ultra-premium interior paint line in partnership with KILZ called Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines. The 150 colors that she has chosen to include are timeless, but they are also on the “rustic” side.

You can find a ton of darker tones in her curated palette, which, if you were listening to our “baby nursery from hell” story, can be rather risky to work with. Luckily, Joanna completely acknowledges that adding paint to a wall can be tricky business, which is why she revealed quite the helpful tip to her more pigment-shy fans.

Before applying the paint, you must “consider where the light is coming from” in the room, Joanna tells PureWow.

What she is saying is that every room has a unique amount of natural light that hits it in sometimes subtle — and sometimes not so subtle — ways throughout the day. These changing levels of natural light can make the paint look great in the afternoon, for example, and terrible in the evening. Makes sense!

So, what’s the best way to land on a color you’ll love in EVERY light? Joanna recommends adding swatches to each and every wall in the room, and checking back throughout the day to examine how your walls “wear” the color. Then you will see if the hue really is worthy of a wall in your home.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—we just LOVE Joanna Gaines’ approach to home improvement. It’s not every day we find a professional who is willing to share so much helpful info with their followers. Thanks, Joanna!

We’d love to hear your take on Joanna Gaines’ interior painting advice! Have you ever tried her swatch technique before? If so, did it help you land on a color that looks good in every light? Do you have a paint-picking method of your own that you would like to share?