How to Choose Paint Colors Before You Buy


How to Choose Paint Colors Before You Buy!  No more wasted cans of paint

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

My sunroom has been transformed with color!

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

Remember my estate sale find that needed a little makeover?  Well I found out how to choose paint colors and now that find is a beauty.

Mid century dresser - before the fabulous paint makeover!  click to see the after

Wow – what a difference paint makes and thanks to the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer, it was so simple to find the perfect shade of blue.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!
Intense Teal to be exact.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to choose color online.  With a million and one blue possibilities, it saved me tons of hair pulling.

In fact, if I could marry this perfect shade of blue, we’d be flying to Vegas tonight and hiring an Elvis impersonator to oversee the ceremony.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

The details pop with a little gold paint pen.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

This room probably has every color in the rainbow but the white trim and dark floors help keep things from looking like 50 clowns emerging from a Volkswagen.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

Don’t you find that bringing one new thing into the house makes everything else seem to pale in comparison?

Of course I needed to spice up the rest of the room with some colorful new touches.

My favorite is this vintage school map framing the tv and pillows that tie together all the colors in the room.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

I can’t say enough about picking the brains of the paint store employees.  My new BFF Gregory, who works at Sherwin-Williams, gave me lots of tips and tricks to make this makeover a breeze.

Furniture Painting Tips

1) Remove all hardware.

2) Lightly sand the piece (don’t apply heavy pressure) with very fine sandpaper (I used 120 grit and a Ryobi electric sander).

3) Remove dust with a towel and then a tack cloth.

4) Apply one coat of primer (Sherwin-Willliams recommended gray) and let dry for at least one hour.

5) Use the right paint.  I used Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel Latex Paint which is durable enough for kitchen cabinets.

6) Apply paint and let dry fully between coats.  My friend Karen said it best with her advice to apply it like nail polish in very thin coats.

7) Sand between coats using a very fine sandpaper if you notice any imperfections (remove dust with tack cloth before painting).

* I applied one coat of primer and three coats of paint.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

The media console has a little sister in this colorful artwork with similar golds and blues.

Unique art

School maps never looked this good when I was wearing my polyester uniform and saddle shoes.

Hung behind the tv, it makes the perfect frame.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

Florals, solids and stripes all work together when each piece has at least one other color from somewhere else in the room.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

Here’s to embracing color and having fun in decorating.

After all, paint is one of the easiest ways to go wild.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color - before you buy!  and an estate sale furniture transformation!

Now my estate sale find is a real showstopper who can’t keep the boys from asking her to dance.

I heard she may even fly to Vegas and become a showgirl.  Maybe she can be a bridesmaid at my wedding to Intense Teal.

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  1. Debbie K. says:

    I would definitely give our master bedroom a make over. We have several mismatched pieces of furniture that are in need of painting. The Sherwin Williams gift card would help out with that project. Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. I love the choice of colors, really loving the footstool! I would love to makeover my spare bedroom with the $100 gift card.

  3. Just love this room and all it’s color. how fun. I really like how you hung the map behind the tv..clever. You piece turned out so pretty. I think I would like to give my laundry room so my new color.

  4. How awesome is this? Makes me happy!! My next makeover will probably be my basement/game room so i can DEFINITELY use the $100 gift card!!
    Thanks for sharing and hosting, Kelly!
    xo HEidi

  5. I desperately need to update the upstairs guest bath. My youngest is 26 and it still has ” cute little animals wearing colorful shoes ” wallpaper that has seen better days.

  6. JoAnn Hohl says:

    I would love to redo our master bedroom. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. love this fun color and the gold! what a great piece!

  8. I would love to make over my living room. It is very boring and I’m tired of my neutral, earth-toned color scheme.

  9. Our classroom (we’re homeschoolers) needs a makeover… it tends to be dark… I love the colors that brighten up your room!

  10. I love it all but I adore the ottoman (bean bag or whatever it’s called!) We are renovating our bathroom at the moment but the room I would make over would be our bedroom. We’ve done almost all or parts of the rest of them!

    Thanks for the giveaway. My husband uses Sherwin Williams in his painting business.

  11. Cathy J says:

    I am making over my sewing room now! This gift card would be perfect and couldn’t come at a better time. I love Sherwin Williams paints!!

  12. I really need to makeover one of our bathrooms in the historic home we just bought!

  13. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Why have I never thought of use the visualizer for painting furniture? … My family room is definitely in need of a makeover! … Love Sherwin Williams paint!

  14. Shannon says:

    The better question would be which room doesn’t need new paint! 😉 But I think I would start in entry/front hall/staircase if I had to pick just one. Thank you for the chance to enter! :)

  15. I would paint a couple of pieces. Our vintage end table and an old desk and chair. Will have to play with the Visualizer!

  16. That visualizer tool is so cool! I am definitely going to have to try it. I LOVE your sunroom and it’s pretty colors. The console turned out amazing. I really need to paint every room in our house, but I would start with the bathroom.

  17. i am currently gutting out a “junk” room to turn into my crafting room, but it hasn’t been as quick and easy as i originally thought. i would like it to have a beachy theme (soft blues with some pinks) and i have found an awesome 4’x3′ beach painting on canvas to hang in there with a few other beachy accessories found along the way with this in mind. the problem is getting rid of all the stuff…..i have disney collectibles (brand new, still in boxes) given to me over the years by people with nowhere to display them and not as much desire anymore now that i am older. they are worth a lot of money but i don’t quite know how to get rid of all the stuff/junk to finish clearing it out to move furniture in.

    i would LOVE to paint the room before filling it back up but i have never done it and it is intimidating. plus i worry about the fumes and stuff with two cats in the house. right now it is beige (like the rest of the house which is only a few years old) but would love it some pastels.

  18. Oh wow! Your color choice is gorgeous Kelly! The room looks so fresh and inviting.

    I’d love to paint my son’s room and give it a super makeover.

  19. We talked a lot this weekend about color changes in our dining room … walls and the table (gulp), so that $100 SW gift card could certainly help with that! Love your fun intense teal and the political map behind the tv is wonderful way to frame the black box with graphic color. Robin

  20. Margaret says:

    I just finished making over every room in my home, but the spiral staircase, so I guess that would be it by default!

  21. Gloria L says:

    We just completed a total remodel of our home, but I do have a dresser that could use some color since it’s justa plain jane white one now. You are a brave soul. I would be scared to paint with such a bright color. Your room is beautiful.

  22. I love Sherwin Williams, and the guys at my local SW are my work break pals. I would love to obliterate the overly cheerful Yellow walled Great room and replace with a cool grey/white. A gift card would be put to such good use at my local SW. By the way, your console looks perfect, esp. the gold details. What a fab room, and I didn’t see a clown anywhere, not even in the corners.

  23. Great fun happy color. It turned out great. I also love that chair, it is so soft and pretty with all the brights.


  24. Rory Reding says:

    Goodness, where to start…I have been itching to repaint a few rooms in my house. It’s been 8 years + 2 kids = lots of fingerprints, because they used flat paint before we moved in and we all no how impossible it is clean flat paint! Thing is paint isn’t cheap and winning this gift card would be fabulous, not to mention help me to convinve my husband to repaint 😉
    Thanks so much!
    Rory Reding

  25. Rondell says:

    What a fun room, I’d love to do my master bedroom, I already have the bedding just need to paint the room and trim!

  26. Well heck! You know I LOVE that shade lady. That, and those toss pillows. What fun pops of color. The whole room is just energized!!

  27. Love the color choice! What a POP of color. :-)
    I’m wondering how you put the map up behind the tv. Did you cut out the spot for the tv mounting hardware? I have a junk treasure place near me with about a dozen of those type of schoolroom maps and I’ve been eyeing them for weeks. I may have to copy you!


  28. My girls room needs a makeover badly! I’d love to have some cash to buy the paint with! I will be buying it at Sherwin-Williams regardless but some free paint would make it that much sweeter!

  29. Your room is so cheerful and happy! I would love to redo our guest bedroom :)

  30. Cynthia says:

    Looks wonderful! I need to paint a couple rooms in our home soon!

  31. Love it Kelly!!!! It’s perfect for that space, I also love the touch of gold you placed. The map behind the TV is also genius!!!! You rock dear!

  32. Nancy Carr says:

    My bathroom needs new paint. I love this system to see what colors could be chosen. Thank you.

  33. Nancy Carr says:

    I love this room with the bright colors. Everything is beautiful and happy looking.

  34. I would love to make over our living room…it is so dark and drab

  35. karen ettinger says:

    My bedroom and living room are ready for a makeover!

  36. Shawn J says:

    I would love to refurbish our bedroom set.
    (smjohns63 at yahoo dot com)

  37. Kelly D says:

    I would makeover our computer room, we definitely need some color on the walls in there.

  38. Judie lutz says:

    The map brings back so many memories of school in the 50’s! My summer plans are to re-do my son’s old room as a guest room so the new paint would be perfect. It has dark green paint right now that he painted in high school.

  39. Kelly D says:
  40. Love the color! It looks absolutely amazing Kelly! And I love how fun and colorful your sunroom is!

  41. Wendy B. says:

    My whole house could use some painting but my kitchen would be the first on my honey do list.

  42. Tamara Wood says:

    I wouldloveto redo my living room. Every room in this house is the SAME color YELLOW!!!! Id love to win the $100.00 gift card to get me started!! Thanks for the chance..:)

  43. Khadija says:

    Map behind tv—brilliant! I am always redoing our family room. It never seems to be quite right. Thanks for sharing the color visualizer. I have a feeling I will make it my best friend. I haven’t tried Sherwin Williams paint before but I think I will now.

  44. Beautiful, Kelly! Love the ottoman…would you mind sharing where you purchased it? Thanks!!

  45. You are right…it is a real show stopper!!…Gorgeous Kelly!!!…I have one question….did you use a Purdy brush or a foam brush…the finish is fantastic!!!

  46. Your room is gorgeous! I love all the bright colors. My master bedroom needs a complete makeover. We still even have the original carpet of the house (25 years old!) in there. It’s pitiful!

  47. Loving the color choice Kelly. What a fun space!

  48. kala winter says:

    My master bedroom is in need of a makeover!

  49. Love your room Kelly and the color choices. my whole house is in need of a makeover! LOL

  50. Susan H. says:

    I would like to makeover my dining room. Thanks.

  51. Susan H. says:

    I tweeted. Thanks for another chance to win.

  52. Merle M says:

    my living room

  53. Merle M says:
  54. I LOVE decorating with colorful paint!!

  55. Very pretty! Love the choice of color!!

  56. Erin P. says:

    Kitchen…period! Between this and the stove/oven up for grabs, it could be a beautiful start! :) Thanks again!

  57. carol clark says:

    i sure could the 100 dollars gift card for buying paint for one of my rooms in my house

  58. I really loved this one! I especially like the handles on the piece. I’m thinking of replacing the handles on a chest of drawers I have with some French vintage handles for a little “oh la la” :)

    I found some here but don’t know much about vintage in general, or prices.



  59. Kim Stewart says:

    I would love to redo my front room. The light is always changing and I find it cold looking most of the time.

  60. We have a ton of painting projects to do. I would start with our master bedroom / half bath. Paint gift card would be so appreciated. Thanks for the chance to win.

  61. Linda S says:

    I think I’d start in our family room. Our bathrooms need some attention, too.

  62. Linda S says:
  63. Kate F. says:

    I’d like to makeover my bathroom.

  64. Adrienne Gordon says:

    Need to do my bedroom.

  65. Katie K says:

    I’d make over my bonus room which is the last of my home projects for a complete renovation. This would be a nice start!

  66. Margaret Smith says:

    I’d love to makeover our living room.
    Thanks so much.

  67. Margaret Smith says:
  68. That dresser is beautiful! The color is perfect for that room. I would love to makeover our master bedroom. It has been last priority for years and years!

  69. Oh, how to choose? Once you start with ONE room, it’s impossible to stop! However, I’ve long wanted to make our master bedroom a refuge and retreat…with periwinkle blues, oranges, and reds. But, the bathroom is also dying to be either pale yellow or melon orange. And the kitchen, with its pink retro tile cabinets, asks daily to be adorned with turquoise walls. What about the living room, you say?! That’s probably the hardest room of all, as we have such a hodgepodge of furniture styles in there. There’s a lot of green and orange in there and I have a bookcase and an end-table that could both use some sprucing up. And THEN…there are the kids’ rooms. Sigh…so, to keep things easy, let’s go back to the master bedroom, with its tranquil periwinkle blue and sunset oranges. Sherwin-Williams, HELP!

  70. In the words of one of our favorite tv personalities….happy, happy,happy! This is a great color.

  71. What a great post. I’ve got a few pieces I have been debating on what color to paint them and this tool will come in handy. If I won the $100 Sherwin Williams gift card I would make over my kitchen/dining room combo. We’re in the process of choosing paint colors now.
    Thanks again for the info…

  72. Marcia Goss says:

    Our kitchen is outdated and desperately needs a makeover!

  73. Marcia Goss says:
  74. Cynthia C says:

    The family room could use a makeover.

  75. Cynthia C says:
  76. I would like to makeover my living room

  77. PAIGE CHANDLER says:

    My master bedroom could use a fresh look.

  78. Katie Roch says:

    I would love to makeover my living room. It is drab and boring and could use some color

  79. I would makeover the living room.

  80. Emily R. says:

    Our kitchen really needs a paint makeover!

  81. Beautiful blue!

    I’d like to remake my home office/playroom.

  82. mickeyfan says:

    We just finished week 7 of a 5 room renovation. I’d love for any ONE of them to be done!

  83. Stephanie Larison says:

    I’d love to makeover my daughters room. She’s not a little baby anymore, so I’d like something a little bit more kiddish looking. Something that would look good as she grows older.

  84. Anastasia says:

    I’d love to re-do my bathroom! It’s the room that gets the least attention around here :)

  85. Michelle Bledsoe says:

    I would paint living room/ dining room in sherwin williams rainwashed

  86. Yep, that’s a pretty color! Love your choice and this room is fantastic! So cheerful.

  87. Rosanne says:

    Your room looks great. I’d like to redo a bathroom

  88. Jacob LaFountaine says:

    The bedroom needs doing over

  89. our bedroom!

  90. Our sunroom has wide plank walls…they need a mega makeover!

  91. The color is gorgeous and the piece is amazing! Thanks for sharing this great color finding tool too! Have a great weekend.

  92. Barbara Mari says:

    This site made me think of my daughter and son-in-law who are buying their first home in preparation to starting a family (FINALLY!) 😀 She has already picked out a piece of vintage furniture from a local thrift store that she can’t live without but it does need some TLC. I would love to hand her a $100 gift card to Sherwin Williams and say, “Let’s do this thing!”

  93. I love that color! It really makes the whole room pop, Kelly. I have to check out the visualizer – how awesome is that?

  94. We are getting ready to move back into our house after being out of the country for 4 years and will be painting nearly every room in the house!

    I also have furniture that I want to paint (including the kids’ bathroom vanity, it is such a sad piece of the non-hip part of the 60s) and I never thought of using the color visualizer for furniture, either! That is brilliant!

    The room that is most desperate for a makeover is our very Brady den – it has cherry paneled walls, oak flooring and a nasty pinkish brick fireplace, so is basically like being in a cave.

  95. The SW tool is awesome! Thanks so much for writing about it.

  96. Debbie B says:

    i’d like to makeover my dining area

  97. Debbie B says:
  98. I would like to makeover my son’s room

  99. Melanie says:

    I’d love to makeover our master bedroom!

  100. Jim Cabaj says:

    I need to rehab my dinning, living room, and kitchen. Just got to pick the right Sherwin Williams paint for the room.

  101. I’m on the downside of a kitchen remodel (hadn’t been remodeled since the 70’s, ugh!)and since the dining room is open to the kitchen, it’s next on the agenda! We removed a bar between the dining room and kitchen, so it has two entrances wide open to the dining room so it will have to blend with the kitchen. The two entrances are joined by a column so that it gives the appearance of a double arch kind of thingie. yeah. The walls are old heart pine which I painted (I know, I know)after we had a fire one Christmas involving a candle. Don’t ask. So we have two walls that are sheet rock and two that are painted heart pine in the dining room. We have old cruddy vinyl floors which we want to replace with hardwood or Pergo. Since this will most likely be the last time I get to do this, I want to do it right the first time! Sherwin Williams has always been number 1 in my book~~

  102. Jennifer says:

    My master bedroom needs a major update!

  103. The bathroom needs a makeover! It is old fashioned and looks messy because of it.


  104. Elizabeth M says:

    We are finishing out our basement so we have 2100 sqft of space to paint out. one of which is our playroom.

  105. Elizabeth M says:
  106. Diane baum says:

    i need to update my family room With their copper live wire

  107. I’d love to redecorate my daughter’s room and help her get involved in some of the decorating decisions. She’s only 5 but it would be fun to see what she came up with. I love that bright cabinet piece! So nice!

  108. I would love to re-do my bedroom. I have never had a room that was all made up. We have a mismatch furniture and all white walls. Yes, we own our own home and have white walls. I never thought I would be THAT person.

  109. I would love to makeover my master bedroom.

  110. Our family room.

  111. nannypanpan says:

    i am about to have twins so i would love to make over their future room

  112. My kitchen needs a makeover!

  113. I would love to give my kitchen a makeover.

    boylaneely at hotmail dot com

  114. Solducky says:

    Love the map! I would like to makeover our reading room / office.

  115. Eugenia Hall says:

    I’d love to make over my home office

  116. Lorena Keech says:

    I would makeover the master bedroom, which is sort of the forgotten space in the house.

  117. Jessica Rose says:

    I’d love to makeover my bedroom!

  118. Brenda Elsner says:

    I would love to make over my bedroom.

  119. Whitney says:

    I would love to makeover my bathroom!

  120. Whitney says:
  121. For a chance to win a $100 Sherwin-Williams gift card, share in the comments below what room you would like to makeover in your home? my dream would be to make over the kids room star95011atyahoodotcom

  122. david cosgrove says:

    My sons bedroom

  123. Claire McKeon says:

    I would love to makeover my kitchen!

  124. Claire McKeon says:
  125. susan smoaks says:

    i would like to makeover our master bedroom!

  126. Debbie B says:

    i need to redo the guest bathroom – it is rather drab

  127. Debbie B says:
  128. Shea Balentine says:

    I’d like to swap out my laundry room and 2nd bedroom =)

  129. tina reynolds says:

    my boys bedroom thanks for the chance

  130. Erica C. says:

    I’d like to makeover our dining room…needs some color!

  131. I’d love to give my bedroom a fresh look with new paint.

  132. Making over my kitchen would rock! It needs painted and the cabinets need painted too because they look so very 1980s and not in a good way! Need new counter tops too!

  133. Christian Alejandro says:

    I would love an nice update to our living room for sure!

  134. Christian Alejandro says:
  135. I would love to makeover my kitchen.

  136. I LOVE the color that you chose– I’m so impressed that you can repurpose old furniture to make it fresh!

    I’d use the Sherwin Williams gift card to repaint my downstairs powder room in wide horizontal stripes. I’ve been wanting to do it since we moved in 2 years ago, and this might be the inspiration I need!

  137. Elizabeth M says:

    when and where do winners get announced??

  138. I would give my L/R, D/R, kitchen combo a face lift. It is Baby Chick Yellow of all things! Cheery, but I’m tired of it. I’d like a warmer neutral combo.

  139. We just moved into a new house and EVERY room needs a little help. I think I’d start in the family room. This blue color is lovely.

  140. I would love to make over my living room. We were able to make over our toddler’s room before we moved into our new house, but we didn’t have the extra money to paint the living room, or our bedroom.

  141. Can you tell me the name of that SW paint you used on the media cabinet. So great. Thanks.


  1. […] Have you seen how I turned my estate sale find into my new blue media cabinet! […]

  2. […] of doing my homework, but then I discovered the Sherwin Williams Paint Color Visualizer (via Kelly at Eclectically Vintage), and I’m now so excited about moving forward on this project that I spent way too much time […]

  3. […] Map wall and vintage dresser turned world’s coolest media cabinet – check. […]

  4. […] come check out the finish painted thrift shop makeover beauty in all it’s glory here. […]

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