4 Ways to Choose Interior Color for a Home

McIntosh, Aldie, VA – The Travers model home by Stanley Martin Homes

We’ve been paint suppliers for over 60 years and our colors are still one of the easiest ways to transform home interiors. Working across the Mid-Atlantic, we’ve seen that different colors and types of paint can not only greatly expand a home’s interiors, but it can be one of the most inexpensive ways to create a big impact. Through innovative tools and color solutions, we employ the science of color to help homeowners, interior designers, architects, builders, property management, and more, find their perfect palette. If you’re wondering how, keep reading for four easy insider tips.

Choosing Interior Colors


  1. Inspiration is the first step in selecting colors for a home’s interior. Inspiration can come from many places such as a favorite piece of art, decorative fabrics/pieces or the last vacation. Wherever your inspiration starts, McCormick Paints “Color Is” digital fan deck offers over 1,320 colors to match what you have in mind, even that sunset you can’t stop thinking about.


    Summerhouse Landing, Herndon, VA – The Travers model home by Stanley Martin Homes

  2. Neutrals are a great place to start. We recommend choosing a primary wall color first, then selecting coordinating accent colors to create a beautiful flow from one room to the next. For bold colors, be sure to use our Color Visualizer platform that allows you to apply colors to any image of your choosing. The Color Visualizer is our accessible interior design tool that allows you to see a space before making a paint purchase. After seeing your color online, stop by any McCormick Paints’ store to apply your favorite sample colors to small drywall squares. Take these boards home so that you can visualize your color choices in person.


    McIntosh, Aldie, VA – The Travers model home by Stanley Martin Homes

  3. Sheen is important to consider because your selection not only affects the aesthetics of a space, but also the function. Sheen is how light reflects off a painted surface. Ranging from flat to high gloss, the more reflective the paint is, the shiner its appearance. Typically, higher sheen creates more durable and washable surfaces.


    McIntosh, Aldie, VA – The Travers model home by Stanley Martin Homes

    Each option has its own purpose including:

    • Flat paints are great for hiding surface imperfections in ceilings and walls. Although this type of paint can be hard to clean due to its light absorption, it’s relatively easy to touch up if needed.
    • Matte offers some light reflectance, is washable and has a soft velvet finish. Paired with an eggshell or semi-gloss trim, matte paint creates a soft elegant look.
    • Eggshell finishes are shinier than a flat or matte but offers a soft, warm rich appearance with depth of color. These are particularly great for any room in the house, especially where there may be some moisture such as in a bathroom.
    • Semi-gloss paint has a beautiful shine and is great for showcasing trim work and doors. It offers good durability and is washable which is also great in bathrooms, kitchens and on cabinets.
    • High-Gloss is highly reflective and great for trim work and interior doors as well. It provides durability and is also washable.
  4. Lighting is underrated when selecting colors for your home or a client’s home. We always recommend painting a sample board with your selected color and placing it in a room for a day or more to watch how color changes throughout the day. For example, natural daylight can make any color look richer. In addition, artificial lighting impacts how your paint color looks, whether the lighting in your home is LED, incandescent, fluorescent, CFL or halogen. Some of these lighting types will enhance your color selections and others will detract and make them look muted. However, bulbs that resemble natural daylight will make your colors look more true and vivid.

    Potomac Reserve, Manassas, VA – The Kasey model home by Stanley Martin Homes

The science of color is all in how we see it, how it’s interpreted by the eye and how it makes us feel. Selecting colors for your home can be daunting but McCormick Paints has the tools you need to choose the best for your space. From your inspiration to your lighting, we can help you transform your space. Wondering which interior finish is best for you? Contact McCormick Paints or join our mailing list to receive special offers, paint trends and tips to make your home one-of-a-kind.