Painting Tips: Test Paint Samples

When first deciding to paint a room in your home, you might be intimidated by the number of color choices available. It can be hard to narrow down your choices just using paint chips and swatches. Should you go with Dolphin Fin, Pensive Sky, or Coliseum Marble? (How do they come up with those paint names, anyway?) And even when you’ve narrowed the choices down to one basic color, even slight differences in the hue can make a huge difference once the paint is on the wall.

Take home some paint samples to test on your wall before you make your finally choice of color.

You’ll want to try the sample paint on each wall in the room, and paint large patches to get a proper read on all of the different tones in each shade. Also, be sure to feather the edges of each paint test so that your new coat of paint will smooth out the test spot perfectly.

You can order paint samples online at Just shop our Color Posters & Paint Samples page.

Get more painting tips from our Painting Quick Tip series here on the Apron blog. And visit The Home Depot’s Paint Department for paint and paint accessories. 

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  1. Willazvi says:

    It’s hard to get an accurate impression of the tested colours if you paint them on a wall this way. The contrast with the yellow will make the tested colours feel darker, cooler, etc. by virtue of contrast. Get several pieces of 20 x 30 Bristol Board (white heavyweight paper) and paint on your samples with a foam brush. You can move the samples around to look at them in different lighting situations .