How Does Lighting Affect Interior House Paint?

 How Does Lighting Affect Interior House Paint?

Do you know anyone whose eyes seem to change color based on what they are wearing? We know, of course, that they are not related to the chameleon, but it sometimes seems that way! What really happens is that the light reflecting off of colors around them affects the way their eyes reflect light also, and we perceive it as a change in eye color. Did you know that the same thing happens with interior house paint?

Based on a number of factors, your interior wall paint can seem to change its color, sometimes several times a day! How should this affect your choice of paint colors when you are going to do interior painting?

Evaluating Natural and Artificial Light

One of the biggest things that will affect the appearance of your paint is the amount of light in the room. If you have large windows, or even smaller windows that get significant sun exposure, then you will naturally get varying amounts and angles of light during the day. Generally, the more light there is, the lighter your paint colors will appear. Also, the colors may appear less rich or intense if the surface is reflecting a lot of light.

This effect is even more pronounced when you use a reflective paint sheen. For example, a flat or eggshell paint will remain more consistent in its color throughout the day because it is less glossy, while a satin or semi-gloss paint will have more variety.

The Effect of Other Colors in the Room

There are two ways that other nearby colors can affect the way we perceive the interior house painting. One is simply by contrast. For example, a blue wall will look more strikingly and richly blue if it has a very different color bordering it. This could be a white ceiling, a yellow accent wall, or an orange piece of furniture.

Other colors also affect the appearance of wall colors because of reflection and refraction. For example, if there is an orange piece of furniture in a room, light that refracts off that item will give a subtle orange tint to the nearby walls.

Be Aware of Unknown Factors

While you can predict some aspects of color perception, there will always be some unknowns. One can never perfectly predict the effect that lighting will have in combination with the size of the space, the orientation of the room, and other colors that are present. However, you can prepare for this by trying out a sample of the color on your wall prior to committing and painting the whole room.

Another helpful step is to speak to a professional designer. For example, at Williams Professional Painting, we have a design center, and our trained staff can help you anticipate and prepare for the way your colors and lighting will interact. With the right forethought and care, the only surprises you are likely to get are delightful ones!

Williams Professional Painting

Since 1979, Williams Professional Painting has been serving the Washington, D.C. region with superior house painting services. Based in Alexandria, we operate in northern Virginia and the Washington/Baltimore area. Besides our excellent design services, we also offer interior and exterior painting, carpentry, drywall services, deck maintenance, and much more. Contact us or schedule a quote online to get started. We look forward to meeting you!

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