Best Paint Colors

December 9, 2008

Tan Wall Colours

Q. Can you recommend a good tan colour for wall paint? I seem to keep choosing a pink-based tan that I dislike. It looks good on the paint chip but once I put it on the walls I hate it.

— Aline Buchanan

A. Choosing paint colours for your home can be tricky, as the chips do often look a little different once the paint is actually on the wall. The best way to choose a paint colour is to purchase a tester sample (if the paint company provides it) and paint a “swatch” right onto the wall. This way you can see how the colour looks in different light, in the morning and at night, and whether the tone has hints of other colours, like pink or green, which you may not notice from a small sample chip. Some paint companies like Benjamin Moore offer large paint sheet samples, from 8” by 8” to 8” by 10”, that stick right onto the wall. You can reposition these samples onto different walls in the room to get a good idea of colour. Pratt & Lambert’s Lambswool is a classic, versatile tan, and Raffia Tan and Tawny Gold are warm tans with gold undertones — and no pink in sight.