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Interior Painting: How to Apply Color Theory Like a Professional Interior Designer

Interior Painting: How to Apply Color Theory Like a Professional Interior Designer

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March 3, 2010

Understanding the 24 basic colors on a color wheel and their relationship to one another can help you apply color theory to interior painting. These 24 colors can be divided into six segments. Think of a wheel with red at the top, and travel clockwise from:

  1. Red to orange
  2. Orange to yellow
  3. Yellow to green
  4. Green to blue
  5. Blue to violet
  6. Violet to red

Red, blue, and yellow are the primary colors. Violet, orange, and green are called secondary colors. Secondary colors are defined as a combination of any two primary colors.

Tertiary colors
are combinations of a secondary color and any quantity of one of its constituent primaries. Quaternary colors consist of a tertiary color and one of its constituent primary or secondary colors.

Interior Painting and The Theory of Simultaneous Contrast of Color

The Theory of Simultaneous Contrast of Color states that maximum color intensity can be achieved when surrounding a hue with its complement. Complementary colors are found opposite one another on the color wheel. They include

  • Red and Green
  • Orange and Blue
  • Yellow and Violet

Texture and finish of walls, trim, and other materials impact the outcome of color schemes in a given room. Also consider how interior light effects color. Sunlight, incandescent light, and fluorescent light bring about different appearances of the same color samples.

After spending some time researching and choosing colors for your next interior painting project, it is time to decide whether to do the job yourself, or hire a painting contractor. If you desire a flawless look, professional home painters are your best bet.

Read Home Trim Painting Estimate 101 to find out what you can expect on an estimate for interior painting services by a painting contractor. Rates fluctuate based on the number of rooms or walls you want painted, number of colors used, and specifications of the trim.

If you plan on pursuing a do-it-yourself interior painting project, review Reliable Remodeler's 8 Easy Tips for a Great Interior Paint Job.


About the author: Cheri Renee began her professional writing career at Greenspun Media Group's Showbiz Weekly magazine (now LVM). Several years later, she discovered an interest in interior design and home improvement, while on assignment for GMG's H&D magazine.
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