Painting your house is a cost-effective way to give your home a tremendous uplift. It’s not as simple as grabbing a can of paint and a brush and throwing some tarp to cover the furniture. One of the most important considerations in choosing a paint color that you’ll be happy with for a long time to come. Anyone who has had the experience of trying to choose a shade probably knows that the sheer abundance of options in colors can be intimidating.

Picking the wrong paint color isn’t the end of the world – one of the most exhilarating things about painting your home is just how much freedom and flexibility you have to experiment! But let’s face it; painting a room is a huge undertaking. If you realize weeks from now that you chose poorly, it can be quite difficult to fix. Avoid these mistakes when choosing paint colors!

Getting too matchy-matchy with décor

It’s great to take inspiration from your favorite painting or statement ottoman but resist the temptation to exactly match your wall color. Instead, choose a lighter version of the color so that your accent piece will really pop. Alternately, go with a complementary color that will make your décor accents seem brighter.

Being too safe with color

Neutrals are lovely, can make a room feel bright and clean – plus, they go with almost anything. But if you’ve decided on a neutral room, be careful not to make it too, well, boring. Don’t forget to add some stronger colors as contrasts throughout the room, either in the form of an accent wall, artwork, rugs, or furniture.

Also, keep in mind that basic neutrals like white and grey come in various tones and warmth. Consider the way the undertones go with the rest of your home.

Not taking lighting into account

The color you see in the brightly-lit hardware store may turn out to be very different when you bring it home to your living room. Plus, as the light in your home changes throughout the day, that color may reveal even more depths.

The best way to make sure your dream color remains your dream color once is to brush out a 2-foot square patch and observe it throughout the day as the light changes. If it turns out not to work for you, talk to a paint pro to see if they can point you in the right direction to get the effect you want with your home’s light.

Using the wrong finish

Eggshell, gloss, semi-gloss, flat – the finish you choose has a huge effect on your walls’ appearance. They also vary in terms of how easy they are to clean. Flat paints are the hardest to clean and work best in bedrooms and other spaces that don’t see many walls mess. Eggshells, satins, and semi-glosses all have an increasing bit of sheen to them, meaning they can help brighten a room and are also a smarter choice for the kitchen or the kids’ room they’ll need to be cleaned more often.

Not considering how you want the room to feel

Do you want to sleep peacefully in the bedroom? Host lively parties in the dining room? Unwind in the family room? Then consider those moods when choosing a paint color. Bold, bright colors can energize you, while more soothing shades are just the thing to calm you down. Keeping in mind just how you want to feel when you’re in a specific room will help you choose the paint that makes that happen.