The Importance of Contrast / Pairing Hardwood with Paint Colors

So you are fortunate enough to have hardwood floors... And you realize that choosing the right color to contrast with the floors will make not only the floors pop, but the walls too. So what color do you go with? Let's find out...

The definition of "Contrast": Contrast simply means the difference between two colors. It is important to keep that in mind as we explore options for wall colors that pair well with hardwood floors. To give an example of perfect contrast I will use the example of black and white. Total opposites, black and white are the polar opposite and give the greatest sense of contrast. Think of the page you are reading this on.. The page is white, and the letters are black. This allows you to read the words of this blog easily. Say that the letters of this blog were yellow, you would probably be squinting a lot and have a hard time reading this. It is important to have contrast because this allows your eyes to easily see what you are looking at. Whether it is black on white or vice versa, the greater the contrast, the easier time you will have seeing what you are looking at. The moon at night looks so beautiful because of the deep, dark background that it floats on. The moon doesn't look as beautiful during the day, partly because of the lack on contrast between the sky and moon. Let's explore how we can apply this to painting your home to match the hardwood.

Let's say you have deep, rich, chocolate oak floors. The darkness and richness to them really make the white trim stand out, and the crisp, clean, white doors and trim really contrast nicely. Going with a color higher that exceeds 50% shading can be risky because it might end up seeming close to how dark the floors are. Sticking to a lighter tone will be a great fit to contrast the floors and the trim/baseboards as the lighter color will be a good transition from the dark (floors) to the light (trim). (Going with a dark color can also work well if you prefer darker colors in general but getting the advice of an interior designer is advised to really make sure you find a good balance between the two should you choose this route). Going with a green, gray, or beige always is a safe bet as greens are natural colors (think grass and trees) which pair well with the color of dark wood.. think forest. Gray's are perfect neutrals in the sens that gray pairs with everything. And beige is always a safe bet as beige's are light and warm, which can give the walls and home a warm, cozy feeling.

If you have lighter tones in your hardwood floor you also will find that many lighter colors pair really well such as "Buttery Rum (PPU4-03)", or "Artisan Crafts (N250-4)", or if you think you would prefer a more bold color, Behr offers several beautiful deep, rich colors that will pair well such as: Silken Pine (N430-7) or Chocolate Therapy (N150-7). I myself prefer darker colors so I am a big fan of these colors.. I even have my home office painted in Silken Pine. Let me know your thoughts and favorite colors that you would recommend!

Trying to sell a home? Updating with a fresh coat and the right colors may make all the difference!

Preparing your home to put on the market requires a lot of attention to detail. Obviously clean floors, a sparkling kitchen, and new windows are all important visual components that a potential home buyer will notice, but even more importantly, the colors that line your walls have an even bigger impact than you might have thought. Many people have the mindset when it comes to home repair prior to selling of “I’ll sell it for less sure, but it’s too much trouble and I can’t afford it right now”. This might be true when it comes to replacing ancient kitchen cupboards, or windows, but a fresh paint job doesn’t have to break the bank.

More than just fresh paint, the right colors are what’s going to help you the most. Color psychology is the science of how colors affect people’s moods. Color psychology has enormous psychological implications and when trying to sell a product, the right color might make all the difference. Maybe you are thinking to yourself that the original white paint that came with your condo was fine for you, so it will be fine for the buyers? Not necessarily. Choosing the right color will not only make your property seem more expensive, but it will allow potential buyers to really envision the place, as their home. Only a small fraction of people are really able to walk through a home that needs some TLC and see beyond its flaws. Don’t hope that you get that tiny percentage in the door, spend the little money up front, and make much more in return.

Nearly all real estate agents recommend a fresh paint job to sell a home. Many people become accustomed to how their home looks, which makes it very difficult to see beyond the paint that is already there. People notice the finer details. Baseboards, trim, and doors get the dirtiest over time. A fresh coat of white paint can transform the way your rooms and hallways look like you wouldn’t believe.

The first thing people notice when stepping into a potential home are the floors and walls (assuming you’re not stricken with popcorn ceilings). Floors are obviously the more costly thing to replace, but interior walls and baseboards are an easy fix which will result in a huge return.

Just like if you are preparing your home to sell, you must stash all the odd and cute collectibles you have lying around, so too you must part ways with the black bedroom you helped your teenage son paint, and paint with soothing neutral tones to really help the house seem as buyer friendly as possible. Painting doesn’t have to be a big deal. Online there are tons of outlets to help you choose the right colors to sell your home, and if you are on a budget (like most people are), spending the money you have to fix your home will go along way with a fresh paint job.





Noticing unsightly details after the painters are done? It might not be their fault!

The most careful attention you will pay to your home is after the painters are done painting. You walk around and inspect every nook and cranny, and rightfully so! You want to make sure that the painters did an excellent job and didn’t leave any spots left that show the prior color. You just paid good money for an outstanding, professional paint job and so you scan your eyes over all the edges, corners, window sills, baseboards, support beams, or other parts of your home. What happens more often than not is that you start to notice oddities about your home that you didn’t before such as:

  • A tiny crack in the wall
  • Scratches on the hardwood floor
  • Drywall missing or damaged
  • Paint splatter
  • Hardened drips on the walls
  • Small holes in the wall
  • etc…

Was it the painters who are responsible for what you are seeing? Or maybe it has been there all along and you just have never noticed it before! Unfortunately, many painters bear the brunt of dissatisfied customers after working hard on making the interior of a home look beautiful due to a homeowner not seeing what has been there all along! Odds are, a homeowner didn’t spend any time before the painters came to inspect the condition of their home interior, and just figured that whatever damage they are seeing afterwards must be the fault of the painter, and why wouldn’t they think that? They didn’t see it before!

What an experienced painter or professional will do upon encountering a small damage detail is quickly take a picture, or multiple pictures, and show the homeowner before continuing on. This is the best way to avoid confrontation after the job is completed because everything that might be an issue is brought to the homeowners attention before hand.

While I can’t say one way or another who is responsible for any damage that the homeowner notices after the walls have been painted, the best way to avoid any disagreement on who should take responsibility is for both parties to agree beforehand on what they are seeing. Taking pictures is a must on the side of the contractors, and inspecting the condition of walls and surfaces beforehand is a great idea of the side of the homeowners.

Hardened drips on the wall can very well be from the previous paint job, but if homeowners never got up close to the wall to inspect it before, they wouldn’t have noticed it. Paint splatter can very well be from a previous paint job as well, especially if the colors are very similar. Scratches on the hardwood floor could have been there for many months, but just have gone unnoticed because the homeowners weren’t down on the floor inspecting the baseboards. If the homeowner makes it a point to inspect their property before the painters begin their work, and the painters take pictures or point out any trouble areas before they paint then all should be well.

What seperates the pros from the rest?? Does the word “pro” get tossed around too often?

My intention with this blog is to shed some light on something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. When browsing different areas of work, for example carpeting, tile, drywall, painting and any other service, we are constantly bombarded with the word “pro”.. Skimming through Craigslist to see what the competition is offering, or just browsing other company websites, we are all too familliar with seeing other companies describe themselves as “pro”. But what exactly does that mean? Does every company deserve to call themselves pros? As an interior painter I often look online to see what other companies are offering and what their websites look like. Does the company with one, offset, blurry, distorted photo of a painted bathroom calling themselves “professional painters” hold the same weight as the company with numerous, professionally taken photographs of extravagant homes? Or another question to consider is, does the way in which you present your company affect the “professionalism” of your company?

Taking a first look into how the dictionary defines “professional”, we see this..




adjective: professional

  1. 1.

    of, relating to, or connected with a profession.


    (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.

So we can see by the dictionary’s first definition, all people engaged in an activity that’s considered a “profession” would be considered a “professional”. But as people that have truly mastered their art, this does not due justice. Expounding upon the second definition, we can conclude that not only do you have to be engaged in a profession to be considered a “professional”, but you essentially have to excel in that area as a result of the majority of your time being dedicated to that pastime. Going back to my example of the two painting companies that display their work in two dramatically different ways, we could safely say that the company with the blurry, distorted, crooked pictures might not be the best candidate for whom should fit the title “professional” as “professionals” in the second definition sense would likely take as good of pictures as the other company if they were engaged in this activity as their “main occupation rather than a pastime”. Taking pictures of your finished product is something to take pride in, and it’s likely that the companies that are doing outstanding work are excited and proud to showcase their work.

Aside from dictionary definitions, there are other factors that go into what people consider master of their craft, or “professionals” in the highest sense. Customer service is a huge factor that plays into the success of a company. You could land a few jobs here and there, but without the right attitude, you won’t get positive reviews, or referrals. Many contractors earn a good share of their livelihood from referrals and word of mouth. Having worked in customer service my whole life, I understand the customer service comes down to pleasing the customer no matter what (in general). If pleasing the customer if your first priority, that attitude will likely stand out from the other experiences your customer has had. Of course there are sometimes very unreasonable people that you find yourself working for that make your job more difficult than it has to be. But at the end of the day, it’s the pros that smile and finish the job with a good attitude that succeed.

Thanking a customer for their business is a great opportunity to really stand out. Simple showing some appreciation for being offered work is something that the customer will certainly not expect, and will be sure to remember. For some pros, work can be hard to find. When you finish a job well done, try and remember back on when you got the lead and landed it. Appreciation goes a long way.

Thanks for reading!