5 Color Dilemmas Solved!

Color experts share how to solve palette problems for a bedroom, living room and more.

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beautifully designed adobe home bath Rounded, carved edges and built-in display cases give this bathroom a homey, custom feel. This Southwestern style is from designer Steve Appolloni.

Dear HGTV.com,
I have plastered walls with a sand (bumpy) finish. What color techniques could I use to give a more updated look?
—Bored With Bumpy

Dear Bored With Bumpy,
I assume you want to minimize the bumpy look. A few recommendations:


  • Sand it back to diminish the bumps, then paint with a flat paint, in a deeper shade to minimize shadows caused by the texture.


  • If you want to do a "paint technique," you can just use three closely related (low-contrast), colors of your choice, over the base. Apply them as alternate layers with a four-inch "chip brush." Use short, overlapping strokes in a light and blending fashion, interweaving the colors. This will give you a modulated-color surface and usually has the function of bringing the visual emphasis off the texture.


  • You didn’t indicate the color family you want to use, but if, for example, you are using warm, sunny colors try something
    like Benjamin Moore 202 ("Yellowstone") for the base, with the dry-brushed colors in Benjamin Moore 200 ("Westminster Gold"), 206 ("Summer Harvest") and 197 ("America's Heartland", a yellow) or 205 (Simply Irresistible", a warm creamy color).

You can use this approach to be as "multi-colored" as suits your personal style and decor.
—color consultant Barbara Jacobs, Integral Color and Design

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