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3 pro paint tips you've probably never tried before

White bedroom/Photography: Mali Azima/Sherwin-Williams's Quietude serves as a neutral backdrop in this chic bedroom designed by Kristin Drohan.

There are certain tips—hard-won, seemingly bestowed upon pros by the paint gods after years of doing it the wrong or more convoluted way—that don't necessarily occur to mere mortal DIYers. Today, we quiz a veritable expert—Kristin Drohan, interior designer and eco-friendly furniture designer of Kristin Drohan Collection—on some of those trade-secret paint hacks. 

Identify paint undertones. 

"Years ago, I had a client who worked for a commercial paint manufacturer. He taught me to always look at paint on a pure white background in bright, preferably natural, light to gauge the undertones. It's amazing what you see when you do this."

Pale green and white bathroom/Photography: Mali Azima/Benjamin Moore's Green Tint, a pale green, appears on the walls in this bathroom designed by Kristin.

Sample smart. 

"I like to paint a huge sample to hang on the wall or exterior to see how it changes throughout the day, in various light. I have Sherwin-Williams's Eider White on the exterior of my new home and in the sun it looks white. In the evening, it is a very light gray. Inside, Eider White can actually have pink undertones."

Pale green and white bathroom/Photography: Mali Azima/Another view of a peaceful bathroom featuring a pale green and white color scheme.

Know how to find "soft" colors.

"If you need a soft pink, blue, lavender, peach or yellow look in the 'whites' section of a paint deck. To avoid a baby-boy nursery feeling, look for light blues in the 'gray' section of a paint deck."

Kristin's tried-and-true colors

Sherwin-Williams SnowboundSherwin-Williams Salty DogSherwin-Williams Quietude, Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black, and Benjamin Moore White Dove.

sample like a pro

Ready to see what Kristin's colors look like on your walls? We've rounded up some of her favorite colors here. Happy sampling! 


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