Letting Kids Pick the Paint Color

When I was 9 years old, my mom took me to the paint store and let me pick the color for my room. I chose the hottest pink I could find. All my friends thought my mom was the coolest for letting me have a raspberry room, but now that my daughter wants to pick her own room color, I fear I'm not as cool as my mom was.

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If you're like my mom and you let your little Rainbow Brite chose the color, then I commend you, I really do, because I loved my raspberry room. If however, you are like me and want to steer away from certain eyeball-melting hues, then I have a couple of tips for you that I discovered while shopping for paint with my daughter recently.

First, my daughter wavered between 3 color choices for several weeks. I knew which I was leaning toward, so I'd occasionally say, "So what color are we going to paint your walls?" When she was leaning toward the one I was hoping for, we hopped in the car and headed to the paint store.

Second, explain that colors always look brighter and more intense when they're on the walls. Try to steer your kiddo toward something one shade lighter and one hue more muted. My daughter was pretty reasonable about this. We have one room in the house that turned out way too green, so she had visual proof of the point I was making.

Third, and this one is really below the belt, does your kid have a particular cartoon character that he or she finds distasteful? Find that section of the paint store and point it out. "See how all the Dora the Explorer colors are really bright? Aagh that looks like a Dora color! Is it called Boots?" For the record, I didn't use this tactic. I didn't have to. We found a great color that we both really love.

(Images: Katie Steuernagle)

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