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What colors should I paint my walls?

When you start researching what color to paint your shop, chances are, you'll find advice like this:

"If your space is small, use light colors on all surfaces to make it seem larger. If the store is narrow and deep, use a darker color to bring the back wall forward. If the ceiling is high and crisscrossed by pipes, paint it out ..."

Well, all of this is fine, and you probably knew all that already. But the question still has not been answered. What color is best for your shop?

Color psychologists will give you what color "means". Like:

Red evokes aggressiveness, passion, strength, vitality.
Pink evokes femininity, innocence, softness, health.
Orange evokes fun, cheeriness, warm exuberance.
Yellow evokes positivity, sunshine and cowardice.
Green evokes tranquility, health, freshness.
Blue evokes authority, dignity, security, faithfulness.
Purple evokes sophistication, spirituality, costliness, royalty and mystery.
Brown evokes utility, earthiness, woodsiness and subtle richness.
White evokes purity, truthfulness, being contemporary and refined.
Gray evokes somberness, authority, practicality and a corporate mentality.
Black evokes seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness and being classic.

Interesting. Trouble is, now you have to figure out how all this stuff translates into "What colors should I paint my walls?" Some tips from the real world and the retail world:

Orange makes shoppers nervous. Red makes people (and bulls) belligerent.

Yellow sounds good, according to the list above: positivity and sunshine... except, oops, it's also evocative of cowardliness, as in "a yellow streak down his back."

Dark colors "eat" light: Nightclubs are black. Great if you're trying to hide less-than-pristine architecture, but not so great if your customers want to see what they are buying. 

Certain color combinations are burned into our brains from repetition: red-and-yellow means SALE*CHEAP*SALE; red and green means Christmas; turquoise and coral means Howard Johnson's. So it's best to avoid them.

The best suggestion I ever heard was from a resale shopkeeper who asked her local paint store which were the current best-sellers. Then she painted her shop those colors on the theory that if people liked those colors, they would be comfortable and happy in her shop. A comfortable, happy shopper stays longer, and a shopper who stays longer, buys more.  

The most important things to remember, as far as our industry, resale, is concerned:
* Pick something neutral, that almost fades into the woodwork, so to speak. As used-merchandise vendors, we do not have complete control over what comes into our shops. We might love purple walls, but how good are those green print couches going to look surrounded by such a strong color?
* If you're keeping the floor color (tile, carpet, terrazzo), key wall color(s) to it.
* Try painting your dressing rooms in a vivid peacock blue (said to be the most flattering color for all complexions).

* Unless there's an overwhelming reason to highlight your crown molding in another color, don't. Ditto with the wallpaper borders. You want your shoppers' eyes drawn to what they can buy, the merchandise. Soffits can often take another color, but match the intensity: pale grey with pale peach, for example, not pale grey with shocking blue.
* Use good paint. Cheap paint will "chalk" the inside shoulders of wall-hung clothing, wear away too fast on dressing-room walls as you scrub fingerprints away, and chip at any outside corners.
* Tip: They say putting a touch of vanilla in your bucket of latex paint will cut the lingering paint odor.
* Plan on redecorating at least every 4-5 years. Mushroom might look great this year, but it will look dated in a few years.


Who is & why should I care?
Roy's just, actually, a way to remember the colors in the rainbow (the visible spectrum for those of you who weren't sleeping in science class.)
Red...Orange...Yellow...Green...Blue...Indigo...Violet.
Using Roy G. Biv to organize your racks will help your shop look better and more appealing. Just remember to factor white, beige, brown, grey and black in as well.
For more info on color order, as well as the variation that's a lot easier than Roy G. Biv to do with clothing, and why to keep white as far away from beige as possible, see TGtbT The Complete Manual.

Fun color facts

How do chickens with male hormones eat their colored food?

When chickens were fed male hormones, they pecked at their colored food in different ways. They ate all the red until it was gone, then all the yellow. The other chickens (no male hormones) ate all the different colored food in no order. 
Does this provide a clue to multi-tasking abilities of the male species?
Does this explain why men hate shopping? Too much visual stimulation? Men tend to focus on singular tasks, such as reading the newspaper, and get irritated when interrupted. Wives can't understand why men can't do two things at once. Kate says: Maybe your husband chair should be a nice calming blue...
Source: colormatters.com and "Men are from caves, not Mars," by Janet L. Martineau, Newhouse News Service

It used to be the other way around
The Ladies Home Journal June 1918:"Pink [is] a more decided and stronger color [and] more suitable for the boy," while "blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." Four years earlier the Sunday Sentinel recommended pink for boys and blue for girls, "if you are a follower of convention."

Redheads need 20% more painkillers

A University of Washington in Louisville study reported that natural redheads are more susceptible to pain and need more anesthesia when they go under the knife than do people with other hair colors. This confirms what anesthesiologists have suspected all along - that redheads can be a little harder to put under than others.

Scientists explained that redheads have a "defective receptor" for melanin, a pigment responsible for tanning. This same melanocortin-1 receptor cross-reacts with a related receptor on brain cells that influences pain sensitivity. Ouch!
Source: colormatters.com, AP
Kate says: Guess this is why redheads traditionally are seen as easy to anger...their feet hurt!

TGtbT.com is the premier web site for professional resalers. Start a consignment, resale or thrift store with free articles and Products for the Professional Resaler here on Too Good to be Threw. Want to know how to open a consignment shop, do a business plan, operate your shop, consignment software and selling secondhand clothes, upscale designer fashions, children's gear or used furniture? Consignment shops, resale stores, thrift stores & consignment sales use Too Good to be Threw. As a consignment consultant and two-award winner and lifelong member of NARTS, Kate Holmes creates all information and Products 
specifically for the resale industry
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