Paint anxiety is real. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a shade: how the light will hit it, what color palette to complement it with…and, of course, which specific gradient to pick. Before you know it, you’ll have spent all day staring at two seemingly identical shades of blue, trying to dissect their differences. (We’ve been there.) Shea McGee gets it, and she’s here to help with a genius trick we discovered when we tuned into her Instagram Story on Monday evening. 

There, McGee revealed that her go-to hue is Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee, but there’s a twist: She always asks for paint at 75 percent strength. “When I tried it at full strength in our house, it felt a bit darker than what I wanted, but the next shade down on the card was too light,” explains the designer. “This is just a way to tone it down a little.” 

This handy tip won’t cost you anything extra. Simply ask for 75 percent of the total formula at the store, and the pros there should be able to accommodate you. It’s a serious game changer for anyone toying with the idea of going bold. From rich jewel tones to supersaturated neutrals, use this method to tiptoe your way toward a statement-making look. 


Here’s where we would start: 

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