Paint colors can look very different “on paper” than they do in real life. Luckily, there are several ways to test your paint selections before committing.
There are lots of home décor web sites that let play around with colors. Sherwin Williams Visualizer has pictures of a lot of different kinds of rooms—or you can upload your own picture—that you can then virtually “paint.” If you know what paint color you want to try, type its name in the search bar and you’ll be presented with that color and a palette of complimentary ones. Click on the colors, then drag and drop them onto a photo where you want to see them. Otherwise, type in a basic color (like green) you’d like to find and click “explore colors” to see dozens of options. Click on the one you like best to experiment with. You’ll again get a palette of complimentary colors. For interior rooms, you can “try on” wall, ceiling, trim, and accent colors to determine combinations that go well together. For exteriors, you can change wall, trim, and shutter colors.
This is a great way to start figuring out what combinations you like, or whether a color you want to try is too over—or under-whelming for a whole room or house.
Lighting and shadow make a big difference in how a color appears. Many paint displays in stores have an array of lighting “temperatures” so you can hold a paint chip under each and see the difference that fluorescent, incandescent, and natural light make to what your eye sees. Indoors and outdoors, the time of day affects lighting and shadow as well—and therefore will affect the appearance of your paint color. If you’re the type that likes to take home a big stack of paint chips to think about, make sure you look at them in the room you intend to paint, and at different times of the day and night.
I recommend getting a sample size container of the paint you think you want and painting a portion of a wall for a final preview. Often what seems like the perfect color on a tiny paint chip ends up being a shade or two lighter or darker than what you actually want. I’ve found that even if I’m matching a paint color to one of the colors in a wallpaper pattern, the exact match doesn’t always have the effect of an exact match because of the other colors in the pattern.
The bar in the middle of this image appears to be darker on the left than the right. It is, in fact, a solid color throughout! Paint colors in different contexts will play similar tricks. Call us today for a consultation!
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