I began this post weeks ago, but wasn’t motivated to finish until this morning. Someone inspired me with their text message. They sent me pictures of a room last week and said, “I want a soft golden yellow and a light burgundy.” What is light burgundy?
It’s rare that a paint chip gives you an exact match when you take it home and try it. Colors tend to darken when they dry and if you look up in a paint store they use bright fluorescent lighting, which typically has a bluish tint or pure white light. If you do not have fluorescent lighting in your home, you’re not getting a true depiction of the color. Nope. Can’t head outdoors. Your room will not be in direct sunlight. So what’s the solution? Buy a sample of the color and paint a 12 x 12 inch block on the wall. If the wall has already been painted another color, prime before painting. I also advise that you buy about 3 different colors you like. Doesn’t make sense to continue going to the paint store when you can knock it out in one trip, hopefully. Home Depot sells a flat finish sample for $2.98. Make sure you buy paintbrushes.
Picking the right paint color is cumbersome. If you get it right the first time out, congratulations! That’s a HUGE accomplishment. It’s more than a mixture of the primary colors; it gets quite complicated. I spend a lot of time with the Paintirista (barista…nevermind) asking what’s in the color and how much of it is in the color. I use Home Depot Behr, unless my client has another vendor they prefer.
Why do I love Home Depot Behr paint? I am extremely familiar with their product, their price is mid-range and affordable, they have several color choices, they do color matching, they make their paint display user-friendly, and Behr has pretty darn good coverage and life. Although Dunn Edwards and Benjamin Moore are great paints, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Please refer to the picture above for the remainder of the post. I didn’t get the bottom of the paint chip display. Lame, but this is how to use it:
From top to bottom the colors are arranged by Pure, Muted, and Shaded.
Pure – exactly what it says. There’s not a lot of white or black. Just the primaries and the mixing of the primaries. These colors are brighter and pack the most shock value. Notice the top of the picture is brighter than the middle and bottom.
Muted – These are the Pures combined with white. The colors get a little Eastery. I think of babies when I see muted colors. Generally, they are softer and cozy.
Shaded – I work a lot with the Shaded colors. I call them the adult colors because they are a bit more sophisticated than the Pure and Muted colors. the Pures mixed with gray (a combination of Black and White, Shaded) result in Shaded.
I hope the dots are connecting and you’re having an Ah Ha! moment. I’m excited for you to understand how easy this is.
I have couple of tricks that you can use in the paint store to lessen the risk of choosing the WRONG color.
Notice how the color chips move from red to green to blue (left to right). Let’s look at the second row. To the far left (where I obviously did not capture the entire column) are the reds; they are Pure reds. As you move to the right they become red-oranges. Move to the right again, they become orange-yellows. Then, yellow-greens and green-blues. Lastly, the blues.
Let’s say you want a greenish yellow, I am going straight to the right-side of the 2nd to last column and the left-side of the last column. Now, I have to decide, whether it should be Pure, Muted, or Shaded. Basically, I moved horizontally. Then, I moved vertically.
Oh last thing! Because the colors are mixed, there is always an undertone. You can always tell the undertone on a paint color by looking at the darkest color on the paint chip. See the below. In choosing reds, although I am not using the bottom colors, I was able to eliminate the one on the left because it takes on a brown color. I don’t want that it to have a brown undertone. I want more red, so I’d choose the one on the right.