Death of a Fan Deck

Death of a Fan Deck by Patsy Overton
This week I lost a dear friend when my home-made Sherwin-Williams fan deck bit the dust.  Please allow me to explain.
For a little over three years now I have been working primarily as a professional color consultant. Since I was initiallly trained on the Sherwin-Williams fan deck (shown below), I have recommended Sherwin-Williams paints and gathered their tools to assist me in doing my job.

fan deck of Sherwin-Williams paint colors

Sherwin-Williams Fan Deck

Once I began doing lots of color consultations, it didn’t take me long to realize the SW fan deck is very heavy — especially when you are walking room-to-room throughout a home constantly holding it up against the wall, fabrics, rugs, floors, etc.  “There has to be an easier way,” I thought.  I had an idea…  why not create my own fan decks which would each be smaller (and lighter) versions of the larger, complete fan deck.  Eureka!  Shown below are two of my home-made fan decks which are extractions from the large one.  On the far left you will see the Concepts in Color deck, which is a compilation of the colors Sherwin-Williams was most frequently asked to match from other fan decks.  Second from the left is my first home-made fan deck — a collection of color strips from SW’s “Essentials” folder, which is comprised of whites, grays and blacks. Third from the left is my home-made fan deck consisting of SW strips 1-40, their most neutral complete palette which I use all day, every day in consultations.  It is truly my right arm.  The palette on the right is for deck stains.

Fan Decks which have been home-made

SW Home-made Fan Decks

I’m going to let you in on a little trade secret here.  The Sherwin-Williams fan deck is actually several (five to be exact) color palettes in one.  This is how they are broken down:

  • The first palette is the most gray-scaled; strips A-M which makes up their “Essentials” palette.
  • The second group, strips 1-40.
  • The third group, strips 41-80.
  • The fourth group, strips 81-120.
  • The fifth group, strips 121-139.

So what does that mean to you?  Each palette takes you completely through the entire spectrum of color, but when you move from the lower numbered palettes to the higher numbered ones, the saturations intensify.  So while the Essentials palette is the most gray-scaled, the fifth group (strips 121-139) is the palette of fully saturated colors.  (Now this next comment is important — don’t miss it!)  When selecting colors for the interior of your home, it is best to stay within the same palette.  Isn’t that helpful?  That is one way to insure that your home has a nice “flow.”  (There are others, but those are lessons for another day.)
But back to my story….  Since the palette of strips 1-40 is the one I use most frequently, it is the one that gets all the wear and tear.  This week, while I was working in a home, it actually fell apart in my hands.  (Please see photo below.)

Patsy's Worn-out Fan Deck

Patsy’s Worn-out Fan Deck

Yes, that’s my pitiful little home-made fan deck that has been with me day in and day out for over three years now.  It was with me when I saved several marriages by acting as an intermediary via a color consultation, when I held the crying baby so mom could think through the correct palette, when I worked outside in the rain, cold, wind and heat, and even when the little boy turned to me one day during a consultation and said, “You smell good!”  I have so many wonderful memories associated with that fan deck.  However, It completely disintegrated this week.  It is no more.  Boo, hoo.
So what’s next for the color consultant with the worn-out fan deck?  I picked up a spare (that I had made several years ago, realizing this day would one day come), picked up the pieces of my life and moved on.  In this business, there’s no time to cry over crumpled fan decks.
Worn-out and New Fan Decks

Old and New Fan Decks

My first and most favorite of all time fan deck has now been retired to my middle desk drawer. One day I hope to have it framed and displayed on my office wall, but not today.  Today I will sit back and enjoy all the great memories associated with my home-made Sherwin-Williams fan deck, strips 1-40, and smile.
If you are in need of an Atlanta painting company, please call SuperiorPRO today to request a free estimate. (404) 436-2900  With a whole house paint job, either interior or exterior, minimum $2,500 signed contract, SuperiorPRO will provide a FREE color consultation.
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