Selecting Paint Colors SuperiorPRO Style by Patsy Overton
Have you ever had a problem selecting paint colors for your home? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. As the color consultant for SuperiorPRO Painting & Exteriors, I’ve seen it all.
A couple of days ago I had to laugh when I pulled up to the home of one of our customers and took a look at her garage door. Here is what I saw:
First, I want to thank this customer for giving me permission to use her photo. She was a very good sport about the whole thing and was delighted to hear that I was tweeting her picture. Also, I’d like to point out that she was very much on the right track with her paint color sample choices. I say that because when you are selecting paint colors, the rule is to always work from the unchanging elements — in this case the brick, mortar, stone and roof colors. Notice how the colors she was sampling all played well with the deeper, richer tones of her brick.
As an Atlanta color consultant, I cannot tell you how often I see this — the homeowner putting up numerous paint color samples. I find that the more samples go up, the more confused the customer becomes. This particular woman told me her neighbors are very anxious to have her make a decision! Ha, ha. We ended up selecting a very dark trim with a lighter color for the body, very similar to what you see above with the colors on the left of the garage door.
But it’s not just outside that I see lots of paint colors being sampled. Take a look at this:
This homeowner, just like the one referenced above, was wise enough to know that it is always a good idea to sample paint colors before covering the walls, but there is a very basic problem here that I see time and time again. What is it? When you paint color samples on top of anything other than a stark white wall, the existing colors throws the color you are trying to sample so that you will not get an accurate read on it. What is the solution? When working on the interior, always paint test colors on a piece of WHITE poster board, LEAVING A WHITE BORDER on all four sides. That way, you are looking at the color against white which will give you a true read. (When working on exterior colors, I always throw my large color boards directly on top of the brick, as the hues must be a good blend to those existing elements which will not change.) Here is another picture from the same home:
As was stated before and illustrated here again, it is impossible to get a true read on sample colors when they are thrown up on top of another color — especially anything as strong as this red. Paint the samples on white poster board, leaving a white border. Another plus for painting on poster board is that you can then move the colors around the room to check them in different light.
A couple of years ago I was in a beautiful home in Decatur with a two story foyer. On that foyer wall were at least 40 different paint color samples. When I saw them, I turned to the homeowner and declared, “Hands down, you are the grand prize winner!” But here have been MANY times when I’ve seen what you see in the photos above.
If you are confident you can make wise color selections on your own by sampling, go for it. If not, SuperiorPRO is here for you. With any whole house paint job (minimum $2,500), either inside or out, you will receive a FREE color consultation. No need to spend all that money on paint samples!