Selecting the perfect paint color is an equal opportunity problem for homeowners, painters, and even some interior designers. Why? Because determining a great shade is all but impossible to do from a two-inch paint chip.
With the advent of wet paint samples has come a revolutionary way of experiencing new colors in your home. These small cans have created an affordable way to try before you buy and are sized generously enough to paint very large samples if you choose.
Larger samples lead to more confidence with color selections, but with that said there is a right and a wrong way to work with them.
Painting a color sample on the wall, or worse yet multiple samples, is among the most frequent mistakes made during the selection process. A new color needs to be seen in proper context with the flooring, cabinetry, artwork, textiles, and furnishings not to mention the lighting present in the room.
A sample painted on the wall can’t help but be compared to the current, surrounding wall color. If the sample is darker than the current color, it may be hard to judge whether the depth of color is appropriate because it’s surrounded by something lighter. The problem is compounded when multiple samples are applied as each color is then compared to one another rather than the important elements of the room.
Another thing to keep in mind is that any sample applied to the wall can create problems to cover over when it comes time to paint the room. Local painter, Gerry Titus, of Titus Touch Painting and Decorating suggests, “From an application perspective, I prefer using sample boards to prevent a paint lip or edge on the wall, sheen differences and problematic color coverage.” Each sample painted directly on the wall builds a new layer of product that may need to be lightly sanded and or primed to ensure beautiful results in your finished room.
By painting scrap drywall or foam core Color Tester Sample Boards, available locally at your favorite paint store, you will have a color sample that can be placed next to each element of the room to ensure that they coordinate beautifully. Allow each sample to dry and cure for two or more hours before working with it and then start analyzing the color with everything in the room.
Always start by propping the board next to the wall to see how the color works with your flooring and baseboard colors. In a living room, hold it up to the couch, window coverings and artwork. In a kitchen or bath, place it next to the cabinets as well as the counter top back splash. In a bedroom, check the color with your comforter.
If the color passes all of these tests, move on to examining it with the lighting in your room. Observe the sample in the morning, afternoon and evening light to make sure the color’s undertones don’t become more obvious and spoil what you thought was the perfect shade.
In the end, there are no shortcuts to selecting paint colors. Even experienced color professionals will hesitate selecting a shade based on a small paper sample because they know how easy it is to make a mistake with such a small slice of color. When it comes time to choose a new shade for your wall, sample boards painted with your choices will foster paint color confidence and become your new best friend because the decision will be more obvious in larger sized samples. And, your wallet will thank you for not incurring the costly mistake of having to repaint an entire room.