Is it time to do some painting on the interior of your home? It’s a great DIY project, and it’s always fun to spruce up the space and make everything look fresher. Unless you’re planning a complete redesign and change of color scheme, you’ll be faced with an age-old challenge: how to match the existing color.
This has always posed a problem, because matching interior paint isn’t exactly like matching colors in clothing. I mean, if you need shoes to match your suit, or a tie to match your shirt, you can always wear them to the clothing store, and look at the two items side by side. Obviously that’s not an option, because your walls have to stay at home.
Paint stores will be happy to provide you with catalogs of color swatches which you can take home to compare, but it’s still tough to get an exact match that way. For starters, the swatches are on paper, and your walls are probably made of another material. Add to the equation the fact that lighting in your home is very likely different from the showroom, and this can easily become a rather long and difficult process.
Fortunately, modern technology has made things a lot easier in this area and with some ingenuity and effort on your part, it’s now possible to get a good color match for your existing interior walls. Here are a few things you can try to get started:
Confident in your esthetic eye? Here’s a way to do a decent color matching test by eye. Make your testing tool by taking a sheet of white paper, and cutting out two square holes, side by side. Hold your testing paper against the wall, and slide one of the paint chips from the store behind one of the holes. This will let you see the two colors, side by side, and contrasted against the same white background. Switch out the chips until you find the one that shows no difference from your wall.
Bring your own sample.
If it’s possible, find an inconspicuous spot on your wall from which you can cut out a sample. Take a piece of your drywall, about 2 inches by 2 inches, and bring it to your local paint store. Your paint experts will look at your sample using a handy device called a spectrophotometer. This will scan your paint, analyze the color, and calculate exactly what pigments will produce a color match.
There’s an app for that!
A number of major paint companies have smartphone apps which will help you with this process. For the most part, they work like this: snap a photo of the space you need to work on, select a part of that picture, and the app will run the calculations and suggest matching colors. Do keep in mind that this method will have its limitations, as it’s subject to factors such as the lighting in your room and the quality of the camera.
Call in the pros.
If you’re having trouble finding the right color match, you may save a lot of headaches and potential costly do-overs by calling in pros. Here at D & D, we do work like this every day, and can help you get exactly the colors you need.