How To Match Paint Colors

Whether you are matching paint colors to complement your eclectically-designed home or just retouching a tired and worn-looking wall, there is what is called “paint-matching” that is involved in the process. Really, can you imagine your home, your own private space, your haven, or whatever it is you call the place you crash in after a long day at work, to be devoid of color? Isn’t that just sad? Well, you have to make time then and purchase new paint if you want your home to glow and shine bright like a homing beacon on a lonely night!

Here’s how to match paint colors for this do-it-yourself project!

  • Begin with a clean wall. There is nothing more frustrating for a paint guy than dealing with a paint sample that is dirty and smudged. Do him a favor and scrub your walls clean before bringing paint samples or dry sheet covered in old paint to the paint guy for color matching. It will save you and him time and effort.
  • Ask for a color wheel. The color wheel is immensely helpful to color matching. This tool explains the kinds of colors that you have mix to find the exact paint color that you are looking for. Ask your local paint store about getting a color wheel for you.
  • Bet on pantone swatches. While the color wheel provides an explanation of the paint color combinations to arrive at different colors, pantone swatches on the other hand gives you varying shades of one color in coded numbers. For instance, blue could be pantone #16 as Indigo Blue. See the difference?
  • Always consult the experts. You can’t expect perfection from yourself if you don’t do this for a living or as a profession. Therefore, you must seek the opinion of an expert contractor, interior designer, or even the local carpenter to get you started on this task the correct way. You don’t have to necessarily shell out money for a consultation. You can simply come right out and ask your friends for a recommendation about an expert who can guide you pro bono.
  • Give the paint guy time to mix up samples. So you’re done bringing the paint samples or pantone swatches to the paint guy. That’s great! However, this does not mean you immediately drive off with your fresh batch of paint. No, ma’am. You kind of have to wait a couple more days to give the paint guy some time to come up with his magic elixir. That’s the standard waiting period. You can’t rush the process.
  • Make it a point to look at the color sample in natural lighting. The batch of paint that the paint guy produces will be tested before you make an outright purchase. When you go back to the paint store on the date that has been promised to you, your job is to take the sample out and look at it in natural daylight when the sun is shining. The bright light is a very reliable gauge to determine the color that is closest to matching the paint you have on your wall at home. Do not view the sample over fluorescent lighting because you won’t have an accurate result out of this. Bright is best, don’t forget that.
  • Add a pint of white paint to your purchase. This will be a fail-safe purchase. You have to test a small smidgeon of paint on your wall. If you see that this has come out darker than you thought, don’t pick up the phone to yell at the paint guy. Freshly-mixed paint will and should come out darker when first applied. Let it set for 30 minutes. It should match the color on your walls after that time. If not, worry not. Simply add a tablespoonful of white paint to the dark color then cover the spot with the darker hue. That’s all there is to it.

If you happen to go at this with no prior painting experience, expect to make mistakes but have fun learning from it. At the end of the day, it’s your effort that really counts. You will come to perfect the art of matching paint colors in due time!


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