How To Read a Paint Color Chart

Adding color to your home is one of the important home improvement tasks that you can enjoy. Your paint color decision can transform not only the look of your house but the mood as well. When choosing house paint colors or schemes, you can get ideas from your furnishings, get samples or swatches from existing fabrics around the house or refer to paint color selection tools available on the Web or home improvement stores. If you have the eye for matching colors, you can do the selection through the Internet but in cases where your color knowledge and eye for coordination are low, you may need a professional or a sales person to assist you in getting the exact color you want. For instance, if you want blue, you will be given several shades of blue. Color selection tools like a color chart or wheel will also be presented to you in order to make your selection easier. Here are some tips to help you read paint color charts or other color selection tools when adding color to your house.

  1. It is important to use a browser that is compatible for the color chart you are viewing. Behr paint color system for instance, works well with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. With other browsers, some colors will not properly download.
  2. When it comes to color, everything revolves around the color wheel chart. Choose a color family starting from the primary colors – yellow, red and blue. Find a less strong color such as orange, green and purple which are the secondary colors, or a combination of primary color and a secondary color referred to as the tertiary colors.
  3. If the chart you are viewing uses color codes instead of color names, there is no need to be an expert in order to decipher the codes of the paint color chart. Usually the first letter tells you what color group the color is from. For instance, B is for Blue, BR for brown, G is for green, M stands for metallic, N is neutral, O is for orange, R for red, Y for yellow and V for violet.
  4. Manufacturers of interior and exterior paints usually make selection of colors easy for the customers. Behr paint and Glidden color systems for example have Web sites, which are easy to navigate. They may have different options but once you are on the page of the main color family swatches, you can simply click menus in order to get your actual color. There is also no need to decipher color numbers or codes. You only have to click your color preference and it displays the name.
  5. Color combinations are available when you have chosen a base color. Coordinated color combinations are established by hue, lightness and intensity. Hue employs the same color with slight differences on the color family. Lightness also uses similar color with variance on the lightness levels, and intensity is a color's brightness saturation. These factors are menu-driven using a computer.  

Reading color charts may be confusing but it is surprisingly easy. While you have the convenience of selecting a paint color from your computer, take note that the colors you see may not look exactly as they are on the actual paint. What you can do is prepare your selection and turn it over to the local paint store or home improvement store and check from their samples or color charts if they match. There you can also get color suggestions and combinations. 


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