Color matching is as much an art as a science

Most paint stores (and hardware stores that sell paint) have the ability to color match samples you bring into the store. If you bring in a sample of a color you would like to match they’ll use a tool they have hooked up to a computer to analyze the color and create a color formula which can be reproduced in the paint you need for your project. The sample might be a paint chip but can also be a piece of fabric, wallpaper or counter top sample just to name a few. There are some limitations to what a system can analyze with accuracy; metallic objects, a very small area of color in a busy pattern, objects that are heavily textured such as carpet, or any sample less than about the size of a quarter.

You would think you can expect perfect matches every time if a computer is analyzing the color, but you could well be wrong. The better paint stores I work with use computer analysis to get them about halfway to a perfect match and the rest is done by a trained eye. In other words, color matching is as much of an art as it is a science. For this reason I don’t recommend my clients purchase their paint from a hardware store if they require any color matching. These stores generally rely completely on computer analysis and not the eye of a trained staff member.

Here a few other tips for successful color matching projects:

  • A color that was analyzed for you is a custom color, make sure you ask for and keep a copy of the color formula in case you need to order it again (better paint stores usually keep a record of your formula and purchase on file.)
  • You may need to touch-up your paint in the future. Whether your color was a custom color or not touch-up paint should come from the same can you applied originally for an exact color match so make sure you order enough to have a little extra, it can save you a headache down the road.
  • Buy the best quality paint your budget allows in the proper paint sheen for your project. Not only will it wear better and last longer, it will also apply and cover better which is an important factor especially if you are doing the painting yourself.
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~ by sandywenberg on March 13, 2017.

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