Color matching is as much an art as a science

•March 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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.

Preview color before painting

•January 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Wouldn’t it be nice to see what the colors you choose will look like before you buy a drop of paint? I’ve been working on a historic Victorian mansion renovation which I introduced in a previous post and this spring the new exterior colors will be applied giving it a pretty impressive transformation. Many people were involved in the color decision process and it was important that everyone could see how it would look on the house first. Using an old black and white photograph showing the house with its original mansard roof (which is in the process of being restored) I introduced the proposed colors directly onto the photograph for several different color approaches and it was a very helpful tool leading to an eventual color palette decision. Not all clients require this step but when needed it’s a tremendous help. Here is the original photograph along with the winning palette color preview for you to see.

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Happy holidays!

•December 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Wenberg Color Design wishes you the best in this season of sparkle and light!


A time to be thankful for home

•November 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

As the holidays are upon us it makes me think of home and what a refuge from the hectic world it can be. I am thankful for having the most wonderful clients I could ask for who have given me the opportunity to help them as they take on projects large and small to enhance and add beauty to their homes. It brings me pleasure to help them create a place of beauty and comfort they can enjoy for years to come. May Thanksgiving in your home be filled with family, fun and friends!

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A picture says a thousand words

•September 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

A picture really does say a thousand words and here are a good pair of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos that speak volumes about what well-chosen exterior colors can do for your home. When the house my clients purchased was built, the siding materials hadn’t been treated to prevent aging and some areas were in pretty sad shape leaving no choice but to paint it. They wanted the house to reflect the natural feel the property has and were particular about what colors would satisfy that. After developing a palette that maintains the serene feel they sought, the house was painted and here are the results. They couldn’t be happier and the house fits beautifully into its setting.

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How not to buy paint twice

•August 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Did you know that 40% of all paint sold is being purchased for a second time because of a color mismatch or the color wasn’t liked? Here are several things you can do prevent this from happening to you:
1. Never purchase paint based on a small paint chip. You need to see a MINIMUM of 8″ x 8″ of a color to see it’s color character or you’ll be in for a surprise (and not in a good way!)
2. Evaluate a color in the light of different times of day and in different weather conditions. Color changes throughout the day and looks different on a sunny day than it does on a cloudy or rainy day, really!
3. Don’t decide on a color when you’ve only seen it on one wall. If you purchase a tester, paint it on an inexpensive white poster board that can be moved around and evaluated on different walls before you decide.
I’m here to help if you need it so don’t hesitate to contact me if you do!

Testing, testing…1,2,3

•June 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Painting your house this summer? Here are 3 reasons I don’t recommend painting a ‘tester’ directly on the house as the person in this photo did:
1. You aren’t seeing enough of the color and you’re only seeing it in one place on the house.
2. How we see color is altered by the colors around it and what you see here is not a true representation of what the color will really look like on the house.
3. When you paint directly over an existing color the old color can shadow through and alter the color you are evaluating.
I recommend painting 2 coats of your ‘tester’ color directly on an inexpensive white poster board but don’t paint all the way to the edges, leave an inch or more border of white. You can now move the board around and test it on all sides of the house, in both sun and shadow. Because of the white border the color will be seen accurately and not altered by the adjacent colors. I provide large color samples to my clients so they needn’t purchase paint to test colors but many painting contractors require their clients to approve a sample painted directly on the house before they begin painting, so it’s important to know how to do it properly. Happy painting!
There is a better way than this to test colors!

There is a better way than this to test colors!

Lighten up!

•June 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s hard to have a conversation about color without talking about lighting too. If you can’t see them it won’t matter if you have the most lovely colors in your home. In the Pacific Northwest where I live we have a number of low light months in the winter where natural light is minimized and it can create a sense of gloom if not dealt with. The most obvious solution is to have enough of and the right kind of lighting. Overhead lighting such as recessed lights, ceiling lights, chandeliers (a personal favorite) and the like are great for broadcasting  large arcs of light, and table and floor lamps are wonderful for bringing the lighting source down into the room creating a much cozier light and great task lighting, but there are other sources of light you might not have considered that can really help lighten and brighten a space.

Mirrors can really give your lights a boost, and when used strategically can direct light to exactly where it’s needed. I’m not advocating large mirrors like the days when entire walls or large closet doors were mirrored but rather, treated like decorative pieces or even pieces of art. Mirrors reflect back 100% of the light that hits them so it can be like having twice as much light contributing to the space which is not to be underestimated!  They can be used on walls to bounce light back into the room, on tables to bounce light back up or in corners to lighten the darkness they often have. They’re also wonderful for broadcasting light into rooms that have few windows and natural light and can feel like a window in those applications where light is needed. Shiny objects, while not mirrors still reflect light into a space and have the added bonus of being things of beauty to look at. I’ve chosen some examples showing how mirrors have been used to move light where wanted as well as an example showing what a silver tray with glass floats can to do brighten a table and bring some sparkle into the room; enjoy!

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Move over Port Townsend!

•May 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment

When you think of quaint Victorian architecture on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula you probably think of Port Townsend, right? Well move over Port Townsend, Quilcene’s got a gem too! I was recently contacted to consult on the exterior colors for an 1892 Victorian home in the heart of the small town of Quilcene that I’m very excited about. It was purchased by the Quilcene Historical Museum in 2013 from the Worthington family after having been lived in by family members since 1907.  The renovation it’s undergoing has been an amazing community effort showing Quilcene’s determination to keep this gem an asset for the whole community to use and enjoy. It holds Washington State’s Historic Designation and the project has many highly qualified and dedicated people making it happen.

The renovation includes restoring the roof to the original mansard style roof it had when it was built which has been altered from its current state. This alone will return it to its Victorian appearance and that, paired with colors befitting this lovely lady you will see an impressive and beautiful transformation! Below are vintage photos of the home when it had the original roof as well as photos of what it currently looks like. I’ll be sure to show you the results when it’s done so stay tuned!

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Best of Houzz 2016

•March 14, 2016 • 2 Comments

 Houzz is a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community. There are literally millions of photos of professionally designed projects you can view as well as the ability to use numerous filters to search for exactly what you’d like to see. It can be an incredibly inspirational tool for seeing ideas you think you might like for your home or refining ideas you’re considering but aren’t sure about. It’s a wonderful resource I regularly recommend to my clients, but it’s also a place to find professionals to help you with your project. Wenberg Color Design is a proud part of the Houzz community of professionals and I’m honored to be recognized with the Best of Houzz Service 2016 award. Only 3% of Houzz professionals receive this distinction and my clients have made it a pleasure to earn this award!

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