Saturday, March 21, 2009

Paint 102: Colors

Once a brand of paint is decided, a color must be picked! To some, that may seem backward. Since there are so many different brands with their own colors, it used to make sense to choose a color first.

But with technology these days, it might make more sense to choose a brand first. Most companies, including Benjamin Moore, can make any color a customer chooses, even if it's not a Benjamin Moore color. Colors can be matched with a paint paper sample, a curtain, a favorite sweater - whatever you want!

The color you pick absolutely does not have to be from the brand company you choose.

Jason and I ended up picking a California Paints color, and the Benjamin Moore staff did a fantastic job of matching the color. In fact, when we picked up the paint, we held up the paint paper sample to the dot of paint on the lid, and it matched perfectly. Once our curtains arrive (they're being shipped right now!), we are going to take the curtains in to BM to get matched to a quart of paint so we can paint our window and the ceiling beam.

In my personal experience, I have found that Pittsburgh Paints and California Paints have the best colors - or at least the colors I like the most! If you want a classic look to your place, Benjamin Moore Paint colors might be a better option. If you're painting a kid's room, Pittsburgh, Disney, or Graham paint colors might be more suitable.

Any home improvement stores carry paint brands and thus, their own paint colors. From all of the different paint brands, there are likely thousands of different shades of browns. And there's likely hundreds of different shades of dark browns.

Before you officially pick a color, bring the paper samples home (they're free, and you can take as many as you want!) and pick the ones you like most from the strip. Cut them out, tape them in the room you're going to paint, and sit and watch. Observe the paint color in all different lighting - at night, early morning with sun, afternoon, evening, lights on, overcast day, etc. That would help to eliminate colors that wouldn't really work in all situations.

Once you choose a color, take that paint color to be mixed in the brand you first chose. Keep in mind, though, if the paint color is not from the brand, it could take up to three days for the store to mix the color since it's custom matching. There's no additional cost for it, but you should plan accordingly so that your painting is not delayed by bad time management!

And also keep in mind that no matter what you do, even if you do all of the steps necessary, you still might not like your paint color! I know of one such person, who shall remain nameless, who absolutely hates the color of a room in that person's house. I completely agree - the color is all wrong. It was "supposed" to be a brown, and it's peach! The store didn't mess up though, the color just looked different than the person expected when the whole room was painted versus viewing a small sample on the wall.

Choose carefully and truly examine the paint colors. That might help in getting a paint color you can happily live with for several years.

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