We have all asked that question believing that it is easy, and yet, it isn’t easy to pick the right paint color from a color chip. When you choose a color that “doesn’t work,” you either have to repaint, or live with something that fights with your furnishings, or doesn’t really look the way you thought it would. A friend needed to select paint for the exterior of her home because the painter was starting the project the next day.
Problem #1 – She had to make a quick decision without having adequate time to consider the impact.
Problem #2 – She was selecting from a single small paint chip. I liked the colors they selected from the paint chips, however; I did caution her that the best way to be more confident with their decision was to purchase a sample of the paint and test it on the house before purchasing hundreds of dollars of paint. She was out of time, so she bought based on the small chip. I also prepared her for the shock when the color was painted on a large portion of the exterior. Sure enough, I got an emergency call. Half of one side of the house was painted and they hated the color. They wanted tan but it looked yellow. My friend asked, “How could it be so different from the chip? Is it the wrong mix?” This is possible but not likely. Colors will look different at various times of day and when seen from different angles, both inside and outside a home. Paint may be the easiest change to make but it still costs time and money when a paint contractor is involved. The contractor wanted to start immediately but now the project is stalled. Another decision needs to be made, use the paint that was already purchased or select a new color. No one is happy.
Solution #1 – Don’t let a contractor dictate a fast start date until you are sure you like your selection.
Solution #2 – Base your decisions on the best information you can get. Put the color samples on an area of the house that is very visible, not hidden or at an odd angle. Look at it several times during the day. Not many people have the luxury of painting an entire house and then repainting it until it looks right. How hard can it be? Even professionals like me don’t make final paint decisions without the appropriate testing.