How to Match Paint Color
Picking paint is a nightmare for so many people, including me! So many paint cards, so little time!! I cannot go into a hardware store, look at the endless wall of paint swatches and pick a color. I really need to see the paint in a furnished room, magazine, or catalog to know if I like it. I swoon over the colors in Pottery Barn catalogs, but at $50 a gallon they are too much for me! Then I discovered how people are getting designer paint colors for much less.
Bring Your Own Sample for Matching
The first method is pretty commonly used. Bring a paint sample or piece of a painted wall and the store associates can put it through their color matching machine. I’ve tried this a few times with some success, but this method does leave a margin for error. The associates have to custom tint the paint to get as close as possible.
Bring the Paint Number
I think this is one of those decorating “secrets” that is well known by interior designers and people in the business, but something an average home owner may not know. You don’t have to buy designer paint colors, like Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, at those stores. Lots of stores have the colors formulas in their computer. So I bring my Pottery Barn paint number to Lowe’s and pay almost half the price.They have successfully mixed Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore colors for me for around $20-$25 per gallon. Another bonus is that when Pottery Barn discontinues their colors, they are still in the computer at Home Depot and Lowes!
When You Love a Paint Color but its Too Dark
Paint pros can help! Take the card and ask them to mix the color a percentage lighter. Here’s a color from a Pottery Barn Paint catalog called Functional Gray. I loved it but its too dark for what I wanted.
I purchased it from Lowe’s paint department by providing the paint number: SW 7024. I had the paint associate mix it so it was 50% lighter than the swatch.
How to Decide Between Satin, Semi-Gloss or Flat
For me, there is only one answer. FLAT PAINT. You know in Mommy Dearest when Joan Crawford yells “No Wire Hangers”? Well I yell “No shiny walls”
Shiny paint is meant for trim, in my opinion. Shiny walls show every single flaw and they just look uneven and bad. Very Very Bad. Many years ago a painter convinced me to try flat paint and I have never turned back. Trust me, you will love it. And you CAN buy washable and mildew resistant flat paint. My master bathroom is painted in flat paint that is mold and mildew resistant and washable.
Save Money on Paint, But Don’t Cheap Out on Paint
You never have to pay $50 a gallon for paint, but if you buy the cheapest paint there is you will know it. A good quality paint is easier to roll, needs less coats and has a better finish. You will need primer and several coats and you’ll end up spending more in the end. Buy quality paint! Sherwin Williams often has coupons while the big box stores all have brands in the $20-$30 range that are really high quality.
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