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Interior Design & Window Treatments

Jan 20, 2016Using Paint Samples to Choose the Perfect Color

Have you ever painted a room, only to realize that you really don’t like the color? Choosing the perfect color goes far beyond holding a few paper color chips against your wall. Paint chips never look the same as a painted wall. Virtual paint colors are highly inaccurate.

Applying inexpensive paint samples in your space is the only way to choose a color you’ll love. Following this process will save you the expense of repainting your room or the pain of looking at a color you dislike day after day.

Where and How to Buy Paint Samples

Before you shop for paint samples, decide which brand, sheen and specific type of paint you would like to use. Discuss this with your interior designer or a paint expert at Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore retailer. Employees at big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot aren’t usually experts. If you must buy from them, find out when the department manager will be available.

Have them mix samples in the brand, sheen and specific product you will be using on your wall. At minimum, make sure they are the same brand and sheen. Once you’ve selected paint chips you like and have had the samples mixed, make sure the samples match the swatch.

How to Apply Paint Samples

Start with a clean, white or light colored wall. Depending on the type of paint you’ve selected, you may need to apply a coat of primer first. If you or your painters intend to use primer before painting the entire space, you need to apply primer before the samples.

Select a few different areas of the room to apply the paint samples. Look for a very light area, a shadowy area and one with average lighting. You will apply the samples at eye level. If the room has chair rail, board and batten or other midline trim, consider taping it off and applying paint close to that as well.

If you or your painters plan to use paint rollers when painting the entire space, you will need to use paint rollers to apply two coats of each sample. Brushes apply paint much differently than rollers. Choose a good or high quality roller that won’t leave fuzz on the wall.

Wait at least two hours before deciding on a color. If possible, wait at least 24 hours and observe the colors in different levels of natural and artificial light.

It’s Worth It

The color you select will be in your home for a very long time. Applying samples may seem like a hassle or waste of money, but it is entirely worth the time and minimal expense. Contact our office today at 630-737-1510 or via our Contact page to discuss your upcoming project and set up a consultation.