How to Test Paint Colors

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exterior paint colors kansas city painter crestwood paintingAnother update from Kansas City color consultant Diane Stewart at Color Sense Consulting. Exterior colors can be tricky and, as Diane points out, it's tough to visualize what the whole house will look like from a tiny paint-store sample. Here's Diane Stewart:

A paint chip may not give a true indication of what the color will look like when it fills your room, or is magnified on the front of your house. Colors get brighter and more intense as square footage increases, and different types of light affect your color perception.

A paint chip is ink on paper, so it’s best to see how the paint color looks in reality. It’s cheaper to test colors than to make a costly mistake. The only way to know for sure is to paint a sample board, and test it in the actual setting!

  1. Most paint companies sell small sample jars of paint - buy one for each color.
  2. It’s best to make a sample board you can move around.
  3. Buy some white art, or illustration, board at an art supply store, the bigger the better. Poster board is too flimsy. You can also use cardboard, foam board, or a piece of drywall. Use two coats of paint.
  4. When dry, move the sample around so you can see the color from every angle.
  5. Observe the board at different times of the day and night. Color can change drastically in natural and artificial light. See how the color reacts to your lighting plan.
  6. Don’t hurry this process. Observe the sample board for several days.
  7. When testing exterior colors, paint a large test board. See how it looks on all sides of the house.
  8. Stand back, and look at it from the street. Imagine how the color will “grow” when it’s magnified by square footage.

If you feel overwhelmed looking at paint chips, take the guesswork out of choosing paint colors by working with a color consultant. Questions? Call Diane Stewart at 913-284-6621.

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