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Design Tip: Test Paint Colours on Sample Boards Before Committing Them to The Wall

Colour is an interesting element. Like a chameleon, it can change in different light. It also changes in the direction it is facing.

For example, the same colour will look completely different if you hold it up against the wall, place it on the floor or hold it up on the ceiling. The same colour will also change depending on the room it is in.

The same colour in a room with natural light will look different in a room with artificial light (and there are also different types of artificial light). That is why it’s very important to try out paint colours on sample boards and move them around your room to see how the changes in lighting affect the colour. Look at the colour in the morning, midday and at night to make sure you’ll love it all the time.

To get the best result and a true reading of the colour, paint your sample on a large piece of WHITE card stock. I like to make several samples of the same colour so I can put them up in various locations, and view during the same time of day/night.

When you put up your samples, have another piece of WHITE board behind your samples.  Colour WILL change depending on the colour it is next to, so having the sample against white will give you that true reading you’re looking for.

Paint Sample on White and Wood

I have shown examples of this in the pics below. Both are exactly the same colour: Benjamin Moore Grey Mirage 2142-50, painted on white card stock. One is against a wood backdrop, the other against white.

Hiring a professional colour consultant is always a good idea when selecting colours for your home. They have been trained in the subtleties and nuances of the plethora of tints, tones and shades. Colour consultants don’t just advise you on colour, but can also suggest the correct sheens to use to provide the desired end result. See tip #25 for more details.

Contact us about how we can help you pick the right colours for your home—from paint colours and wallpaper to custom upholstery and bedding.

As someone who has worked on many projects with Barbara over the years, I can say that Barb takes a truly professional, friendly approach, and always delivers great results.

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Randy B.
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