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Paint Colors – Tips & Tricks

Adobe Illustrator - How To Fill Col...
Adobe Illustrator - How To Fill Color with the Paint Bucket Tool

Paint Tinting Tricks

OK, so you have decided to mix paint colors to match the color or tint you desire. All that is required is a large amount of patience, some accurate measuring, an eye for color, and a clean wall. Let's get started.

Find an Experienced Paint Store

Try to locate a paint store in your area that has been in business for many years. Visit it on a weekday if at all possible. Why? Because the experienced employees often have the most seniority and get the weekends off. You want to work with a pro to get your color choice close.

Identify the Closest Color Chip Sample

The trick to matching paints is to use the technology of the paint store to its fullest. Remember, they only have a finite (fixed) amount of colors in the store, color books, and their system. There are infinite possibilities!

Get close to your wall or ceiling color with the chips. If you are working with a light color, notice how the chips have progressively darker colors on the same page or slip of cardboard. The darker color really shows you what you are dealing with. Imagine your wall or ceiling darker.....what might it be like? You MUST identify the proper color family or you will not stand a chance. If you get into the right family, it just becomes a matter of diluting the paint with white to get the exact color.

Stay Darker - That is the Key!

Purchase a quart of the paint color you think is correct. Try to stay slightly darker than the color you are matching. If you apply a little of the paint to the wall and let it dry (15 - 20 minutes) you might not think it will work. The color may appear too rich.

Immediately take a teaspoon of white paint (same brand - same type as colored paint) and a teaspoon of the colored paint and mix in a paper cup. Once blended apply to the wall adjacent to the full strength color. Note how different it looks. Note how cutting the full strength paint in half makes a difference!

If you are lucky, you will see that you are getting very close to the original color. It is possible that the first attempt makes the paint too light. If so, modify your mixed amounts.

Tricky Color Chips

If you are selecting a paint from a chip, be aware that once the color is on the wall it will almost always appear deeper in color. Why? The impact of an 8 foot high wall by 12 foot wide or so of solid color can play a trick on your eyes. If the store can't reduce the color any more, you can do it by mixing one gallon of white with your colored gallon. Just try it once!

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