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How to use Paint Swatches

Does standing in front of a store's paint chip display make you want to run for the door? We’ll explain the tricks to using paint swatches to help you choose the right paint color with confidence.

Mon, 3 Mar 2014|

When selecting a new color, paint swatches can be a helpful navigation tool. But looking at a sea of colors may cause you to get lost in the tide. Here's the trick for how to use them. Start by picking a lot of paint swatches. You never know exactly which one will be the winning color. Next, evaluate them in your own space where the lighting is much different than in the store. See how they look with existing elements. You may consider using a color from a pillow or draperies as your wall color. Be wary of comparing swatch to swatch. Two colors may look very similar when side by side. But when standing alone, they will take on their true hue. When you look at a paint strip, all of the colors share the same undertones and are a variation of the same color formula, just in different intensities. The trick is to look at the very bottom color, which will give you the clearest picture of the undertone and color family. Think you found the one? Turn in your swatches for paint samples. Try them out on the wall to get a clearer picture of the final color. For this living room, we chose a pink color that picks up the background of the drapery and pillow fabric. The neutral hue steps back and lets the other colors in the room shine. But it looks right at home because, like the other colors, it's a nod to the background color of the room statement fabric. Success! And all thanks to paint swatches.