How To Match Paint To An Exact Shade

Finding the ideal paint color can make all the difference when renovating or making repairs, yet finding it may prove challenging if your original tin of paint or backup gallon are out-of-stock.

There are various strategies available to you for finding an exact match. Below is how:

Take a Photo

No matter if it’s just for touch-ups in your living room or adding new hues to your bedroom walls, there are various approaches you can take when painting them. From apps and hardware stores, to using spectrophotometers – each will give different options when it comes time to deciding on paint colors for walls or rooms.

Smartphone-powered paint-matching apps make the task easy, enabling users to scan the color on your wall and find its nearest match. For optimal results, natural lighting (such as from windows) works best; to minimize glare on paintings move lamps or lightbulbs away.

Remember that wall or surface colors may change throughout the day due to lighting conditions, so taking multiple photos could prove useful. Don’t be intimidated to bring in fabric from home or pictures from your home if you need help identifying existing colors; some paint stores feature scanners called spectrophotometers which allow them to match exact hues from smooth surfaces like walls.

Go to a Hardware Store

Many homeowners use a color-matching app on their smartphone, which can be an extremely helpful way to match paint colors, provided you know what brand the original paint was from. For best results, cut out 1-inch square from your wall’s paint and bring it into a hardware or paint store where a professional will use a device called a spectrophotometer to precisely match its hues.

Take a photo of the area on your wall without flash photography and in natural lighting to capture as accurate a representation as possible of its color; additionally, keep a paint chip handy as a comparison aid.

Consider taking fabric, blanket, pillow or shoes into a paint store so they can color match it for you. Most major paint companies provide this service and it can help match old or faded colors from older brands that no longer make available shades that exactly match. This is an especially great solution when searching for replacement shades from these materials.

Go to a Paint Store

When matching colors, paint stores can often be helpful. Their specialists use an instrument called a spectrophotometer to ensure an exact match, while samples of your paint or fabric may be brought along for review. In some instances, they can even match up bits of wall paint if you prefer not painting your entire space!

Another alternative would be taking a picture with your phone of the color in question. This can work especially well if the shade in question is less distinct and you need something close. Just ensure to capture it using natural lighting without flash.

No matter the color you select, it is vital that you purchase enough paint. A gallon typically covers around 400 square feet; don’t go short! Keep in mind that different lighting can alter how different hues appear – if it doesn’t match when you first bring home, give it time a day or two and see how things progress.

Go to a Fabric Store

Many years ago, you carefully chose the ideal shade of paint for your walls and began painting with great delight. But months later, one of your children managed to damage one large section. Retouching can’t happen overnight as there’s no direct hardware store match; mixing similar hues together won’t create an aesthetic solution either.

Instead, download a free app to help match the color of your existing paint. Nearly every major paint manufacturer offers color matching apps that let you upload a photo of the wall color you already have and it will analyze it to find its closest shade within that manufacturer’s range of paints. Just be sure to test under natural lighting as sunlight can make colors seem different at various points during the day and also take into account which sheen you prefer; matte finishes absorb more light.

Go to a Craft Store

Paint can be an economical and effective way to transform any room, yet can quickly become costly if purchased en masse at once in an incorrect shade (or worse). To prevent making that costly mistake, it’s wise to sample colors in various forms prior to making any definitive decisions about color selections.

One of our experts suggests visiting a craft store and picking up some thread that seems similar to your color, then testing these in your home lighting environment until finding an exact match.”

Opting for a paint-matching app on your phone may also help. Most major paint brands offer their own versions, including Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap Visualizer app and Behr’s ColorSmart.

If you need an exact match quickly, a utility blade can be used to carefully cut a 1-inch square from an inconspicuous area of wall surface and take that chip to any paint store or big-box home center, where staff will use an instrument called a spectrophotometer to match it with their brand’s closest color option.

Go to a Textile Store

If you want a slightly different hue than what’s currently available in your home or on the market, fabric may provide the solution. Scour your drawers, closets and attic for pieces of cloth with colors you like that could serve as inspiration; then bring these pieces of cloth into a paint store where the clerk will use a spectrometer to analyze it before mixing a sample for you.

Homeowners with short memories may also benefit from taking photos of their walls with a smartphone app or device like Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap Visualizer to find their ideal shade. Just ensure the photo is taken under natural lighting conditions without flash or excessive contrast, and be sure it doesn’t include flash. These methods also work if you already have an object such as an old doorknob or wood trim already painted in that hue – then compare samples side-by-side at your local paint store to determine if their hue matches or not.

Go to a Clothing Store

There are various color matching apps for smartphones available today, and most major paint companies have their own versions. These apps use small sensors that, when held against any shade you want to match, “read” it and provide numerous potential matches based on that brand alone. Take your time comparing each app before selecting one as the winner!

Smartphone apps are great if you’re searching for an exact shade, while for generalized color matches handing off an item to an associate at your local hardware store can work just as effectively – Lowe’s even has its Matchrite iVue system which takes out some of the guesswork!

A fabric color sample is used to read into a computer system a tint formula matching that color on the wall, saving busy homeowners both time and effort! The process typically takes around 60 seconds – perfect for busy homeowners!

Go to a Pillow

If you don’t want to risk making the wrong choice of paint color or don’t have time to go shopping, a pillow could be an easy and convenient way to help match it to its exact hue. According to Ashley Banbury, color marketing manager for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams, using pillows as an effective method allows users to see how that hue looks in real-world lighting conditions before committing.

Banbury suggests selecting a color palette that complements well with your fabric selections. He advises selecting one large print, two smaller prints, and a solid to create an appealing ensemble and ensure a professional-looking aesthetic.

Your pillow selection should include multiple textures to add depth to the overall design. Try including pillows with fringe, pom poms or macrame details that bring interest. Adding black or gray into the mix is also helpful in unifying the overall aesthetic; selecting pillows featuring hand-stitched details or embroidery can add even more character!