A generation ago, matching paint colors could only be accomplished by veteran painting contractors or by experienced technicians eyeballing your sample at the paint store. By the 1980s, most paint and hardware stores had color scanners that could quickly produce a paint in the same color as any object. Thanks to smart electronics, however, color matching can now be accomplished by nearly anyone with a smartphone or tablet. At the same time, any individual with a good eye for color can try the old-fashioned low-tech solutions to achieve a close facsimile of any wall paint color.
Smart Color Matching
- 1 – Download a color matching application for your camera-equipped smartphone or tablet. Many paint manufacturers offer these at no charge through their website, and there are also some low-cost independently created apps.
- 2 – Activate the app, and snap a picture of the wall with your smartphone.
- 3 – Touch the wall color you want on your display screen. While the exact procedure varies from one company to the next, the typical paint company app will display the closest color from their own palette of over 1,000 named paint colors.
- 4 – Use the information supplied by your app to order the matching paint color from that manufacturer. In most cases, however, you are not limited to the app’s recommended brand. Most well-equipped paint retailers can cross-reference that information to the brands they supply within their store.
Color Matching by Eye
- 5 – Use a utility knife to carefully peel off a 2- to 3-inch strip of paint from your wall.
- 6 – Visit the color sample display rack at a store that supplies the brand of paint you’d like to use.
- 7 – Select at least three color sample cards that seem closest in appearance to your strip.
- 8 – Hold your strip next to the color sample cards in different lighting conditions — in outdoor sunlight, under incandescent lighting and under fluorescent lighting. If you have time, you should also take the sample cards home and hold them up to the wall you are trying to match. Select the sample that most closely matches your wall.