Sunday, November 17, 2013

Second Coat Required

Ever ask a sales person at your favorite paint store if the paint is darker on the wall than the color chip?

Did they answer what you expected?  

As a color consultant that helps customers a few days a week at Benjamin Moore retailer North Cromwell Paint I have been asked this question many times.  

'Take home' chips are usually 1x2" on a strip of eight colors up to 3x4" individual chips unless the store has some larger chips on hand, so in the store it can be difficult to decipher if a color is going to be dark enough or too dark for a certain room.  

Here's what you need to know:
  • When you open the can of paint the paint will look lighter than the paint chip.  It could even look too 'something', yellow, blue....
  • When you first paint the wall the paint will look lighter than the paint chip.
  • Once you cut in [a nice wide & feathered cut in so you don't get a 'picture frame' effect] the paint will darken as it dries.  You may not notice it at first, but as you roll on the first coat of paint you will see how the two parts look different.

Cut in line dried to paint color; first coat wet
First coat of paint with old color poking through

  • While you are covering up an old color, presuming you did not have to prime, the old color could make the new color look terrible to the point you'll wonder if you are putting the correct new color on the wall.
  • So you'd like to get away with one coat eh? Best of luck because even the self primed paints cannot account for normal, typical walls that manage to avoid the roller releasing paint.  It's really just the old color putting up a good fight to stick around.  A second rolled coat should go on rather quickly as your cut in took care of the wall/ ceiling/ trim board meeting spots.

The answer to the question if the paint color looks darker on the wall than on the color chip is no.   

It may be surprising that even a deep color will look like the color chip when you hold it up to the wall, but overall the color will look a little lighter and brighter in the space because it is on a larger surface than 2x2" and has more light to reflect on it.  
Benjamin Moore's Surf Blue

Deep color: a little lighter and brighter
Hope this post sheds some light on the question of how the paint looks on the wall compared to the tiny color chip you can start with from the store.

Don't let the large paint color selection make you frustrated with your project.  Hire a #color consultant for their experience of how certain colors may or may not display your ideal color in your room.  Your lighting and room characteristics are not the same as a retail store. 

 ~Make Your Color Personal~ (click this link for more information about my consulting services)


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