Friday, March 18, 2011

What A Paint Strip Can Tell You

Sherwin-Williams' Paint Color Strips - Apartment

How many of you walk into a paint store and pick a color because it appeals to you visually? Do you ever look at the information on the paint strip?

Let’s look at Sherwin-Williams paint strip #53. All of the colors on this strip are related.

Sherwin -Williams' Paint Strip #53

They have different amounts of white and color in them causing their values to be different. Value refers to the brightness of a color as compared to white; it’s how bright or dark the color is. Each paint color on the strip is separated by a strip of white which is Sherwin-Williams’ Extra White, SW 7006, a popular color for trim. By arranging the paint colors on the strip separated by the Extra White, you can see what that trim color would look like next to the wall color. The paint colors on the strip are shown in a satin/eggshell finish. Finishes reflect light in different ways which can affect how the color looks in the room. That’s why it’s important to try the paint sample in the finish you are planning to use.  These colors look better in person; my camera did not capture the colors correctly, either. 

Information on Sherwin -Williams' Paint Strip #53

When selecting your paint color, you need to consider the texture of the wall, the existing color of the wall, the size of the room, and the lighting the room receives as well as whether you are using the paint for an interior or exterior application. You can find how much light a paint color reflects back into a room by the Light Reflective Value (LRV) indicated on the back of the paint strip. The higher the number, the more light is reflected back into the room. Looking at Sherwin-Williams' paint strip #53, Eggshell, SW 6363, has an LRV of 81; Saucy Gold, SW 6370, has a LRV of 23. Eggshell will reflect a lot more light back into the room than will Saucy Gold. This can be important if you are trying to make the room look larger. One of the ways this can be done is by selecting a paint color with a higher LRV.

Cachet Cream SW 6365 - LRV = 72

If a paint color has an “I” inside a diamond on the color chip, that paint color should only be used for inside the home. The composition of it will not survive the outside elements as far as fading is concerned.

Some paint colors require primers for adequate coverage. The darker colors on the strip have less or no white in their bases. The white actually helps the color cover the wall. You can see what base is used for both exterior and interior applications for each color on the back of the strip. Those colors having a deep base have less white than those having an extra white base. Those colors having an ultradeep base have no white in them; hence some of them need a primer. You will also see certain special products contained in the bases such as Color Accents and Exterior Accents which also help in creating the color. I’ve been told by a local Sherwin-Williams' Paint Store that bright or deep reds and yellows are the most difficult to deliver complete coverage so primers are usually required.

Bakelite Gold - SW 6368 - LRV = 38  - Primer Needed

You can see how complex color can be. I’m sure all of you can relate to a time when what you thought was a beautiful color was horrible on your wall! What a nightmare!

Saucy Gold - SW 6370 - LRV = 23 - Primer Needed

As I pointed out earlier, there is so much to be aware of when selecting paint colors. For interiors, you also need to consider your existing fabrics, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, and countertops. How much light are they absorbing?  What undertones do they have?  How high are your ceilings; how open is your floor plan? For exteriors, the colors of your home should complement the roof and natural surroundings as well as blend in with the other homes in the neighborhood. As a certified paint color consultant, I am trained in considering all of these factors and more when selecting colors for a home. If you are contemplating painting the interior or exterior of your home and need assistance, please contact me. You want to insure you’ve chosen the right colors the first time to create balance and harmony in your surroundings. Remember paint color is the first thing people notice when they see your home.

Would anyone like to share a paint color learning experience with us? I'm sure we'd all love to know about it.  Tell your story by leaving a comment on my blog.

An Idea  for You...

Coffee Can Lid as Paint Splatter Shield -

To make a splatter shield when painting a high surface, cut a slit in the center of a plastic coffee can lid and pull the paint brush through.


Tonia B. said...

What great tips. I never would have thought to use a coffee plastic lid on a paint brush.

Mary said...


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