how good is color matching by different brands?

M_N_AFebruary 17, 2014

picking color is hard!

We set out and tried different colors and finally picked the ones we like. We thought we are done with the hardest part

But then we just realized one issue. The colors are from different brands: Ben Moore, Sherwin Williams, restoration hardware, Kelly Moore...

I know it's possible for any of them to match other's color but the question is how good would the match be?

We stared hard and long and at different time of the day at very similar shades of painted board and picked out the one we liked. If the color matches are off, it kind of defeats the purpose.

Each brand claimed that they can do exact match and have most of the colors in their systems. How did they obtain the formula? is it by matching to the paint chips, or some actual paint board, or by some published info like RGB value? is the matched formula shared across all or only specific for that local machine?

Should we just get the paint at each brand? that seems like a lot of trouble too

thanks for your suggestions

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I have had terrible results in my attempts to match paint colors across brands. Some people get lucky and find a paint vendor with an artistic eye who can adjust the compute generated "matches." This has never been my experience. I have tried Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams, both ways. Now, I just choose a color in the brand I want to use (usually Farrow and Ball).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:16PM
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I have had pretty good luck matching colors across brands. Possibly someone with a better eye for color would be able to tell the difference, but I couldn't.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I'm getting DAMN good at it after my dozen years!

I wish you guys were close to my neck-O'-the-woods!!
I'd get you set up!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:15PM
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So, faron. Where are you?
I'm willing to travel to a wood's neck for the right products. :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:00AM
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I don't think many here are even REMOTELY close to Fargo, ND!!!!
This IS the "Icebox" up here don'cha know!



    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 3:34PM
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I have found my local Sherwin Williams store to be excellent at color matching, every time, no matter what brand the color is in.
Lowe's can be hit or miss. My one experience at HD didn't quite work.
The paint for my kitchen I bought at Ace (Clark & Kensington) but they had to match Valspar and Martha Stewart colors. The MS and 2 of the Valspar matches were perfect, but the 3rd Valspar (same color in a different finish) was way off.
Apparently, also, there are newer machines that analyze the color and dispense the colorant differently than some older machines. I had a can that I needed more of, and took it to a closer branch that had a newer machine. They couldn't just follow the formula on the label, their machine wasn't programmed that way they said.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

I don't know one paint store, and that includes HD, Lowes, Do it Best, Ace, etc., that doesn't have every competitor's paint formula on file.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:38PM
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It depends on how "big" a software-library the store wants to buy! Some versions include more competitor-fandeck scans than others....
In one C2 package we had, FPE SCANS were in the library I noticed, but not in recent versions.

Yes...there's many different tinters out there. Also, a huge difference is how their formula-database is set up. Some are based on 48ths, 64ths, & so on....


    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:06PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Also, a huge difference is how their formula-database is set up. Some are based on 48ths, 64ths, & so on...

Also the constant churn of reformulations by manufacturers for various reasons. Plus, various combinations of colorants can produce the same colors. Many stores have control and make their own decisions about what colorants they use. So, there's no guarantee of consistency brand store to brand store, or independent to independent.

This is why you should scroll on by blogs and/or courses that structure their content around paint brands, their colorants and their color collections.

Paying to go to a class where you sit down and mix colors using colorants provided by a paint vendor is ridiculous. Yet people do it. And then when they go home and try to apply what they learned in the "class" and the information falls apart into disparate and disconnected pieces while they're standing at the paint counter wearing their newly minted color expert tiara, they wonder why.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:43AM
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Hi Fun-C!

"The constant churn of reformulations...." Yes my dear Lady, too many consumers think "Paint" stays the same over the years!

In the last 5 years, changes in various phases of the paint-world have only accelerated! Even C2 (last Oct.) finally rolled-out their new 0-VOC colorants, along with a new color-collection from Barry Dixon! The new C2 "LUXE" 0-VOC paint came out earlier last year.

Damn...some of these colorants are expensive! A couple of the new C2 ones are over a $100/qt...

Be careful what you wish for "Green" fans/regulators...$$$$$'re getting it! Dark C2 Luxe colors/bases are now mid-$50's/gal. @ Retail....


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:13PM
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I have had good luck with SW getting BM and FB sample colors matched up pretty well. But I have them print out several color match "tickets (with the colorants listed) and then I make the final decision on which to use.

I have tried having HD make up the samples ($2 vs $7 at SW) and this last time I took in 4 very similar, but different colors. HD sent me home with 4 identical pots of sample paint. I won't use them again.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:27AM
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