Best Way to 'Match' One Paint Brand to Another?

lottamoxieMay 24, 2009

Hi All,

I found a Ben Moore paint color I like that I want my painter to use to paint the exterior of my house. However, the formula I specified to be used on my new hardieplank is Sherwin Williams Duration. I'm not going to use anything else except for Duration exterior for this project.

My concern is making sure that the paint color will match exactly.

I have the paint chip from BM. Is the paint chip enough or should I be doing something else like get an actual sample of paint from BM to give to SW for matching?

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The paint chip should be enough, but there is no real guarantee that the color will match exactly. It depends on the clerk doing the matching, the exactness of the formula that the computer spits out and a bit of luck.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 11:40PM
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100% Guarantee you will NOT get a perfect color match.
The chemistry is simply not possible going from one manufacture to another.

If you are sold on the SW Duration formula, use a SW color.
You will never get a perfect match of color going from one manufacturer to another, so you need to let go of that thought. Taking a whole case of BM paint to SW wont help. It comes down to chemistry.

Every paint manufacturer has their own formula for their base AND their own formula for their color. Even if SW had the color formula for the BM color, it would not look the same in a SW base as it comes down to the chemistry: a SW base does not contain the same ingredients, in the same proportions as a BM base. The chemistry is what it is and you cannot get around that fact.

Paint is essentially:
-- binders (either alkyd and oil base or acrylic resin and vinyl acrylic);
-- pigments (titanium dioxide and prime pigments);
-- carrier/vehicle (the liquid base: paint thinner for the oil and alkyd and water for latex paints) paint is "dry" when the carrier has evaporated;
-- fillers (any number of products the manufacturer deems necessary to give the paint the qualities they feel are important or they want to add to their paint. Some manufacturers fill their paints with a bunch of crap; for instance SW makes a really cheap builder's grade paint that is full of cheap fillers and little or no pigment to speak of. The color is so dead and lifeless it actually work great on ceilings as it doesn't reflect much light.

As you can see not all paints are created equal. The quality of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient, and the addition of fillers and other products will affect the quality of the paint and ultimately determine how the color looks. Cheap paint is cheap because the manufacturer uses cheaper, poorer quality ingredients and/or replaces expensive ingredients with cheaper alternatives. For example, to reduce costs, a manufacturer will use a greater ratio of vinyl to acrylic resin since acrylic is very expensive. This not only affects color, but affects texture and wear as well.

Chemistry plays such an important role that manufacturers cannot even consistently duplicate color Buy several gallons of the same paint color from the same manufacturer and the color will vary ever so slightly. That is why professional painters take a 5 gallon bucket and mix multiple gallons of the same color together in the large bucket before they start any paint jobÂthey want to make sure the color is all the same for that job.

A reputable dealer will flat out tell you they cannot get a perfect match AND will not guarantee a color match. I just had a dealer tell me that a couple of months ago. I was looking at an ICI/Dulux fan deck and he does not deal in that brand. First thing out of his mouth was: "I cannot do a perfect color match from that fan deckÂ"

Beware of the dealer or home improvement store employee who tells you they can color match anythingÂthey are telling you a big fat lie.

You need to understand that color match fails 100% of the time. Sometimes the color match isn't even close. So you need to ask yourself if you can live with the computer's idea of "close enough." the majority of people will live with it. I for one will not compromise--and tens of thousands of people like me will also not compromise. But many's a personal choice.

But you should ask yourself a few questions:

-- What if the color is off to the point that you really hate itÂwhat then?

-- Can you really live with that decision?

-- What is your paint dealer's and paint contractor's policy on color match?

I don't know of any dealer or contractor who will repaint a home for free because the homeowner is unhappy with the color match.

If you really want a match--and your post sounds like you really want a match--then I recommend you use a BM base. The alternative of course is to select a SW color.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 1:30AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Depends on how you want to define "match". Depends on what *kind* of color you're talking about.

If all you know about the color is coming from the chip or a small sample, then from your perspective a "match" from SW is possible.

If you have experience that has built a visual history by way of seeing the color 3D, in different context, mixed in different brands including its home brand, different sheens, etc. then your expectations would be a lot more sophisticated. You're standards would be higher. You would have a definite sense of what that color is *suppose* to look like. You'd be a tougher color customer.

Using the same brand, the same base, the same colorants, there are many ways to mix to arrive at the very same color. You could hand three separate people the same paint chip and you could feasibly end up with three different color formulas. The whole computer matching business is far, far more over-rated and depended upon than it should be IMHO.

Among those three different colors, you could critique each method, each process of arriving at the color match for that one chip. Which one was the better match to the paint chip would depend on what criteria you want to use. Most commonly the criteria for comparison is a dried out sample of the mix compared to the ink on paper paint chip in a daylight source.

It's not hard to get to that most common point - to get to the make a can match a paint chip point. It's not hard to satisfy that simplistic expectation with most exterior-appropriate colors provided you're using a store with better than adequate resources and you have someone with mixing experience working on your "match".

I think your idea of getting a quart from BM and perhaps painting out a large sized sample from which to work is a good thought. Duration Matte and MoorGard Low-Lustre are actually pretty close in gloss levels; Duration being a snidge *glossier*. That's probably the BenM sheen I'd opt for if I were going to pursue a BenM color match in Duration Matte using an actual paint sample instead of just a chip from BenM.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 3:02AM
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Yes, I've only been looking at a 2" x 2" chip from BM. It's in their off-white collection.

When I was at SW, I saw a painter/contractor bring in a strip of siding from someone's house and hand it over to the SW guys to color match. He said he'd be back later. He obviously felt comfortable 'enough' to do this...and what you're telling me is he is not getting an exact match to whatever he handed over, right?

I'm a homeowner who is going to have her exterior painted and was looking for a color that would work. Hence, my question in the first place.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 7:15AM
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I have my paint store cross match colors all the time and rarely give it a second thought. Usually 'close enough' is good enough for most people. Once the color is up on the substrate, 99 percent of the time it looks different than the customer expected it to look anyway. The only time cross matching can become a problem is for when the customer is dead set on the match being exact. If that is the case, then they should just choose a SW color if they are using SW paint.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Thanks PaintGuy! I think it will be fine with a 'close enough' match. It's not being matched to anything that is already painted on the house. And with lighting differences you're right--a paint color will look different in various lighting scenarios anyway.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 8:33AM
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Color matches fail 100% of the time because there is no such thing as a color match. If you understand the science and chemistry of color and paint, you won't buy into the bull from the paint industry's marketers.

The color we see is not in the object; rather, we see the wavelength reflecting off the surface when it is exposed to light. In other words, we dont see the green "in" the paint we apply to the wall; rather, when the surface of the painted wall is exposed to light it will either absorb or reflect the wavelengths of light. When we see green, the painted surface is absorbing most of the wavelengths except the green, and it is reflecting the green wavelength. The actual color of green we seen is determined by the other wavelengths that are also reflecting with the green, as well as the other wavelengths being absorbed by the painted surface.

Since different manufacturers use different ingredients in varying portions in their base, the different bases by the different manufacturers will absorb and reflect the wavelengths differently. That is why it is chemically/scientifically 100% impossible to do a color match with base from different manufacturers. In truth, there is no such thing as a color matchit is nothing more than a marketing gimmick created by paint manufactures to market their brand over their competitors since base and color formulae are proprietary property.

The paint consumers are sold as a "match" is in fact a not a match; rather a custom mixed color of the brand from that particular manufacturer.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 1:49AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Ok, I'm a little confused and somewhat amused all at the same time. Maybe you just type fast and didn't realize what you're saying, I do that too sometimes. Fingers fly faster than my brain and forget proper grammar and punctuation, ugh.

If we say that color matches fail 100% of the time and in the same post confirm that there is no such thing as a color match, there's a bit of confusion. If there's no such thing as a color match to begin with, then it can't fail.

Color theory is just that, theory. Luckily, color design for the human environment entails more than the chemistry and science of paint. That part, the paint part, is actually the easier part and in the grand scheme the least significant of the whole process.

What is important is how one establishes a baseline for what the word "match" means in terms of color, define what a match means on an individual basis. That color work is part of defining expectations in the process of properly specifying color. Once expectations are established, you move on to identifying tolerances. As in just how acute is the color vision levels that we have to work with. With some folks what will constitute a *good* match is no way near what it would take for others. It all depends and none of it is one-size fits all.

Once the color is up on the substrate, 99 percent of the time it looks different than the customer expected it to look anyway.
If expectations and tolerances are defined and clarified for all involved from the get-go, there are no surprises and everything that's suppose to "match" does indeed match.... that is in the eyes and opinions of those for whom it really is intended to satisfy.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 2:36AM
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I love a Sherwin Williams offwhite. My painter prefers to use either Benj. Moore or Kelly-Moore (wonder if Ben and Kelly are related). He thinks one of the KM stores in town does a better job at matching other brands. I happened to have a SW sample quart, with formula on the side, plus a sizable chip. To me, the KM is a perfect visual match. It's now on all four walls and exceeds expectations, i.e., I love it even more than I did on my original SW sample boards.

I fully acknowledge that I don't quite get the science of color, that different brands use different bases and pigments. But it doesn't matter if I can't tell the difference. Even more important to me isn't what I see, but how the color makes me feel. Feeling good when I see a color on a wall in my home, to which I'm emotionally attached, is what it's all about.

I'll take a 99% match. I probably can't tell the difference if the match is 95%, although I'd like to think I could. The light shifts all day and the trees in my front yard can turn one creamy ivory wall to green. It's always been so, but now I notice it and chuckle a bit.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 10:24AM
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I had some Behr paint matched to a Sherwin Williams paint chip and it is no way even close. Looked it on the chip but not up against the wall. It was supposed to be Aesthetic White, which has a beige hue to it but whats on the wall looks more gray. Surprisinlgy, I like it so it is going to stay but it makes me leary of having any more colors cross matched. I think I will stay with a color chip from Behr for the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 7:56PM
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What Im saying is color match does not exist and anyone who claims to perform color matches fails 100% of the time. Instead, those "professionals" who claim to be performing these so called color matches are really just mixing a custom color that is similar to the chip, swatch, etc the consumers brought in to "match" as it is chemically impossible to do a color match.

It does not matter whether someone is "matching" a Pratt & Lambert color to a Farrow & Ball color or "matching" my favorite green silk pillows in a Sherwin William paint, there is a 100% guarantee the color match will fail because P&L and F&B base is chemically different; likewise my beautiful silk pillows and the base in the paint are chemically different; consequently they will not absorb and reflect light wavelengths the same. So a color match is impossible.

All this silly talk about how the technician using the color match computer is critical to getting the color right is misleading and to say the least. Color match is a gimmick created by the paint companies to sell more of their paint over their competitors paint. Base and color formulae are propriety property so another company cant reproduce it without authorization. Further, a company like SW cant afford to reproduce a high end paint like F&B as the quality of F&Bs ingredients is superior (reads more expensive) than anything SW uses in their bases. The high ratio of cheap vinyl in SW's base won't produce the same rich color of a F&B base. This is basic color, light, and paint science--all so called professionals should know this stuff, so it's inexcusable for anyone to claim they can match a color.

Reputable paint dealers and color consultants will flat out tell you there is not such thing as a color match. The corporate attorneys for the paint industry will tell you there is not such thing as a color match. The IP attorneys will tell you there is no such thing as a color match.

Most consumers are not science nerds, live and/or work with a bunch of engineers and IP attorneys. Most consumers are wholly dependent on industry professionals to guide them through the vast array of paint and color options. Ever year consumers spend millions of dollars on paint and labor. And tens of thousands of consumers are left completely dissatisfied because some disreputable and dishonest paint dealer, paint contractor, and/or color consultant told them they could match a colorwhen in fact they cannot and did not match a color.

You may find it all amusing, but the tens of thousands who spend millions of their hard earn dollars on paint and labor for color match, only to find they have been duped and the victims of consumer fraud are surely not amused. Especially when they end up spending still more to repaint their homes as color is so powerful and emotional most people cannot and will not live with horrible color.

It is one thing for a consumer to be told there is no such thing as a color match; and then that consumer moves forward on a custom mixed similar color. That is his/her choice and he/she must then live with the consequences of that choice. But it is quite a different story for a consumer to be told by a professional in the industry that a color can be matched, only to find after paying for the product and in many cases, labor for painting, that the color doesnt look anything like reference chip, swatch, shoe, etc.. The painting contractor that tells the client "we can match anything" is out right lying. Ditto for the paint dealer and color consultant.

I was recently in a very reputable paint store looking at an ICI color fan deck; the owner made it very clear he could get the color formula, but he could not make a perfect match or guarantee any color in that fan deck. A couple weeks later, I was on the telephone with a very well known color consultant who has a line of paint; this person told me if I didnt like any of her colors she could match any color from any other company. The first thought that came to mind is why should I deal with someone like her if I can deal with a very reputable dealer locally?

Whatever our profession, our clients should be able to look to us for honest and truthful information about our products and services.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 10:30PM
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Aaaaahhhh...the slippery slope of "color-matching" appears again!

At our store, we've got a fairly expensive (in the area of $5G''s the size of a football!) Datacolor 110 Spectrometer.
It's 2 yrs. old now.
* The software running it is set up for our C2 paint-colorant database.
* With C2's 16 colorants, it's pretty easy to "build" other colors.
* I THINK it's the only paint line with this many colorants. Most other lines have 10-12 colorants.

My point...even with all this "weaponry", do I state "We can match any color!"...No.
I usually say..."We'll get very close for you Ma'am!"


    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 1:22AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Josef Albers said, "In order to see color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually."

How is a paint color "match" defined? What criteria is used and who determines that criteria? Who, what is the authority that can say what is color match failure and what is color match success?

While you may believe that there is no such thing as a "color match", that is a belief that you have chosen and it is based upon your own color sensibilities, visual acuity, and response to color. No matter how right you think you are about this, what you think "color match" means (or doesn't mean) singularly applies to you and no one else.

As far as the big conspiracy theory of the paint companies trying to trick everyone out of their money by way of a color matching gimmick, well, that's interesting. I agree that there is much in paint world that could use a little updating and tweaking.

Paint companies are "color matching" in the terms that they understand and believe to be correct. They believe in their stance of 100% ability to color match as much as you believe that no one has the ability to color match 100%.

Just as your color sensibility tells you that color matching as you define it will fail 100% of the time, their color sensibilities, knowledge, and experience have created a two dimensional construct in which "color match" is defined for them -- and that's what they strive to meet. What happens to color 3D is not even on their radar and there is no authority that says it has to be.

And since there is no color police or resource of ultimate authority to define unconditionally what exactly the subjective concept of "color match" means, they can define it however they want. Just as you can.

That doesn't make them frauds, underhanded, or dishonest.

One woman's F&B "match" from the Home Depot might be tragic trainwreck of a color matching experience. To another, that F&B match is as good if not better than the original and folks are crazy to pay that kind of money for a can of paint. It is subjective.

I can tell you with certainty that no color consultant worth a flip would say that there is no such thing as a color match as that would be subjective personal color opinion. Additionally, the focus would never be on that which can not be established. Instead the focus would be to manage color up to the individual's expectations they as a color consultant recognizes and can define and then execute to meet.

Not that I think you're going to *hear* me when I say this because I think it's pretty clear you've made up your mind that your color point of view will remain firmly where it stands, and that's fine, but I think you are getting stuck on the numbers and curves of color as radiant energy and dismissing color as a human experience and visual response. While relative and coexisting, they are actually separate issues and pose different challenges. Can't consider one part without the other. It is the synthesis of art and science, as they say.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 1:41AM
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Funcolors, are you not the very color consultant who slams those who try to color match on Ellen Kennon full spectrum paint?

"As a Color Consultant, I specify a lot of paint colors. I depend on Full Spectrum Paints by Ellen Kennon to help me customize environments and create unique atmospheres. Unfortunately, I regularly encounter people trying to "match" her full spectrum colors"

Yup, people try to "match"but dont succeed do they? I dont want to lift the full post from Kennons website, but the writer had plenty more to say about a lousy match on a particular project and according to the color consultant, her clients were so displeased they were having the paint mixed by Kennon and the rooms repainted. No more of that bogus color match. And to heck with their experienced painter who guaranteed with the technology, paint store staff, and his experience "any color could be matched". In the end, it was money, product, labor, and time all wasted. Not to mention bad feelings all around.

If you are indeed this color consultant, I find it interesting that when it comes to specing the paint and your professional reputation is on the line, color match is indeed an issue with you. And it should well beKennon base is a different base from SWs basethere is no way on Gods green earth any paint contractor is going to make any color from Kennons line look the same in an SW base. Simply wont happen.

Since you gave testimony to the dubious practice of color match, Id say youve redeemed yourself professionallyId hire you.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 3:12AM
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This is a light beige I'm trying to get 'matched.' There's nothing but a 2" paint chip to compare it to. I don't expect it to turn out blue or orange or green or even dark beige. I expect to see a light beige in the can/on the siding. I'm betting the SW computer can at least do that much in terms of matching--give me a light beige color.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 7:47AM
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>>You may find it all amusing, but the tens of thousands who spend millions of their hard earn dollars on paint and labor for color match, only to find they have been duped and the victims of consumer fraud are surely not amused. Especially when they end up spending still more to repaint their homes as color is so powerful and emotional most people cannot and will not live with horrible color. Where is this information from?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:55AM
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lottamoxie: I don't have near the color expertise or experience that funcolors does (whom I have the highest regard for, plus she makes me laugh ;D). But I'm very into color, do a lot of hobby art work, mix my own, love to paint walls/objects & and am very picky about my paint colors. With that said, agree with funcolors: it's subjective. It's very much in the eye of the beholder.

In my experience big box stores are not so great at matching. But independent dealers, and my local Ace (where I'm lucky enough to have a guy like Faron), can get an indiscernible match.

And yes, I do believe you can get a match that pleases you. I do it all the time. Tho I lean toward BM products many of my color choices come from other manufacturers. From other's swatches to my BM can, a good paint store can get it near enough the original that this picky color nut is a happy camper. Realistically, probably the only way our eyes would detect a discernible difference would be to see two different manufacturers mix the same color and apply it to identical rooms in the identical atmospheric circumstances and view it side by side. (paintguy and funcolors went into great depth about that in a post sometime back)

My only concern would be that it's a member of the beige family, which like whites, can be very tricky. All it takes is a little tweak to really make undertones pronounced so that yellow or pink, for instance, will be prominent. At least to my eye.

But honestly, I'd not have any qualms about taking your swatch in there and asking them to match it. Probably what they'll do is look it up in their computer and get the formula. Back in the day before that, I had a guy that would match it for me by eyeballing it. He was good! Just make sure they put a dollop on top the can lid (or piece of paper) for you and blow dry it. That's very commonly done (in fact if they don't dry their sample for me for comparison, it's an exception). That way you can see your custom mix side by side with the swatch you take in. If you see too much yellow or pink for instance compared to original, don't hesitate to speak up. They can tweak it. But you sound on the laid back side and imho don't think it's going to be a really big issue.

Just my .02 ;)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 1:14PM
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I handed the BM paint chip to the guy at SW and he printed out the color formula from their computer. They have all the BM paint color 'recipes' in their computer. How close these paint recipes are to making the colors look like each other, I don't (yet) know as I didn't get an actual sample of the paint itself. But I did tell the SW guy that I will be using a satin paint in the Duration formula, which he said was good info for him at the time I was asking for the printout.

I gave the paint chip plus the printout from the SW computer to my painter so he knows what I want. I'm hoping the color isn't too yellow or pink and I will speak up if it's off by enough to bother me.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 12:17AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Me!?!?!?, hail no, I'm not that crazy lady. Good heavens she's a kook.



Well, okay, so maybe it might be me. ;-)

If we recall, in my very first response to lottamoxie the very first line in my reply was:

"Depends on how you want to define "match". Depends on what *kind* of color you're talking about."

Just like almost everything else in color world, you gotta take it one person, one room, one color, one *kind* of paint at a time -- there is not much that is one-size fits all.

I am so on board with not being able to "color match" the uber brands. If there is parade to raise awareness to prevent people from wasting their time and money doing so, I volunteer to carry the front banner.

In my last post I talked about the two women at the Home Depot. In that example I would be the lady with the tragic trainwreck F&B color matching experience. I, personally, could never be the tickled pink woman who saved $20 and walks away thinking she got her boutique paint & color at a bargain price.

As always, I can tell ya exactly why THAT scenario as well as the project from the Kennon site is different than lottamoxie's specific "color matching" endeavor that we have been discussing so far. Get comfy. :D

1. Lotta is looking at matching a Ben Moore color in Sherwin Williams Duration. The source that set her first visual benchmark for that color was a regular-size, ink on paper, paint chip. She hadn't seen that color in or on another house.

2. We're not talking about any extenuating circumstances here with paint or color. It's not an uber shee-shee final finish paint base like from Fine Paints or F&B, and she's not looking at complex color like C2 or a full spectrum.

3. Color benchmark that's been set by the color information she's been exposed to about that color deployed on structure to this point is normal and limited. (she's just seen a chip). Developing her expectations about what a "color match" means is easy. That is low hangin' fruit for a color consultant. (No offense lotta. I don't think you're a fruit, it's just a figure of speech)

4. Lotta mentioned an awareness, a desire, to make sure that the vibe and visual she is getting from that chip will translate into her gallons of paint. She's not looking to make sure she likes the color, she wants to make sure she GETS her color.

Reassurance, like from PG, might be all someone needs. As a reminder PG told lotta that "close enough is good enough for most people". She understood what he said. What happened was that her expectations for "color match" relaxed and were now clarified and defined. Anxiety addressed. Thanks to Paintguy she now knows to expect close enough and she's decided to be okay with the parameters of "color match" that PG helped define. She's proceeding down that path. Moon added to the reassurance and has given her some pointers for along the way.

Circling back around to the kooky lady on the Kennon site who says that full spectrum colors can't be "matched" and clarifying further just how that is different from lotta's situation:

Kennon, Citron, C2 and some other brand's color chips are real paint, not ink on paper. They're also bigger than your standard paint chip. These factors set tougher color matching benchmarks, more refined color expectations to deal with and meet. This is one of the BIG things that painter in the story on the Kennon site chose to ignore.

When trying to match regular to full spectrum, it involves differing mentalities, methods, philosophies and processes of mixing color. Lotta is going from Ben to Sherwin. Different paint products, but they are both essentially playing the game of color by the same rules and those rules include black and fewer colorants. Whatever else might be different between the brands, their color philosophy is the same. This is the other BIG thing that the painter in the story on the Kennon site chose to ignore. The Kennon colors use ICI bases and ICI colorants. The painter underestimated just how much color philosophy and mixing technique could matter.

The leap from a Ben Moore color to a Sherwin Williams paint is not a big one from a color matching perspective.

The leap from say, Citron, to Pratt & Lambert or whatever *regular* brand would be a much bigger leap due to many of those technical factors mentioned but ALSO because of color mixing practices.

There is no *dubious practice* to color matching. There is just a lot of confusion surrounding what is fair and reasonable to expect in each unique color matching circumstance. The confusion is compounded by the fact that there is no resource that properly educates the consumer of color on how to buy color. That's because it is complicated, involved, and a whole lot of work to do so and there are not many people who are truly equipped to do it.

As you've found there is all kinds of stuff out there about paint - because that's the easy part - but the information about architectural color, not Color Theory 101, is sparse and is heavily sprinkled with misinformation.

The reason for that confusion, once again, can be attributed to the fact that there is little in color world that is one size fits all.

Just because it may be difficult - almost impossible to match one particular color or finish does not mean that "color matching" will fail 100% of the time nor does it mean that there is no such thing as a "color match".

CalGal, I think I addressed all the really good points you've brought up in your post(s). If not, post away with more. I could talk and talk and talk and talk about color! Maybe I really am a kook. :~D

We just need to be sure that lottamoxie doesn't feel like her thread is being hijacked.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 1:10AM
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Funcolors, you may know a thing or two about color, but you REALLY know how to write. Love what you have to say and how you say it!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:05AM
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This is fascinating and I'm thrilled to be reading about it all, so thank you! Please continue. I don't even mind being called "low hanging fruit" although FC wasn't calling me that (I'll have you know I've been called *much worse* and fairly recently to boot)!

I'm savvy enough to know that if I were looking at an uber chi-chi paint color and finish (like FP of Europe, for instance) and wanted that same look in my house then the only way I could get it would be, in fact, to use FP of Europe. So at least I'm not completely delusional!

The reassurance I wanted was that SW *could* match, reasonably well, a paint chip from BM. It sounds like they can to some reasonably good (and perhaps even occasionally excellent) extent. I realize it won't be exact because it's not the BM paint formula, but if it looks really close then that should be okay for this particular job and application (exterior siding to be painted).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Hello experts,
I hope that it is OK that I am resurrecting this thread after two years. I have read all the posts, and now understand how difficult it is to match paint colors. Still, I am trying to see what I can do to get a "closer match" than what local paint stores have been giving me.

We bought our house new in 2002. The builder used Kelly Moore paint, the color was Graystone. They gave us a quart of touch-up paint that worked great until we ran out. We have brought paint chips to Home Depot, Orchard Supply, and of course a couple of KM stores, and they have all given us paints that look different from each other!! but none is close enough to the original to use.

Here is the interesting part: the KM store that had sold the paint to the builder finally fessed up that this particular paint was the "cheap, contractor grade" that they used to sell back then, but have taken off the market in the past couple of years. Can I use this fact to ask for a paint brand/type that matches the chemistry of the original paint a little better, and perhaps make for a better color match?


    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Wondering if you're barkin' up the wrong tree by trying to 'match the chemistry of the original paint'.

It is possible that what is currently on the walls wouldn't match the original paint anyway. Because after a few years, and especially considering it was not quality paint to begin with, the paint color on the walls has likely changed, faded, worn - however you want to describe it.

The problem isn't can't find a match to the original paint color rather the problem is you can't find a color to match the current color of the walls.

Just throwing that out there as a different way to look at the issue. Can only guess from my side of cyber space what's going on.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 12:53AM
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At my store we tell customers that a color match won't work for touch-up paint. Different chemistry, different sheens, aging of paint...way too many variables.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:04AM
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Agreed it's not realistic to expect a matched paint to touch up. Touching up is hard enough even when you do know the exact paint and color. Your best option is to probably get something close and then paint from one corner to another.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:04AM
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