Knocking down a paint's intensity

loves2readJune 5, 2012

Is there a rule of thumb about how far you can reduce a paint's color--like knocking it down to only 75% or 30% of its orginal intensity?

We painted our current house with 100% of particular color but used that paint at 75% in another house we own when we remodeled...

so there is some change in value/intensity

Now we want to paint house we bought in FL--vacation house--and one color we picked is Honolulu Blue for guest bedroom....that is a really strong, intense shade of lighter blue....but not will be too strong at 100% but the person who is most likely to stay in that room is friend of ours who loves that color...

how much can we reduce it w/o changing its color?

To have paint made up at different % means buying a quart because it is special mixture...

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Lori A. Sawaya

I think I posted on the wrong thread ? Anyhoo, I'll just repost:

When you alter intensity you are creating a new shade. Same hue, which is blue, but adjust intensity and you create a new shade, a new color.

Knocked-back, toned down, muted, dulled all mean the same thing with regard to color characteristic. And they all speak to the same method or process to arrive at a color that is described as knocked-back, toned-down, muted or dulled.

In theory it's referred to as shade. Shade a color and you knock it back from its original intensity.

The method/process to change the shade of a color is to use color complements (sometimes referred to as mixing in chords), or add black, or add gray.

Honolulu Blue is from the BenM Color Preview deck. The Preview deck is one of the few 'let-down' collections. The term let-down refers to a deliberate - and more conscientious - approach to mix colors.

It means starting with a quantity of colorant and then decreasing - and at the same time adjusting colorant to the amount of whiteness in a particular can of base - in order to create a range of new colors from the original color. Because of the adjusting that has to go on to translate the color from pastel base to deep base, for example, you can't really call it cutting the formula. Rather, it's a let-down.

So, in the case of Honolulu Blue, the next color up, Light Blue, is mathematically less color or chroma than Honolulu Blue.

But it's not less intense - while the saturation and value on the strip goes dark up to lighter, the intensity, tone, degree of grayness doesn't change.

Cutting Honolulu Blue is going to get you in the neighborhood of Light Blue.

I think what you want is Honolulu Blue, same value meaning lightness darkness but you want it less intense. So that's what you want to ask for, don't want to cut the formula.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:29AM
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So how would they do that with the color--
could they make it less intense?

cause painters will start later this month after the electricians have done their thing

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Sure. Accurately communicating what you want to the paint person is half the battle - so if you're sure less intense if what you want, that's a very good thing so you can ask for it.

But you won't know what it looks like until they mix it.

No guarantee the person mixing the color will have one fat clue what they're doing. Just because someone works at a paint store doesn't mean they know anything about color. Some of 'em do, some of 'em don't.

Could also use Honolulu Blue as a benchmark and look thru chips to see if you can find the color you're seeing in your head.

You have options: totally trust the paint store, look for *the* blue you want on your own, or a combo of both.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:52PM
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The literal answer for intensity is to add a small amount of the color opposite on the color wheel, which neutralizes the original color.
In reality it can mean anything depending on what you actually want to achieve.
Probably reduce the colorants proportionally, or adding gray.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:20PM
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