mixing paint, using less of the pigments??

claudialina10September 1, 2010

i found a color i like (BJ, kennybunkport green) but it's too dark. i love the shade/tone, though.

can the hardware store mix the paint with only 1/2 of the pigments to get a lighter shade? has anyone done this?

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Yes, you can decrease the color by percentages, i.e. 50%. Designers use this a lot, but you'll have to know what you're gonna get.

And, save the formula if you need to buy more paint.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:17PM
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This may surprise you guys (meaning ALL Paint-forum frequenters....)!

IF that Green goes into the darkest tint-base, you can only back-off the formula...A LITTLE....25% MAX.
* Since these tintbases are pretty sheer, if ya cut back colorant 50%, you'll basically have GLAZE.
* All we'll do at our store is the "somewhat arbitrary" 25%. Even then, it depends on the formula.
* A (slightly) better way to go is OVERTINTING the next base "up" from the darkest one....maybe to ~ 125% MAX of its formula. IF this base will handle the total colorant!!
* I wouldn't do it AT ALL for bright Yellows, Reds, Burgundies or real saturated colors. Only option here would be the "overtinting" the next base up.
* It'll work better for "Earth"-tones, since these colorants are much more opaque.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:38PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Designers, decorators, stagers and clueless consultants talk about cutting formulas -- a lot.

Two things you have to remember a lot of people talk about color who have not one fat clue what their talking about


Designers, decorators and stages are not paint and color experts. They are designers, decorators and stagers.

Color consultants on the other oughta know better. But many of them do not. Because several rolled out of bed one morning and decided since a family member told them they had a "flair for color" they would hang out a shingle and announce to the world that they are a color designer, expert, and consultant.

Compounding that fact there are now color consultant certification programs being taught by people who really do not have any quantifiable architectural color experience. No worries tho, they'll still give you advice about everything color from physiopsychological responses to the best color strategies for your website.

Shocking, but true.

It's the consumer that suffers. Buyer beware.

Cutting formulas is a risk and you need proper support from behind the counter in order for it to be successful. If we could clone Faron, it'd be a better paint world.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 1:50AM
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FYI: I didn't say you should do it, I said you could do it. I personally have never done it. Well, maybe once. But I work with some very high-end, well-established ASID interior designers who do use this method of re-formulating a paint color. And, to great success, I might add.
On the other hand, with the thousands of paint colors available, I am baffled as to why an average consumer would need to go this route, but it is their choice.
Ultimately, it is up to the guy or gal behind the counter to inform the consumer that they can or can't alter a paint formula, and then to explain why. And, maybe suggest another color.
That said, just because someone behind the counter tells me I can't do something, doesn't mean I can't do something. Or, at least try.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 4:43AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

I agree about the selection of colors. Truly, why not just look for the right color instead of fartin' around with the wrong one? Then again, not everyone has a HUGE selection of paint stores and thus color palettes to work with -- so I can empathize why some people find it necessary to explore the idea of messing with formulas.

However, I don't think it's okay to say that you can (or could) cut a formula if you want to -- because the vast majority of the time the percentage business is not a literal -25% or -50%, etc. For exactly the reasons Faron outlined.

Not listening to the the paint pro behind the counter is insane unless you have nothin' but time and money to burn. That's assuming you've found a competent paint pro.

They're not likely to tell you can't do it, they're just going to tell you they won't guarantee what will happen -- most of them are game to try whatever you want to try because whether or not you like the reformulation, you're buying the gallon.

No sweat off their azz what you want to *try* as long as you can pay for it.

Like I said before, messing with the original formula is a risk and folks need to clearly understand that risk. And you need support from the other side of that counter in order to have a shot at it being successful.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 5:27AM
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Well, I do happen to be very fortunate then, that I have competent paint pros to whom I can turn to for technical advice.
Maybe it's semantics that you're hung up on, but my professional opinion is that you *could* do it but my real-life advice is that you *shouldn't* do it.

I will respectfully agree to disagree.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 5:51AM
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Ok, no cutting! I'll continue my search for the perfect shade of green!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 8:18AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

PG94, I agree to respectfully agree with you, then disagree with you, and finally agree with you again. :~D

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:28AM
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...Sending Out a Virtual Handshake...!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Yes...color WILL drive a person nuts...occasionally!

This IS a good "mini-topic", and touches on many facets of "creating/altering colors", and design/decorating.

* LIGHT-TO-MEDIUM colors are easy to "shade".
* The darker the color though, the harder it is. Mainly because the tintbases have less white (opacity) the darker you go.
"Sure Ma'am, I can mix your 50% Burgundy GLAZE..."

Obviously, I don't know what goes into the actual color-training for ASID. My best guess is...that they don't get into how the PAINT ITSELF operates. It's easy to envision "shades" when looking at swatches/fabrics/booklets at a consultation table. But, alas, translating deeper tones into ACTUAL useable paint is where a disconnect happens.

Fun-C.....Gosh! Your high praise makes me blush! I maybe deserve 10% of it....
YOU, however, bring a whole universe of clarity to all design/decorating/reasoning themes and practices. I get smarter just reading your posts.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:32AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Faron. You're really good at what you do. Just own it, dude.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 4:21PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

ack! I had wink at the end of that post! here it is (because the wink IS important):


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 4:23PM
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What could you do with a Ben Moore Aura paint, that the colors above and below it, don't really look like the color you like? (weimaraner)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 2:28AM
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It's done everyday. As has been called out, you just need a competent tinter/shader doing the work. Almost impossible to find at a big box but fairly common in a paint store. That said, you are always better off providing a color reference to match instead of the color that's in your head.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 12:11PM
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If you take a formula and reduce the colorants by some percent, you are going to change not only the value (lightness/darkness) but also the chroma. This is because white tends to make a color cooler. If you have relatively more or less of the white or light base, you are going to change the temperature of the color. So I think it would be best to find a color that has both the value and the chroma that you want.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 10:16PM
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