Is paint always 2 shades different than the color chip

chefwongOctober 5, 2010

Obviously this is manufacturer dependent, but in your experience testing paint, how many shade/shades is it off from the color chip....

This is obviously dependent on manuf.

Farrow Ball Chips nowhere matches their paint....

I have my BM chips. I just finished painting 5 colors, on a primed sheetrock.

2 coats, pint cans were just bought today and I mixed again before painting.

As I in past experiance painting, the color is at least 1-2 shades lighter than the chip...

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Really? I've always found my BM chips to look somewhat different until I actually tape the chip to the painted wall. Then I realize it's EXACTLY the same.

Do you always buy from the same store? Is it possible that the calibration on their machine is off?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:15PM
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I literally have the 3x5 BM chip side by side to the painted sample...
So lighting, angles, etc is similar.

Unless I have ~golden~ eyes, it is 2 shades lighter.

This is a very high volume, high end BM Moore dealer...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:19PM
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put the chip on top of the sample you painted not next to it. also what kind of paint did you get? The chips are done with a matte finish. If you used any other, ie eggshell, it will look slightly different. Also lighter colors tend to appear lighter on the wall and darker colors tend to get darker. The light in your room will also change the color. also even the best center can get colors wrong depending on who is operating the machine.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:27PM
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I had that happen to me. I had used up the paint I had initally bought and then needed another can to paint a hallway, same color. They grabbed the wrong base the second time around. They mixed it using the light base when they should have used the deep base, so it was a couple of shades lighter. Mine was also BM paint.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:34PM
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We used BM Aura's Spa in our "office." It looked lighter and "mintier" than the sample chip (didn't love that). It must've deepened as it "cured" though, because I recall looking around the room about 6 months or so after the room was painted, and the color definitely looked richer, without the minty under (over?) tone. Maybe your color needs to mature a bit, too?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:34PM
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Just had the same problem. It's your paint store.

I would know. We spent enough on paint samples to buy a couch instead. melissastar is right--the effect of a paint sample may be completely different from what you expected, but the color always turns out to be exactly the same when you place the chip right on the paint. Sunday we went to a different Ben Moore dealer because it was the only one open, and absolutely nothing matches the six--yes, six--chips we ordered samples from.

It's your dealer's machine.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:37PM
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I always put a dab of the paint directly on the chip. It should match exactly when it's dry if it's a flat paint. Even if it's a sheen other than flat, that sample should be very, very close.

I even keep the chip/paint sample in my collection so that if I need more paint, I can be assured that the color matches up.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:41PM
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After all the hours of pouring over books (BM, P&L, Sherwin, DK, FB,) and more hours looking in the light, in the evening, least we are down to the 3 -5 colors per room I wanted to sample :-)

Now it's just confirming the color so we can get on to the painting...

Dont know about ya'll but assuming strokes/stipple may possibly affect how light hits it and how it looks, I end up painting the samples as if I was going to paint them --- with a 3/8 nap sleeve.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 10:33PM
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Most salespeople just want to mix your paint and move on to the next customer. Try to find someone willing to work with you. Once I went to a Sherwin Williams store to have samples mixed in BM colors. It's a store in a neighboring town, not the local store I frequent. I happened to have the chips with me while doing a craigslist run, so I stopped in, they were just samples after all. The guy spent a fair amount of time mixing and at the end he dabbed a good amount of the paint onto the paint chip. He dried it with a dryer and lo and behold, I couldn't even see where he'd dabbed the paint. I had to move the chip around in the light to see it. If I ever decide to color match where I want it as close as possible, you can bet I'm going to make the trip to that store to find that guy.

A suggestion would be to go into a store during its slow period, usually mid morning after the contractors have been in, but before the DIY crowd on a weekday.

Another thing you can do is head over to the paint forum. There are a few experts that hang out there. One manages the paint dept at ACE, I believe there's a color expert, and several paint contractors. They can usually better answer specific questions and make suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I vote it's dealer machine or employee related too.

I had this happen to me with two different paint samples and the colors were off entirely. Too much red for what should otherwise be orangeish-yellow. I went back and a different salesperson mixed them and they are spot on now exactly like paint chip.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:57PM
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I love Farrow and Ball paint. But I remember looking at their blue grays, and they did seem quite off from the paint chip. But when I looked at their creams/yellows, it was a fair match. I still love them!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 2:38PM
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F&B IMO just has to be the right room with the right textures, etc to work well - IMO- on their colors...

It works great for sprucing up vintage furniture though.

I have a great paint shop....just didn't went there for samples but plan to when I am finalized. They are at least 1.5 hrs away and are aaaaaammmmazing, but just a tad too far to drive just for samples.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 3:49PM
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Look up metamerism.

Colors that match under one light source rarely match under another unless the colors have the exact same pigment composition.

A match under daylight is unlikely to match under incandescent light.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 4:32PM
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I use Behr paints from Home Depot (not exactly known for their customer service), and have never had a difference that couldn't be accounted for by differences in sheen.

I certainly agree with Marcolo that the effect can be totally different from what you expect--I've gotten better at anticipating the difference but colors really can look totally different on a large area. But if you are holding up the chip to the wall (and the paint is dry--paint always looks off when it is wet), it should be close, not 1-2 shades off.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 6:13PM
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I give up ;-)

Started filing away the ~approved~ colors in my file folder....and I have 2 3x5 swatches of the same color paint. Look on the back, same date codes, etc. The 2 cards from BM owned stores are 1 shade difference...

I'll batch mix the larger rooms so the tints are all 1 big old mix...
The smaller rooms like the laundry room, etc - hopefully the color will be on point...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:21PM
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I always have problems. I just repainted areas of my kitchen that were renovated and the new gallon is slightly off of the old gallon, both gallons mixed by the same place with the same color. I mean, most people might not even notice the teeny difference... but I do!

Last year when we renovated a bathroom I got samples done, which I usually don't do, and picked two of them, went and got the gallons, and the gallons didn't match the samples! THAT'S frustrating too! I was persistent until I got a refund on everything. That's insane, the sample paint and the gallon of paint should be exactly the same if they're the same sheen, or what's the point?!

What I've been doing lately is narrowing down to a color chip, then having the place electronically match the color on the chip, NOT follow the formula from the back or the book. I seem to have better luck that way.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 7:26AM
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The spectrometer needs to be calibrated to be on target FWIW.

I have a great paint place. It's a $20 upcharge per can but they WILL color match it to anything you want. It's a trial and error and they will paint each can on paintcards, etc, let it dry, look, tweak, etc

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Paint color most often looks different when you get it on the wall because the lighting in the room affects the color and so does the undertone, the underlying color your eye reads which is impossible to see on a small swatch. Why some grays look blue, others yellow etc.

Also, the walls are vertical and that's seen differently than what you're holding in your hand with light overhead. Amount of natural vs artificial light in a room can affect color too as does the color temperature of the bulbs.

What I did was paint 24 x 36 poster board samples and tape them up. That's a good way to see how the color will look in the room and you won't get confused with too many colors on a wall.

F&B paint has so many colors in the mix some of them change completely through the day. It's not easy paint to work with until you get to know it. The free color card isn't accurate but the fandeck is and they have sample pots ($6) best of all.

Paint brands vary as the color of the base varies in whiteness and the colors also vary with how many different pigments are mixed in to get the color. Most paint brands mix 3-4 pigments. Some of the full spectrum (no black) paints have many more than that and the highest end of those -- super premium brands like Donald Kaufman and F&B can have as many as 12-16.

The biggest difference with F&B is that it isn't mixed at the paint store. They are one of the few brands that mixes their own colors in their factory.

Some color consultants paint more than one of those big samples, tape them together and actually put them up as mini-murals to see how the color looks. Also some tape samples to ceiling if a color is used there.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 11:00AM
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