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Match Maker, Match Maker, Find me my Color!


Ok, so it doesn’t rhyme, but how often do we wish there was someone out there that could find us the perfect color. Have you ever considered color matching?

Color matching is taking an item that you already have, or are purchasing and matching your paint choice to a color found on that item. This technique is great when you find that perfect set of throw pillows at the import store, set of dishes at the cooking store, amazing bedspread at the home goods store, or (guys this is for you) you need to match the colors of your favorite football team for the man cave.

Here are some tips to make color matching successful:

Choosing What to Color Match:

  • If the item that you are wanting to color match has several different colors in it, choose the color that would fit the mood of the room, as well as a color that you would be comfortable with surrounding you. Blues and greens create calm, while reds and oranges create excitement. It is also a great idea to color match neutral tones if you are bored of white but aren’t real sure about bold colors.
  • If the item is a very large prominent piece in the room (such as a comforter), it is actually best to compliment the color rather than to match it. If the walls and the item are the same color, then that perfect item that you loved so much when you picked it out will get lost in the background. Choosing a secondary color from the item rather than its most prominent color could work in this case.

Finding the Right Color:

  • Color matching can be tricky, so it is first important to be patient and to be ok if you don’t get it right the first time. No matter what steps you take to find the right color, make sure to buy only a sample of it to start, and paint a small area of the walls you want to paint. Allow these sample areas to dry fully and compare your color choice to your item at several different times a day to ensure that it matches. If it doesn’t you haven’t wasted the time and money to paint the whole room, only a sample size.
  • To start you will want to find a color that you feel matches. Some stores have a computer imaging kiosk that you can hold your item up to in order to find a similar color; however, sometimes it is easier to just start pulling the paint sample strips off the wall and compare them to your item. You will want to hold them close to you and far away so that shadows and vision aren’t skewing your match. Pick 3 or 4 that you feel are the closest and, if you have time, take them all home and compare them in the space you intend to use them.
  • Understand that lighting plays a huge role in the way that colors appear. When finding your color, many stores have light boxes that you can hold your paint sample strip and item into (if the item is small enough) to ensure that the lighting type you have in your home won’t significantly change the look of the match.
  • Another factor is texture. If the item that you have chosen is a smooth surface, it will be much easier to color match than one that is rough or fuzzy. Items with high textural quality have highs and lows in their color (or highlights and shadows). The best way to color match these textural items is to view them next to the color in many different lightings and distances. At this point, it is more of a matter of opinion, what you feel matches the closest.
  • And speaking of opinion, if you are still having a difficult time in determining, then get some outside opinions. Family, friends or coworkers are generally happy to help, and having more eyes on the item could help you come to a decision.

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