How To Test Your Paint Color 

December 2, 2022

If you think choosing a paint color for your home or business is a challenging and somewhat overwhelming task… then you would be right! 

Most people who embark on a paint project mistakenly believe the prep work and painting itself will be the major challenge when in reality choosing the paint is what takes the most time and energy. Today, let’s discuss how to test your paint color in the space being painted to ensure that you have made the right choice in the color palette. 

Use Paint Samples Not Swatches 

It can be tempting to gather a pile of swatches from your local hardware store and tape them up in your room or peruse them whilst watching Netflix but this is not the best way to view your options for paint colors. 

Instead, use small paint samples (costing $8-$10) to apply the paint directly to the walls in the space you plan to paint before fully committing to a color. 

This is preferable for a couple of reasons, including the ability to see a larger area of the space painted than what is available with a swatch, the ability to see the color in the lighting of the room, and the ability to see how it works with the furnishings. 

Paint Samples on Multiple Surfaces 

Once you have lowered your choices of hue for your space, try the samples on multiple walls in the room. The reason for this is to see how the color can change with direct sunlight and throughout the course of the day as the amount and direction of the sunlight change. 

For instance, paint on a wall opposite a window that has southern exposure will show the color very differently than on a wall next to the window that does not experience direct sunlight. 

paint roller

Use Primer Under Your Samples 

It may seem like this step will take extra time and mean waiting for appropriate drying time, but using a primer coat under your main color will mean that the true color of the chosen paint will show through. 

When a primer has not been used the undertones of the paint under the sample could potentially show through and change the color tint slightly. 

Use Two Coats of the Main Color 

When painting a room, normally a painter will use both primer (as described above) and two coats of the domain color. Using two coats for your test area will allow for the proper amount of saturation of the color on the surface. 

Need help deciding on your color or how to test it before committing? Talk to our color specialists or paint experts for your next paint project. 


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