Choosing Colours: When You Know What You Want


A lot of our discussions about choosing colours are about how to figure out what you want. Different colours give different effects, and finding the right colour to suit your lifestyle, your building, and your surroundings can take an expert eye. Then the effects of different lighting, the needs of the job in terms of finish and type of paint, and other details come into play. Often, the choice of colour can take more time than the painting itself.

When you know exactly what you want, though, there can still be challenges involved in finding just the right colour.

For one thing, most people have poor colour memory. You may find yourself looking at paint chips in the showroom for ages without being successful at identifying the colour you had in mind. For another, the colour may interact differently with light and other colours in the environs in ways you don’t expect.

Recently, Courtney and Wise ran into a case like this. Our customer was keen to have a particular shade of grey for the exterior of their house.

Michael tried various samples of in-stock colours in small areas on site. This is the best way to make a decision, since it allows you to see the colour along with all the other influences. Unfortunately, none of these colours was just right. Once the paint was dry and seen in context, one colour turned out to be too drab, another too brownish, and a third too dark.

Michael met with the customer again on site to fine tune colours. Together, they made two selections from the paint manufacturer’s colour palette. Michael tried them on two test panels, but they still weren’t exactly right.

It was time to step up the effort.

Michael got the actual colour formulas from the paint manufacturer, tweaked them a little here and there and came up with a colour that the customer was happy to use.

This kind of persistence may seem like excess. But a good, professional paint job will last you for years. Having just the right colour will make a difference in your satisfaction with and enjoyment of your home. It’s worth taking the extra time to make sure that your colour is just what you want. If you don’t find the colour you want in stock, ask your painters and decorators to help you explore other options.

Your house could look every bit as lovely as these examples of our work: