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    How to match paint colours

    Repaint your walls and furniture with confidence.

    Chin Suarez | Oneflare
    Created 31 Oct 2023

    Want to avoid that sinking feeling when you realise the paint you bought doesn’t match your existing wall paint? Lighting conditions, architectural features, and even the type of surface can all influence the final appearance of a chosen colour. 

    If you’re gearing up for a DIY paint job, this guide will walk you through finding the right paint match. Learn how to match paint colours so you can nail that perfect shade and repaint your walls confidently. 

    What to know before you start

    Before you dip that brush, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind. For one, think about what your desired colour combination looks like under different lighting conditions. What can look like a perfect paint swatch under artificial lighting may look different when put against natural light, so do a thorough paint swatch test before purchasing. 

    Likewise, if you’re renting your home, you have the additional responsibility of checking in with your landlord before getting out the paint cans. They might know the original wall colour and have some rules or preferences you must know. It’s always better to get their green light before turning your walls into a canvas.

    5 methods for colour-matching paint

    1. Paint swatches

    A catalogue of paint swatches / Source: iStock

    When matching paint colours, you can head to your hardware or paint store and grab a few paint swatches to test. You can check several swatches that showcase the closest paint colour to your wall or furniture. 

    Hold the swatches you chose against the wall and see how the colour looks in your space. It’s a simple, practical, and hands-on way to pick the perfect paint for your walls. No guesswork, just a good and accurate visual check. 

    2. Wall paint chips

    Why not bring an actual shade sample from your wall? Cut a small section of paint chip from your wall and show it to a specialist in a hardware store or paint store to find the closest match. Paint specialists can use a spectrophotometer to analyse the colour and determine the exact paint pigments to recreate the shade. 

    3. Sample cans

    Sample paint cans used for match testing / Source: iStock

    Another great way to test paint colour matching is by utilising sample cans. Many paint brands in the industry offer sample pots for homeowners to use in their homes. It’s an excellent opportunity to take the colour out for a test drive before repainting the whole wall.

    When it comes to sample cans, you can pick a small part of your wall and start painting. See how the colour matches by observing how the test shades look at different times of the day and under artificial light. 

    4. Try using a paint-matching app or online service

    If your nearest colour matcher location is far from where you live, or you simply want a more convenient and pocket-friendly alternative, then a paint colour-matching app like Dulux Colour App may be your best option. 

    These services let you virtually test many paint colours on your walls using your device’s camera or uploaded images. Snap a pic of your room, choose a colour, and see how it looks on your walls before cracking open a paint can. 

    5. Paint store’s colour-matching service

    Customers consulting a paint store for paint matching / Source: iStock

    Check if your local paint store offers a colour-matching service. Take a chip or sample of your existing wall paint colour to identify the closest match. Some stores can provide you sample swatches or cans first to bring home and see for yourself if it’s the precise match to your wall or furniture.

    Bonus tips for perfect paint colour matches

    Test in small areas

    Before committing to a full wall, observe what the colour looks like in a small, inconspicuous area. This helps you see how it truly interacts with your environment and different lighting conditions.

    Get samples of multiple colours

    Paint sizable swatches on various sections of your wall. This hands-on approach lets you see how each colour behaves in your specific lighting and against your furniture. 

    You can also use paint chips as your low-commitment, mess-free way of test-driving colours and ensuring you pick the precise shade match for your walls. See how the artificial and natural lighting works with the shades before purchasing a specific colour. 

    This method not only avoids surprises but also ensures you’re making an informed decision.

    Consult a professional painter

    In case you’re unsure about how to go about choosing or matching paint samples, you can always consult expert painters to help you out. They can provide valuable insights and give accurate quotes on the paint service. Professional painters also have experience dealing with different surfaces and can ensure a flawless finish.

    Breathe new life into your space

    When it comes to touching up paint, things can get complicated quickly if you fail to find the right paint. From utilising paint chips to sample cans, hopefully, this guide could help you better understand how to easily colour-match paint. 

    If you’re still unsure about your paint swatch, don’t worry! You can always consult professional painters for their artistic eye and to take on this complex task for you. These skilled specialists ensure that your colour choice is not just right but remarkable.

    FAQs on matching paint colours

    Can I colour-match paint online?

    Yes, you can colour-match paint online using various tools and services. Many paint brands and apps offer virtual colour-matching tools. These tools allow you to upload a photo of your room or a specific area, and the software will suggest paint colours that closely match it.

    Can Dulux colour-match paint?

    Yes, Dulux provides colour-matching services in its stores. If you have a specific shade or hue in mind or if you want to match an existing colour, you can bring a sample or choose from their extensive colour palette.

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