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Color . . .

Choosing colors can be one of the most difficult aspects of any paint project. Many homeowners worry they are not going to like the colors they have selected. Understanding color systems and a few simple terms relating to color can help homeowners make better color decisions. Look at the color wheel and keep it mind or refer back to it when reading the information below.

color wheel
The Color Wheel

  • Primary colors are the pigment colors that all of the other colors are made from. These colors are blue, red, and yellow.
  • Secondary colors are two primary colors mixed together.
  • Tertiary colors are a primary color and a secondary color mixed together.
  • Color Families are groups of colors that are made from the same colors.
  • Neutral Colors are gray , white, and black, that contain no other identifiable colors.
  • Monochromatic colors on the wheel are one basic color (hue), but have different values (lightness (tints) or darkness (shades)).
  • Adjacent colors combine two or more colors located next to each other.
  • Complementary colors are opposite each other. Use a subtle color and a dominate color to avoid clashing.
  • Triad colors are three colors that are used together, with one being the dominant color and the others being accent colors.

Using the color wheel and mixing various colors together can be a good starting point. However, most people will select colors for an interior room from fabrics that may already exist in furniture and window treatments. Idea's for exterior colors can be drawn from the colors in roofing shingles, and brick.

It’s always best to buy a small amount of a paint and try it out to see if that is the most desirable, no matter how many colors are being considered. Those small color chips can sometimes be difficult to judge. Some colors can be bought in a quart while others will cost a gallon if the color is undesirable.

Light colors make a room, or the exterior of a house, appear larger while dark colors will have the opposite affect. Lighting, and especially direct sunlight, will affect color. Look at the samples in the room where the colors will be used to get a better idea of how the color will look.

Consider some other important facts when selecting colors. Darker or more dramatic colored paints contain less titanium (see Primers And Paints) and may take multiple coats to cover. If applied incorrectly, Hatbanding (see Paint Failures) will appear. Darker colors are extremely difficult to touch up, and like sheen finishes will show touchup marks.

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Sam Calvert - Owner | Phone (919) 870-2999 | Serving Raleigh - Durham - Cary, NC Area