If you love redecorating, but choosing paint colors makes your head spin, let tech help!
Deciding on paint colors can be a dream or a nightmare. Imagining what an entire room will look like based on a paint chip can be daunting. Some people have the knack of envisioning a room festooned with the perfect color. They’re called “interior decorators.”
For the rest of us, selecting a color requires a leap of faith. We hold our breath until we actually see a room adorned with the color we chose. We live with it, see it in all kinds of different light, and then decide if we can continue to inhabit a room with that color on its walls.
Tech is making choosing paint colors a whole lot easier.
Paint companies want you to choose their colors so they’ve enlisted tech to help guide you. You can find plenty of free tech tools to help you choose a paint color using your computer, smartphone or iPad. These tools can suggest colors to match or coordinate with a specific color.
Do you have a rug, chair, or piece of art that you want to match with paint colors? With apps you can use your smartphone camera to take a picture of a color and the app will give you the matching paint color and suggest coordinating colors to use for trim or in adjoining rooms.
You can also choose colors from a palette on the app or from the color name or code from a paint chip. These apps make it easy for you to choose a color from their collection.
If you don’t have a smartphone, no worries. Check out a new website called Chip It! discussed below.
All of these tools include a store locator feature. After all, selling paint is why companies develop these tools.
ColorSnap lets you choose colors as well as organize them by room for a large project. This app from Sherwin Williams is what I used to choose colors for my US house when I was moving back from England. You can use the app to match a color from a palette in the Explore Color section or from a photo, either by using your camera or from a camera roll. The app lets you scale and crop an image so you can zero in on a color in the photo.
I tried using ColorSnap to match the lavender color in a picture from the Frommer’s France Guide. The guide suggested using Dewberry, SW 6552.
You can match another color from the same photo to compare the two choices side-by-side. For example, in the image above, I could try a different shade of lavender or a green color to compare with the Dewberry color.
If the suggested color isn’t to your liking, you can adjust it, based on lightness, saturation and/or hue. You can also Ask Sherwin, which gives you coordinating colors, and share your color choices with others using email and Facebook.
Once you have settled on a color, you can save your choice to an album (called a “Palette” in the app). You can create a different album for each room you want to paint, for example, Living Room, Nursery, etc.
- Lots of color choices and ways to edit colors from within the app.
- You can save colors in albums for multiple room projects.
- Saved colors shows you the images and coordinating colors.
- Can’t arrange colors within an album.
- No separate iPad version.
Benjamin Moore’s app, Color Capture, allows you to pick colors from an image, using your camera or from your photo library. You can also select Tools to choose colors from a color wheel or from color cards from one of their brochures.
When you tap on a color in an image, the app presents you with a color strip of different hues to choose from, similar to a strip of paint chips. You can also choose Harmony to have the app suggest coordinating colors for you.
To save a color, tap and hold it and the color will fill the screen with a hollow star in the bottom right corner. Tap the star and it will fill with white, indicating it’s saved.
Unlike ColorSnap, this app doesn’t allow you to save to albums within the app. If you’re trying to select colors for a lot of rooms at once, you could create different photo albums on your phone and save your favorite colors to those albums.
You can share your saved colors to a Photo Album on your phone or by using email, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter.
- You see a color strip when you’re choosing a color from an image.
- You can use a color wheel and brochures to choose a color.
- Can’t group saved colors into albums within the app.
- No separate iPad version.
This app from Behr helps you choose a paint color using images from your photo roll or your camera. You can also choose color from a color palette or by color name or number.
To match a paint color to an image, press the Photo Match icon at the bottom of the screen. You can then pick an existing image from your photo roll or take a new picture with your camera. To choose a color in an image, press the color you want to match.
The app suggests two or three colors. You can save the one(s) you like as Favorites and then choose the one you want to work with. When you select a color, you are shown coordinating colors in different categories: Subtle Blends, Warm Tones, Cool Tones, and Complimentary.
The most useful feature of ColorSmart is the Preview Colors tool which lets you preview your saved colors in a sample room. Behr has added images of rooms to the app. You select the type of room, kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. and the app will show you sample rooms in various styles such as traditional, contemporary, etc. You can try out the paint by putting the color on walls, trim, shutters (exterior) and linens (bedroom). This feature definitely is addictive.
You can share your color selections on Facebook and Twitter, though not via email from within the app.
- Adding the colors to a sample room is not only useful but fun.
- Separate version of the app designed for iPad.
- This app has the most coordinating colors and makes it easy to choose them.
- No sharing colors using email from within the app.
Don’t have a smartphone? No problem! Check out how you can match colors using Sherwin Williams’ new website called Chip It! which lets you to match colors from websites to paint colors.
This website brings the fun of Pinterest to choosing a paint color.
To use this website, drag a Chip It! bookmark from the home page of the site to your toolbar. When you visit a website that has an image with colors you want to match, click the Chip It! book mark and a Chip It! button tab will appear on the left side of your screen.
Move your cursor to the image you want to match and preview colors will appear above the image. Click on the image and you will be shown Sherwin Williams colors to match.
Interestingly, Chip It! matched different Sherwin Williams paint colors from this image than the Sherwin Williams ColorSnap app did.
You can save Chip Cards to your Chip It! profile page and share them on Facebook. Here’s a video showing how Chip It! works:
- You don’t need a smartphone to use this tool.
- Can’t choose colors from a palette.
- Must use images from a website.
If you need to choose paint colors, don’t fret, let tech be your guide! These free tech tools can make picking paint colors fun and easy.
Do you get frustrated trying to select paint colors? Have you ever used tech to help? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Color Spin image by alexmcc.