My 3 Tips for Sampling Paint

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

Believe it or not - there is a right way to sample paint that is straight forward and simple, then there is the wrong way that will leave you more colour confused than before!

Here's a quick rundown of the wrong way to sample paint:

1. Go to the paint store and bought 5+ sample pots.

2. Paint a small 4" square of each sample in the middle of your wall.

3. Paint these samples side by side.

4. They're all suddenly looking completely different than expected!

5. Confusion.

Here are my biggest time and money saving tips when sampling your paint!

at $10 per sample, it adds up! But even more importantly is the confusion sampling can cause. But it doesn't need to be a headache if you consider these 3 things:

1. Cut your options down to 3 max.

Entering sample-pot land can be a dangerous place. Choose only 3 options. I generally find that people DO have a gut feeling about whether they like a colour or not when they look at a paint chip! Go with your gut, choose your 3 favourite, and leave the rest behind.

2. Use up the entire sample pot & use it beside something permanent in your space.

There's no reason to save the leftover paint so do a patch as large as you can, double coated, right up against something like a cabinet, behind your couch, beside your trim. Place it along something that will be staying in your room permanently so you can see how they act together. This photo is the perfect example:

3. Don't paint your samples side by side.

When we compare one colour directly beside another, our brain doesn't process each colour as individuals but instead we see the comparisons and contrasts. ie: putting an off white swatch next to a deep intense red. The red will effect the way the off white appears to you and you won't get an accurate grasp of the off white. When evaluating a colour, look at it and sample it on it's own rather than by comparing it to others.

Sampling can be a really useful tool before making the final decision on a colour, so I hope these steps keep that process as simple as possible for you! Otherwise, you know where to find me :)

- Elise