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The Home Depot

Home Guide to Matching Paint

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > Home Guide to Matching Paint
Home Guide to Matching Paint

There are two sides to every house: The inside and the outside. Matching existing paint colors can be a nearly- exact science if you can pry a chip of the old stuff from the surface. Most paint retailers can find something so close that it’s hard to tell where the original ends and the new job begins.


They use a computer to zero-in on the shade you’re looking for, provided the chip you’ve given them is big enough. If it’s not, there are still ways to match almost any color of paint.


Nothing you can strip off the wall? Go to the paint store, gather-up as many paint swatches that come as close to the current color, then in natural light, compare until you get close. To make sure, ask the salesman to mix up a small amount of your choice and dab it on the surface at home.

  1. 1.Outside

    Let’s reach into the tool-box for ways to come-up with a palette you might want to use for the exterior of your home.”

    The exterior of your house is more than just walls. You need to consider shutters, doors, window frames, the trim and any other accents. Then you have issues like Homeowner’s Association rules, other houses in the immediate vicinity, the style of your roof, the home's architectural style and your personal tastes. Let’s reach into the tool-box for ways to come-up with a palette you might want to use for the exterior of your home.


    Usually, right near the front entrance of all big box hardware stores, there are racks of home improvement books and magazines. Rifle through a few of the periodicals and see if any of the pictures hit the bulls-eye. Purchase a couple, with the intent of using the photos as a basis for your own design.


    You may not even have to get a hard copy of examples. Many home design websites have pictures that have already paired colors for you.


    The reason for this exercise is to discover which colors go best with each other. Those who have HOA rules that limit your choice, cruise around the neighborhood and see what the other folks have used on their houses.

  2. 2.High-Tech

    There are computer programs that paint shops may have that let you bring in a couple of pictures of your house. They’ll scan them into the store’s computer. Once digitized, they’ll be able to virtually “paint” the various points of the house to any color you choose. Most of these software applications can also do stuff like designate a style, let’s say modern or rustic color schemes.

  4. 3.Inside

    Somewhat the same as dealing with outside color matches, the inside likewise needs to take into account certain things when choosing the right shade. Look around you: You already have a room full of furniture. It’s sort of like that old bromide, “You don't go to war with the Army you wish you had, you go to war with the Army you have.”


    And what about the floor?


    You can still be creative, just remember: There are certain constants that you must take into consideration when picking interior colors.


    Here’s a simple way to look at the situation. Every color has a spectrum of shading. For instance, basic green breaks down into light green, off-green, green, bright green, dark green, etc.


    This is called monochromatic coloring. Nevertheless, you’ll not just want to stick with varieties of the same shade. Create a little harmony by adding other symbiotic colors that go well with the primary one. This new color will add another dimension.


    Simply make sure that whatever dimension you create, that the laws of physics will allow you to bring along your furniture, rugs, drapes and taste. After all, you’re making your bed so that you can ultimately lie upon it.

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