Tag Archives: DIY Paint

How Does Paint Color Matching Work?

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Our go-to shop for paint has always been Dick’s Color Center in Portland.  They have an amazing staff of expert color mixers and have worked with us on countless designer color creations.  I recently had a conversation with our main contact, Kevin M Garvey, to get his expert point-of-view on how color matching really works in a boutique store like Dick’s versus a big box store.  What I found out was that the amount of time and knowledge it requires to create an accurate color match is almost always out of the range of abilities of larger stores.  Not that they are incapable of creating a match, but with the sheer volume of customers they receive, they are simply unable to dedicate the time it takes to do this intricate work.
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Below is a statement from Kevin about color matching:
Nearly every paint store has a spectrophotometer. It works by beaming light from an internal lamp onto a sample. Some of the light will be absorbed by the sample, and the rest will pass completely through and strike a detector behind the sample. The detector senses the light being transmitted through the sample and converts this information into a digital display. For paint stores, that means a color formula is produced.
 
Accuracy depends first on the quality of the filters and sensors within the spectrophotomer and on the software that converts the data into an actual color formula. Secondly, the condition of the sample can interfere with color accuracy. Any texture or sheen on the sample can throw off how much light is absorbed or transmitted. Other environmental factors like ambient light and even temperature can affect results. While it may seem obvious that different spectrophotometers will produce different color formulations, people might be surprised to know that even the same machine will often yield different formulas on different readings. Experienced color matchers will take several readings and average them before using the data. Typically, spectrophotometers are 90% accurate. That is hard to visually describe, but essentially some toner in the color is going to be missing or perhaps too present. The resulting color is too red, or too green, or too dark, etc.
 
A color match on a spectrophotometer can be performed quickly, but with some degree of unknown error. Therefore, for the most accurate color match possible, any reputable paint store will match the color by human eye. This generally requires several hours of work. The reading from the spectrophotometer is likely considered one of several references used to produce the final color formula. But ultimately a trained eye determines exactly what combination of pigments match the color sample best. This process gives much more satisfactory results than the spectrophotometer alone. But there is no such thing as absolute perfection when it comes to color matching.
 
Keep in mind that most national paint manufacturers create their own pigments, have different resins and materials in their bases, and that there is no standard for sheen in residential paints. It is impossible for one company to exactly reproduce a competitor’s color when the starting base is different and the pigments to tint the paint are different. The only way to get an exact color, as the manufacture or designer intended, is to avoid the match in the first place and use the exact base paint and exact color formula.
 
Kevin M Garvey
Portland, OR

Eastmoreland Remodel: Phase I

basement remodel and design home interior designers

This lovely family, two teenage daughters and their father, decided it was time to take advantage of all of the underutilized space their gorgeous 1928 Eastmoreland English cottage.  They asked us to create a plan for a three-phase total home remodel.  Goals include the addition of a basement bathroom, turning their basement storage space into a bedroom–with walk in closet(!), moving some walls and creating a better flow for the main floor, a dormer addition and new bathroom for the second floor, and some space layout adjustments for all three floors.  The end goal is to have each member of the family feel like they have their own space: oldest daughter in the basement, father on the main floor, and younger daughter on the second floor.

For Phase I, we’re starting in the basement.  The oldest daughter, who has been sharing a room with her younger sister, is beyond ecstatic to be moving into her very own basement bedroom–it’s almost like a private apartment!

Here is a little Before, Demo, and Reconstruction for the staircase:

basement remodel and design

And After:

Basement Remodel

And the bedroom:

bedroom remodel for basement with interior design portland

In the next post, I’ll show you how we took a cramped laundry room and turned it into a beautiful laundry/bathroom.

More photos over on Houzz.

 

 

 

Fall Bold Paint Palette

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In a previous post we took you through the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette.  If you scored mostly D‘s in our quiz and love the warm colors of Fall…

color seasons quiz results fall bold interior design

 


fall paint colors from seasons quiz interior design portland

You’re in control, know what you like, and treat yourself right.  The take-charge colors of this autumn palette play up your strengths beautifully, with bold greens, warm yellow, and burnished rust accents.  Choose a variety of fabric textures for rich contrast.  Leather and linen look especially pretty with this palette.

This rustic palette blended seamlessly into our remodel of a 1970’s vacation home in Sunriver.  Soft gold, rusty brown, and a dark olive green accentuated our Cowboy Chic decor.  Vacation homes are especially fun to decorate because you really get to go wild with accessories and color.  We opted for reclaimed wood, antique metal finishes, and farm-themed art. Click the photo below for more from this project.


Love Your Colors? Shop for Fall Bold Paint Formulas

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Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

Summer Subtle Paint Palette

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In a previous blog post we showed you the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette. If you scored mostly Cs in our Color Quiz, and you prefer color without noise, a more relaxed awareness of color…

your color season quiz results paint for interior design portland


interior design portland style with subtle paint tones

Your style is quietly classic; you prefer tasteful over trends.  The down-to-earth sand, shell and beach grass tones of this hushed palette give you the timeless look you’re after and make it easy to combine colors with confidence.  Bring in some texture with your fabric choices, velour and chenille will bring a plush look to your room.

Below is a photo from one of our Decorate With What You Own projects.  This charming newer home on the outskirts of Portland needed some color to bring the homeowner’s existing furniture and accessories together.  She wanted a soothing space to relax and this palette’s subtle, sandy tans were just the ticket.  We added some texture with plush throw pillows and blankets.  Take a look at the rest of the house over here.  Or click the photo below.

 

 

 


Love Your Colors? Shop for Summer Subtle Paint Formulas

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Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

Summer Soft Paint Palette

paint palette for interior design portland green yellow cream interior designers

In a previous blog post we showed you the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette. If you scored mostly Cs in our Color Quiz, and your style is calm and you prefer a soothing touch of color…

summer paint palette color season quiz


soft paint palette for interior design portland style

You’re easygoing, comfortable, enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  This understated palette offers the ideal hint of color to make you feel right at home.  Choose slightly deeper tones for your fabrics and keep that softness going with plenty of texture.

Earlier this summer we did a “His & Hers” double bathroom remodel and this palette was the perfect bridge for the gap in their unique styles.  Try this palette with rich wood and dark fixtures to bring some drama.

Click the photos below to see more from this project.

 

 

 


Love your colors?  Get the Summer Soft Paint Formulas 

 

After photo of hall bathroom remodel and interior designbathroom remodel with dark wood and tile interior design

 

Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

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