Tag Archives: 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

China’s Top Design Magazine

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In 2009, shortly after completing her Jackson Hole project near Beijing, Allison was interviewed by China’s Top Design Magazine.  They were interested in her process around choosing color and decor.

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Summer Soft 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 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

Summer Bold Paint Palette

interior design paint colors for decor and remodel interior designers beige tan brown orange green

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 fearless with stimulating, strong colors…

summer paint palette color season quiz


interior design paint palette with fabric and tile and paint colors

A warm, rich brown sets the tone for this Summer Palette.  Try the AS07S for your walls or ceiling, and the AS05S as your trim or door color.

You’re comfortable in your own skin, expressing your personal style no matter what the trends say.  The true-to-nature shades in this bold palette play up your strengths.  When choosing fabrics, try mixing in a touch of teal to make it all pop!

Our home remodel project in North Bend utilized a chocolate brown and sandy gold from this palette.  For the bathroom, we went all-in with spa style.  Pebble tile, a walk-in shower, a rustic chandelier, and tons of natural light from new doors and windows.

 


Love Your Colors?

 Get the best colors for your home interior design project

We continued this palette into the adjacent master bedroom, adding a bold pop of red in the form of throw pillows.

                spa style bedroom with rustic chandelierspa style bathroom with soaking tub and double sink design

Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

The Summer of Bathroom Remodels

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It’s the Summer of Bath Remodels over here at Allison Smith Design.  Last time we took you through a classic Bungalow bathroom addition in St. Paul.  Next up, we’re showcasing a pair of bathrooms in a sweet ranch home in the lovely town of Silverton, Oregon.  It’s a his and hers situation; she prefers the bathroom down the hall with a full sized tub, he prefers the master bathroom with a walk-in shower, but both are in need of some remodeling.  We bridged the gap with some similar fixtures, matching mirrors, and gave both bathrooms some much-needed updates and lighting.   Check out the photo gallery to see how matte black faucets can give a different feel based on the materials they’re paired with.

 

Pro Tip: If your home has forced air heating with floor vents, a quick and easy way to update your space is by swapping out the vent covers.  It’s a relatively inexpensive way to bring new life into your home.  Notice in the photos below how we went from an old, white-slatted cover to a matte-black patterned cover that compliments our fixtures.  Vent covers come in a variety of colors and styles, choose one that compliments your door hardware or faucet finish.

 

Before: Hall Bathroom

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After: Hall Bathroom

A soft, creamy yellow for the walls: AS13S from our Color Seasons Summer Soft collection.

interior design portland style with bathroom remodel bathroom remodel and makeover with interior design style by allison smith

interior remodel design with soft tones

bathroom remodel with interior design portland style  sink and faucet design for bathroom remodel interior

Before: Master Bathroom

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After: Master Bathroom

A light, grassy green for the walls: AS10S from our Color Seasons Summer Bright collection.

bathroom remodel with dark wood and tile interior design bathroom remodel and interior design by allison smith

shower and bath design for before and after

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