Interior paint samples

Interior paint samples are the ultmate test, before you start ordering large amounts of paint. They're available in different forms: fan decks, sample chips and sample jars. If you don't know yet which color you want, look into a fan deck. Then narrow it down with sample chips, and for the final check order a sample jar. In that way, you can test how the paint will look for real.

lady trying out interior paint sample

Using interior paint samples

Even when you used advanced stuff like painting software, or when you take the same colors as the one you've seen in the house of a friend, it's wise to test your paint colors for real, before you order the full amount of paint and start the job. Colors on a screen always look different than in real life, and the light in your friend's room might be different than in yours (click here for the effect of light colors). Even the underlying paint color is of influence. If you start choosing paint colors from scratch: first look into a fan deck, then choose a few paper sample strips, and for the ultimate test you order a sample jar.

Paint color fan decks and palettes

A fandeck will cost some money - a free alternative is finding colors online, but screen colors always differ a bit from the real thing. When the hardware store is far away, a fandeck is great, but when you can get paper sample strips you might just skip the fandeck. The amount of colors in a fandeck can be overwhelming. If so, don't spend too much time looking at it, you can't judge a color untill you isolate it. Get some paper interior paint samples, and cut them into pieces if they have more than 1 color on them. You can also make one by using a sample jar.

If you download palettes, or see them on screen: remind that your printer or screen won't show the colors exacly as-is. But they might give you a clue to what samples to try out.

Paint sample strips or chips

Colors are very much influenced by other colors around them, so if you find sample strips with six or more colors, cut them into pieces. Especially when choosing wall paint colors: use the biggest sample chips you can find. When you're more or less sure, order interior paint samples in the form of sample jars.

lady choosing interior paints

Ordering interior paint sample jars

A little jar with an interior paint sample will give you the best impression of what the color is really like - test it out on a hidden corner. You can either order the paint from the brand itself, or color matched in the online store. Check here for color-matched latex and acrylic paints, and here for a very sustainable alkyd waterbased paint which is also color-matched.

Interior paint samples and fan deck

Other tips for choosing paint colors

The amount of available paint colors can be just overwhelming. If choosing paint colors is difficult, consider buying yourself some help in the form of the Paint Color Cheat Sheets (check here for a review). The Cheat Sheets are basically a list of proven and tested paint colors, put together by a color consultant who has years of experience - safe colors, in more than just beige. It may seem odd to spend money on just choosing paint colors, but good colors save you a lot of trouble (wrong paint colors mean: ordering new paint, investing more time etc).

Another tool is house paint software, to help you visualize your room in new paint colors. After using this software you still need to check the colors with physical paint samples, but at least you'll know what samples to order.

Related pages:

Oil Painting Techniques

Acrylic Painting

Watercolor painting

Color Schemes

Interior Painting techniques

Interior Painting Ideas


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