Choosing paint in the electronic
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
In our electronic age, you can point and
click your way to obtain information on just about any aspect
of life, so why should choosing paint on the internet be such
a revelation? For one thing, its tons of fun.
Gone are the days of one inch paint samples obtained from
your local hardware store or paint dealer. Oh, you can still
get these, but why would you when you can literally try colors
on for size in dozens of virtual rooms? Or better still, download
digital photos of your rooms and try different color combinations.
Trust me, this more fun than the doll house you got on your
Painting is time consuming work, and since a recent survey
by the Ace Hardware chain determined that 83 percent of homeowners
questioned did their own painting, its important to
get it right the first time. Choosing the perfect color can
be the toughest part of the job. Colors that look just right
on a color chip can look awful when splashed across the living
To meet the needs of consumers, paint makers are retiring
color chips in favor of much larger swatches. Some are even
selling small pots or packets that hold enough paint to cover
several square feet. But the real innovative change in choosing
paint colors are the online services available.
Sherwin-Williams (sherwin-williams.com) has their Color Visualizer
which allows consumers to try dozens of colors on virtual
rooms. You have several different rooms and up to nine different
styles to choose from. Pick the layout that best fit your
home, and start trying on wall and trim colors. You can even
do this with exterior paint color by choosing a style home
similar to yours.
And if that isnt enough fun, try Benjamin Moore (benjaminmoore.com).
They offer a Color Makeover Program with experts making free
color recommendations based on photographs of rooms to be
painted. For a fee, they also have a Personal Color Viewer.
Consumers can test various colors to find the ideal choice
by pasting a photograph of their room into the program.
Another new aspect to the competitive paint business are boutique
paint companies. These companies offer a smaller selection
of designer colors for $10 to $15 more per gallon, or more
for some imported products. Devine Color, Ellen Kennon of
Louisiana, Ralph Lauren, Fine Paints of Europe and Farrow
& Ball are just some of the small exclusive paint companies.
They all have web-sites and some very interesting and rich
These companies claim they have superior ingredients that
make paint look better and last longer, in addition to sophisticated
color palettes. Although boutique paint companies have a smaller
array of hues to choose from, many people find it easier to
find the right color when your choices are limited.
Painting fun? I never thought so until I started to
point and click, now I cant wait for the next project,
after all choosing the color IS the hardest part.