Are Sample Paint Chips Lying to You?

Gutter Cleaning Made Easy
March 8, 2016
Award-Winning Customer Service
April 8, 2016
Show all

Are Sample Paint Chips Lying to You?

What You Need to Know About Paint Store Samples



We’re constantly talking about color choices here at Luxbrush. You may have heard about our Color Consultations and our Just the Right Color Guarantee. Some might even go so far as to call us obsessive about color. But the truth is that our dedication to the right color schemes has translated into happy customers time and again. Anyone can slap a coat of paint on a surface, but only an expert with an eye for color can ensure that the green you loved in the paint store is just as lovely on your living room wall. When it comes to confident color choices, remember what’s important:


The Importance of Lighting

Unless you light your home with industrial-strength fluorescent bulbs, your chosen color is going to look much different once you get it home. And light bulbs are just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve taped your paint chip to the wall to see how it looks in the natural light, you must consider how its appearance will change throughout the day. The natural light at breakfast and the light at dinner are literally as different as night and day. You’ll want to make sure you love your color at all times, but especially during the hours when you’ll be in that room the most.

The Importance of Placement

Consider how your new color will interact with the designs and hues that will be in the room. Think about your furniture and accent pieces. Some colors look completely different when they’re put next to others. If you are transitioning from one bold color to another, don’t just tape your color sample paint chip to the wall. Instead, first tape down a large piece of white paper so that the chip isn’t fighting the surrounding color. This will give you a more accurate depiction of how the color will look on the wall.


Certain color and design combinations go so far as to trick our brains into seeing something that isn’t there. Don’t believe me, check out this picture created by Richard Wiseman:

While we see a blue spiral and a green spiral that are 100% distinguishable from one another, these spirals are in fact the exact same color! It’s true. If you need further convincing, this article from Slate.com offers an explanation. Obviously, this optical illusion was designed to capitalize off a weird quirk of our brains, but the underlying point is that some combinations greatly change how we perceived a given color.

If you take advantage of our Just the Right Color Guarantee, you can eliminate the risk of accidentally creating your own optical illusion (or imperfect color choice) by test-driving your paint. Interested? Give us a call to find out more.

The Importance of Sheen

Did you know that paint chips you pick up in the store all have an eggshell finish? If you want a semi-gloss, satin, high-gloss, or any other sheen, be prepared for the actual color to differ slightly from that sample. The general rule is: the higher the sheen, the darker and more intense the color will be.

If you plan to pick up some actual sample paint (instead of a paint chip card), be aware that most paint stores will only provide free test pints in eggshell sheen. If you want a sample of your chosen color in any other sheen, you’ll likely have to purchase an entire quart of it! Of course, you could just eliminate all the guesswork and call Luxbrush!