Colors & Lighting: How to Find the Best Match

calander Jan 27 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

When it comes to interior painting, sometimes choosing colors is the most difficult part of the entire process. To make matters more difficult, the colors you pick might not end up looking the way you thought they would once all is said and done. But why is this?

In short, lighting. It’s easy to overlook, but the way a room is lit can drastically alter the appearance of colors. Whether you’re hiring interior painting contractors to introduce a new color to a room or you’re touching up a portion of a surface, paying attention to light is key to achieving the look that you desire.

How Lighting Affects Color

Even if you’ve never taken a physics class, you probably have some intuition regarding the relationship between light and color. After all, most colors are hard to make out in a dark room, and most colors look brighter in a well-lit interior. Likewise, natural daylight tends to introduce a blueish-white tint to a space, while warmer, artificial lighting adds some yellow.

Indeed, color and light are inextricably linked. When we see a given color, it’s the result of light waves reflected off the surface back into our eyes and interpreted by our brains. Different light sources, then, will deliver different information to us. This means a single paint color can take on a number of looks depending on the type and intensity of light hitting it.

Matching Colors When Performing Touch-Ups

Knowing that lighting affects the way colors appear, how do home interior painters properly match colors when touching up an interior surface? The first and most obvious answer is to simply use the same exact color and brand of paint that was used before. This way, no matter how the lighting has changed in a given room, you can know for certain that your colors will match. But what if you don’t recall what paint you used, or you haven’t properly stored any extra from the last paint job?

Fortunately, matching colors is still possible in these circumstances, albeit more involved. You’ll want to scrape off a sample of the paint you wish to match and then take it to your local paint or hardware store that offers color matching services. They should be able to find the right match for you. Additionally, a home interior painting professional can help you in this regard.

Painting in the Right Light

If you’re not touching up an existing color but instead want to paint your interior with a new color, you’ll want to test various lighting configurations with the colors you’re thinking of using before committing to anything. Then, you’ll want to paint some sample surfaces and let them dry to see how they’ll appear when the job is done. When it’s time to finally paint, you or your local interior painters might have to switch up the lighting temporarily to make sure you apply the coats evenly to avoid streaking and other issues. It’s important that you see what you’re doing.

Using Digital Tools

In the early stages of color selection, you might use various digital apps like ProjectColor by Home Depot or Color Visualizer by Sherwin-Williams to help you make an informed color decision. These tools can allow you to upload your own photos, virtually adjust lighting, test tons of paint colors and palettes, and more.

Getting a Professional Perspective

No one wants to complete a paint job only to realize it doesn’t look the way they thought it would. If you’re struggling to navigate all the color and lighting possibilities before you, seek advice from an experienced Nashville painting company.

At Nash Painting, we help our customers find the right colors for their interiors and match existing colors as needed. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at (615) 829-6858 today!