Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint

Well no one ever said choosing paint colors was easy - at least no one should have ever said that. There are sooooo many variable. And choosing something with intelligence for a tiny scrap of paper - well, that's just down right honery.

This is why manufacturer's are trying their best to help consumers by looking for ways to make the task easier and more fool-proof. I say it can't be done, but let them try. Why not? So while preparation and painting are time-consuming enough, the toughest job is actually picking out the right paint color.

Sherwin-Williams' color visualizer - They have an online service which allows you to try dozens of colors on virtual rooms. Please! Don't fall for it for the final choice, but use it just to get an idea of overall palette. They, of course, have pre-picked palettes to choose from if you want to go that route.

Larger swatches now available - They're finally starting to figure out that a half inch by 1-1/2 inch chip ain't going to cut it. So now we're seeing larger chips and fan decks. Some are even selling small pots, packets or pouches that hold enough paint to try out on your walls over several square feet.

Color Makeover Program - Benjamin Moore Paints now offers experts who will make color recommendations to you based on photographs of the rooms to be painted. Yikes! You can't tell from a photograph. I'm sorry. Nice try.

Designer Labels - Watch out for trends. They have a way of hitting big and moving on fast, just like a hurricane or tornado. You should know that last year Consumer Reports tested 17 national brands and ranked Ralph Lauren and Martha Steward paints lower than the cheaper alternatives such as Benjamin Moore. As a matter of fact, the number one rated paint for coverage, durability and stain resistance was Behr Premium Plus, sold by none other than Home Depot.

If you're in the redesign business as I am, and you're doing color consultations, drop by your local Home Depot paint center and ask for a fan deck from Behr Paints. I got mine free. Let them know you're in the "biz" and you might get yours free too.

Other September Tips:

Barbara Jennings is a well known author and interior decorator in Southern California. She is also a published artist. She teaches rearrangement design and how to do it as a home based business. Visit her website at Decorate-Redecorate.Com. Used by permission.

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