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How To: Minimise the risk of colour variations

With winter arriving it is the season many of us return indoors and rejuvenate our interior spaces; and a new colour can dramatically change the mood of a space.

After choosing the colours to create just the right feeling, a key challenge for interior painters and decorators is managing paint colour variations.  There are a few reasons that variations can arise, including mis-tints, colour matching or the chemical makeup of paint.

What is a mis-tint? And how can you avoid one?

All paint companies have a recipe for each colour in their range.  The recipes tell the person tinting the paint which colourants to use, and how much, to make every colour.  Too much or too little of any of the colourants can change the colour. 

So what can we do to identify mis-tints before we start painting?  Open the paint can and check the paint colour against a colour chart of the same colour.  To be sure, dip a paint bush into the paint can and brush the paint directly onto the colour chart.  After the sample paint has dried, it should be the same colour as that on the colour chart.

What is colour matching?

Colour matching occurs when paint company B reproduces paint company A’s paint colours with paint company B’s pigments.  Like all reproductions, the copy is close but never exact. 

There are risks associated with colour matching, which we discussed in our blog Will your house painters use the exact paint colours you’ve chosen?  For these reasons, Wall Treats does not colour match paint products unless it is at the customer’s request, with the customer fully understanding the potential consequences.

How can chemical make-up affect paint colour?

Painting different surfaces can require different paint forms, that is, water-based versus oil-based paint.

We all have features in our homes that we may regard as less attractive.  These may be flat panel doors, skinny skirting boards or downpipes.  We may choose to paint these surfaces the same colour as the adjoining walls so they blend in, however these surfaces may require a different paint form from that on the adjoining wall/s.  Special precautions should be taken to ensure the colour in the different paint forms are an exact match.  The less attractive surfaces can only be successfully concealed if the paint colours are an exact match. 

While it is a reasonable assumption they would be an exact match – after all it is the same colour from the same company – as experienced master painters we have encountered enough differences to make us cautious when different paint forms in the same colour are applied. 

We don’t know the cause of the colour difference in waterborne or oil-based paint products, however precautions can be taken to minimise disappointment.

Ask the paint company to provide you a sample of the paint that will be applied to the surface you want to conceal.  Apply the sample onto something of the same material, for example a piece of timber if the surface to conceal is a flat panel door, and check to see if the colour matches.

Looking for quality Auckland house painters?

When booking a painter, using an expert Master Painter gives you get the benefit of their experience in the industry.  At Wall Treats we take pride in delivering precise paint finishes in a highly professional manner. To learn more about the standard of workmanship we deliver, visit our project gallery.

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