How to Test Paints the Right Way

Since the human eye is capable of detecting upwards of a million colours, differentiating between them is rough. It could be worse, mantis shrimp see over 5 million including ultraviolet spectrums.

There are many problems with viewing a colour, either standalone or in comparison. Everything from the surface the paint is on to the lighting of your viewing change the look.

That’s why to test paints free from error you need to consider everything beneath and over the paints.

This guide will explain these factors so you can test paint with confidence.

Understanding Test Paints

First is the notion of the paints themselves. Often when testing paint you’re looking for something specific and arrive at a selection of similar shades.

Looking too closely at colours that are too similar makes each of them shift in your perception.

To test paint effectively you need to look at them in large areas and in isolation.

If you intend to test the paints on the target wall before committing to, you want to paint them far enough from each other that they can be seen in comparison while avoiding overlap.

Understanding Surfaces

No two surfaces are really alike. The durability, texture, and absorption of a surface will affect the presentation of a final colour.

This is one reason it’s important to invest in a primer that supports your chosen shade, especially with some finishes.

Testing paint on a wall also requires it to be applied in the same fashion as your finished wall. The difference between a roller, brush, sprayer and others affects the saturation and absorption of each coat.

Understanding Composition

You want to understand what a colour looks like under different lighting conditions. If you test in the middle of a wall you won’t see how it appears under harsher lamp light or order shadows.

If you look at MAS showroom design, you’ll note that we take into account multiple angles and surface presentations. It’s not enough to show off a set of colours, you also want to see a variety of presentations.

Consider how colours match from room to room or even wall to wall. If you use different shades in the same room you want to see how they stand out against each other.

Understanding Scale

Finally, when looking at paint colour options, you want to test them at different scales. An accent colour may look great as an accent colour but as soon as you expand it to a wall or a room it wears on you.

Test colours one at a time and stand close enough to them that they occupy your whole field of vision to gain perspective on this effect.

If you intend to do different rooms in different colours, create a layout of where each will be on a floor plan. Colour in according to the size of the room. This will help you understand how much of any given colour you will be living with.

Start Now

Arriving at a final colour is a process. Start your process to test paints now and you’ll see your new home or remodel completed all the faster.

Contact us with questions and we can supply details on shades, finishes, and more.