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Single Colour Paint Chips - Making Choosing Colours Easier

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

I have a drawer full of paint chips. I didn't mean to collect them. It just kind of happened over time. Lots of trips to the paint store and many (many) minutes spent standing in front of the wall of colour samples pondering possible combinations. We (me and my kids) make gift tags, valentines and book marks with them.

Cloverdale Paint and Benjamin Moore have both recently released new colour palettes and they both feature in store displays with large, single colour paint chips. I wish to personally thank them for making my life so much easier.

paint selection tips

Benjamin Moore Colour Stories display. Lots of beautiful colour choices.

Nothing is harder than trying to choose a colour palette for a home while standing in a paint store looking at a wall of colour strips. You would think that colour strips are a good idea because they give a light to dark grading of a colour. In truth though, the colours on most strips are too small to give you enough colour to properly judge them and comparing colour strips to other colour strips is tough.

For the colour choice challenged, colour strips are plain old torture. They keep offering up alternatives.

Single colour paint chips are larger, easier to judge on their own and much simpler to work with when building a harmonious colour palette. Designers and architects usually work with larger design kits that have single colour paint chips but consumers have always had to contend with the giant wall of colour strips or the giant fan deck they are handed by a painter.

Para Paints recently sent me their new Sarah Richardson Designer Palette fan deck and each one of the 75 colours has its own page in its large 4 X 8 fan deck. The order of the colours seems a bit random but this is a really nice collection of colour choices and the bigger fan deck is great.

I am a fan of Benjamin Moore’s Affinity fan deck for the same reason. Affinity’s paint samples are also single colour chips but they aren’t as big as their new Colour Stories samples. Benjamin Moore Colour Stories are nice large 4 X 4 samples in paint (most paint chips are ink printed). Colour Stories give a very accurate view of the actual colour, which is even more important when considering full spectrum colours.

how to choose paint using paint chips

Benjamin Moore's Colour Stories feature 4 X 4 painted samples.

My recent 2012 recommendations for exterior house colours from the Cloverdale Paint Artisan Colour Collection was so much easier to do using their large new single colour paint chips. Putting two blues side by side it was obvious which one had a more purple undertone. Before I even tested these colours, the larger samples helped me narrow down my choices.

Choosing colour combinations using large single colour paint chips is easier. Cloverdale Paint's Artisan Colour Collection.

The bigger the sample of colour, the easier it is to see the undertones in it and the better it is to compare it to other colours.

Which is why the best way to choose colours is to use big painted samples. When I meet with customers in their homes to do colour consultations, often my box of large samples is the only thing I use. But I don’t have painted samples for every colour and from every paint manufacturer out there. I am always exploring new colours so like I said, I occassionally find myself standing in front of a wall of paint chips - with a handful of paint strips. Single colour chips should solve this problem.

Maybe next Christmas I will be buying gift tags.

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