Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Primer on Color (Part 2)

This in the continuation of a previous blog (here).

You're on a budget and experience sticker shock when you want to purchase some paint. Look no further than the mis-tint aisle. These are typically located near the paint service desk or  the end of the paint aisle.  Most of the time you can get these at <50% of the retail price.

Some advice when buying mis-tint paints.
1) They are non refundable
2) Have the paint department mix it well
3) Have them open the can and inspect it (no dirt/ mold or debris ). IF there are clumps you use pantyhose to strain it. NOT cheesecloth because it can transfer fibers into the mixture.
4) You should NEVER have to pay more than $10-$15 per gallon for a mis-tint. Try bargaining sometimes they will knock the price down if you purchase multiples and  just to get it off the books.
5) Have new or very clean 2 or 5 gallon containers to transfer contents.
6) You can mix in small quantities if you have several cans of paint to try and dial in the right color. Use accurate measurements/ ratios so it can be repeated on a larger scale.
7) Don't be afraid. You can ALWAYS add white or black to dial in the color you want. Or if it is to far gone you can add it to other mixtures.
8) Once you get what YOU think is the perfect shade, paint a thin film on good white card stock. Take it to a paint store and have them scan it for a exact formula replication, just in case!
9) As long as you purchase the same base formulation you can mix the paints regardless of the brand. For instance, only combine water based latex or acrylic with other water based latex or acrylic. Oil base with Oil base. Water based is easier to clean up, lower VOC (volatile organic compounds--which means it stinks less) and more environmentally friendly.
10) For the beginner--Mix like finish or sheen. Gloss with Gloss, Satin with Satin. Eggshell with Eggshell. You get the ideal.
11) If you are advanced (kinda like me) you can mix finishes and sheens. You can mix:
 Flat + Satin=Eggshell
Flat + Semi/ Gloss=Satin
Just remember this will be a CUSTOM mix and the sheen will not be easily duplicated!
12) Always properly store your paint!
13) Each paint manufacturer specs their formulations differently. If you like perfection--THIS IS NOT FOR YOU! There will be subtle differences. You may come very close to a paint chip but very seldom is it an exact match.

Now that we got the DO's and DONT's out of the the way, let's talk color.  What is it about color causes such a reaction? It is a sensory stimulus. It can be calm and soothing, lively and energetic and everything in between. Color evokes emotions. Feelings. Memories.

The good thing about paint is even if you don't get the exact response or feeling, you can re-paint. Paint hides a multitude of imperfections, is cheap, and is the quickest thing you can do to change the appearance of an object or a room.

When applying paint the first thing you notice is what is called the Mass tone. This is the color you immediately see. The color you see when the paint dries and is viewed as a whole (depending on the light in the room) is the undertone. The best example of undertone is evident as why some whites appear yellow, blue, pink, or reds appear blue, orange or purple, etc... All paint will have a mass tone and undertone. Sometimes they are nearly indiscernible other times it is very evident.

Here are some examples of mixes:
This wasn't a mis-tint but I mixed left over paint from other projects:

 1 gallon of  Oat Straw mixed with
2 gallons of Cozy Cottage


And I ended up with...
I wish I had better picture quality. It is a very creamy pale yellow (buttermilk)

Here I have Oat Straw

Mixed with Smoked Infusion (far right)

And I end up with a very subtle sage (center swathe). Grey Green=Sage
I  really  need a better camera.

This is concept of shades that I spoke about previously. Here we mixed a paint that has a high concentration of yellow with a blue-grey. The mass tone is green but the undertone is grey.

Now I am going to mix a grey. Not using back and white but using a blue and purple. I know you think  you will get blue purple. Here goes...

Mix equal parts of Smoked Infusion (Blue grey on the right) + Winter Haze (grey purple in the middle) and I get a nice pewter grey (far left). In this instance the Mass tones were blue and purple, respectively but each has grey undertones.  By combining the 2 shades the mass tone and undertone both were grey. Pretty neat huh?

While not a dramatic difference. It is different enough to be noticeable but not jarring. So by doing this I can have different colors in various rooms but it doesn't make my small place seem choppy because they are a similar color palette.

So whadya' think? Do you feel comfortable enough to try this?

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