Friday, May 28, 2010

~ Tiffany Blue Aqua, Turquoise & How To Create The Perfect Paint Color

Have you ever picked out the perfect paint color from a small paint chip, painted it on the wall, and then hated it? Most people would think that this never happens to the professionals. Truth be told, it happens all the time. I remember reading an article once about one of the quite well known American decorators/designers and he was discussing a beautiful room that he had created. I was so happily surprised when he described his journey and process of perfecting the final color of the room. He had the room painted, the entire room, 3 or 4 times. Each time he knew he was almost there, but it was not quite perfect. I don't remember if this was just he thinking or if the client agreed or never saw it before the final color. Of course he wasn't doing the labor of painting the darn room either. But he was not afraid to change the color until it was just right.
(French Chair, Tiffany Blue ... Etsy Shop.)

There are a few lessons in that story. One important one is, try to laugh it off if you get a room painted and you don't like the color. Even big name designers don't get every color exactly as they want it on the first try. Treat the "wrong" color as a good primer coat for the final paint color. Your finished wall will look better for having a few coats of brand new paint rather than just one. The not quite perfect color happens all the time, it's not just you. We all have had to deal with the same thing.

If you start with something as your inspiration that has a color you simply adore, the chances are that you will love a room that is inspired by that color. You might think that you would like a room the same color as the beautiful Tiffany blue bag. It's a tough color to match and it seems everyone thinks it is a different. I've seen a few rooms on the web that were said to be painted Tiffany blue, and each one looked very different. If you see an ad in a bride's magazine, it is not look the same as the color of the bag either.

So if you have your heart set on the Tiffany blue paint, you could take the bag to the paint store, check various paint strips or have the bag color matched. Sometimes this works great with an object your are color matching, but sometimes the machine just can't match it well. For instance if I am color matching browns, I know that my Home Depot's machine can do a better job than my Lowe's. However for yellows, Lowe's machine is excellent.

I wanted something very close to the Tiffany blue bag as the background in this cabinet. But instead of heading to the paint store, I went to the craft store. I guess this would be the small-time designer's trick. If you always have a large budget to work with, you probably would just keep buying quarts of paint until you got it right.

First choose a couple bottles of "craft" paint that look as close to the color as possible. You will be able to see the paint as it is wet, and sometimes this a better indication of true color than the paint chips. It will be a little darker when it dries, but it is the actual color and not a printed strip of paper with color on it. Then you just play with the paints by mixing them with each or, and often with white or maybe black.

When you have a color you are pretty sure of, you can test paint some on a wall, or on a large piece of foam core board to test it out. Adjust it as you need, and then go to the paint store and have it color matched. If you take a small amount of your sample in a jar, you can also compare your paint when it is wet to the can they mix for you. This can be very helpful.

Many people take the original inspiration object in to have it color matched, and it works fine. But if you ever have something that just seems tough to match, try this little trick.

One more thing about tricky colors, you might have to actually paint the whole room before you really know if it is going to be the perfect color for you. Now that one takes a lot more work than just a quick swatch on the wall. Sometimes the color just doesn't look right until the entire room is painted. I remember going through this dilemma couple of times with clients, when the room was first being painted, either I or the client just wasn't too sure about the color. But I knew it was either the correct color or pretty darn close. Sometimes, you just can't tell if it is perfect or not until the whole room, or almost the whole room is painted because of other factors, especially the influence of the paint color that was already on the wall. Even if that color is white.

And of course the color in a small swatch, no matter how beautiful it is, can be overpowering when you see it in an entire room. You many have found the perfect color, you just need to add white to it so that you don't have so much saturation of color.

See Y'All Soon~


  1. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

    This happened to me with my master bedroom, Donna! I learned my lesson and now get sample pots of any paint I plan on using, and believe me it has saved me from making a mistake in my dining room, too. The only thing I would also consider is that sometimes you love the color on something small, like the blue on that beautiful Tiffany bag, but once it is on 4 large walls, you may not like it as much.

  2. That color is gorgeous, honey. I've nothing in that color but I may do SOMETHING and trust me, it won't be a visit to Tiffany's. Beautiful, chick...

  3. I just adore that color.....turquoise is tricky. But when you get it right it's breathtaking!

  4. Oh my goodness I just did this in my daughters/guest bathroom. Painted it a glorious shade~of what I thought was a turquoisy green...and she sees it...loves it...and asked "But why did you go with sage green again?" AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH....I couldn't breathe for a moment! Big smile.
    Oh well...It is what it is. Love your hit me hard...but I loved it anyway!
    Happy Memorial Day Weekend

  5. Hah! I just bought a gallon of Sherwin Williams' Gateway Gray for my front steps. I can't wait to see if it's really as lovely as I THINK it's going to be! Of course, since I already bought the gallon, I'll be living with it no matter what. :)

    How ARE you, Donners?!

  6. somehow this color just settles me down ..... sigh

  7. Funny, I was reading your post and was reminded that 10years ago, almost to the day actually, they used my little bungalow in a episode of "The Fugitive."

    The set director chose the paint and they repainted my living room for the scene this "Lovely" shade of Strawberry Pink.

    The union set painters were fun to watch though. (Talk about watching paint dry.)The next day the director came in and declared it was all wrong,,,so the painters came back and dabbled it down with golds and browns,,That met with his expectations.

    They actually asked me after the shoot if I wanted to LEAVE it that color,,,,ugh. I did get a nice French white paint job out of the deal in the end!

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Love your vitrine with the Tiffiny blue and beautiful bottles. You did a spectacular job. Also, your tip about bringing along a swatch for a color match is a good one.

    Happy Weekend.
    Thanks for all you share.


  9. What a good tip Donna! I've never thought of doing that with the craft paints. I agree, sometimes you really don't know until the whole room is painted. I've had problems with HD color matching. They've frequently told me that can't do certain things and forget Benjamin Moore - at least mine - they don't color match at all!


  10. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I just had my master bedroom painted a "mint green" and I hate it - I wasn't up for the mess of repainting though (because my whole house is uprooted when we paint anything and I have twin babies) so I bought new curtains :)

    Hopefully that does the trick - they're going up tomorrow LOL


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