Picking your colors


Selecting paint colors is the first step in getting a painting job started.  Below are some handy links to paint manufacturer's color chips.  Now a days, one can remain in the comfort of one's home to pick colors.  Many people don't think they have the skills to pick their own paint colors.  Spend some time in the color selector links below and you will be surprised at how easy picking color can be.    

Many painting contractors, Interior designers and interior decorators use these links to select their colors. By using these links, you will have access to tools that design professionals use.  If you would like to hold a physical color chip in your hand, know that most paint manufacturer's web sites have a place to order the physical color chips.  You can pick them up at the paint store, but most will mail them to you at minimal or no cost.   

Numerous paint companies have online color visualizers in addition to these online color chips.   You can use theirs as offered, or you can upload your room photos and color them in on your own.  Here is a list of some paint companies with color visualizers and their links.  Your local paint dealer should be able to make and match any color from these sites.   

Pictures of your rooms made on the color visualizers may be printed out for free.  For optimum color viewing, make sure your monitor is properly color calibrated.   

1.  Benjamin Moore     http://www.benjaminmoore.com/bmpsweb/portals/bmps.portal?_nfpb=true&np=public_site/articles/application_article/app_colorExplorerTool&_pageLabel=fa_profresources#&ce_vm=0 

2.  Farrow & Ball        http://www.farrow-ball.com/colours/paint/fcp-category/list?resetFilters=true 

3.  Sherwin Williams    http://www.sherwin-williams.com/pro/paint_colors/explore/color/

4.  DunnEdwards       http://www.dunnedwards.com/PaintingContractors/ExploreColor/ExploreThePerfectPalette/ExplorethePerfectPalette.aspx

5.  Glidden Paints       http://glidden.com/color/color-palette.do 

6.  Behr Paints           http://www.behr.com/Behr/home

7.  Pratt & Lambert     http://www.prattandlambert.com/prattapp/color_visualizer

8.  Pittsburg Paints      http://www.ppgpittsburghpaints.com/our_colors/interactive-palette.htm

9. Valspar Paint        http://www.valsparpaint.com/en/explore-colors/color-selector/index.html

10.  Cabot Stains        http://www.cabotstain.com/colors-and-finishes/families/Solids-Colors.html 

11.  Kelly-Moore         http://kellymoore.autech.com.au/kellymoore/colorcenter/

12.  Devoe Paints       http://www.icipaints.com/colourtools/en_US_DV/css/schemer.html?showPath=1&dreamSaveURL=http://devoe.com/Jahia/imageSaverKey&Height=400&Width=300

13.  Dutch Boy Paints   http://www.dutchboy.com/colors/ 

14.  Vasari Plaster    http://www.vasariplaster.com/plaster-stucco-gallery/gallery-veneziano.html

15.  Vella Venetian Plaster   http://www.vellaplaster.com/colors.asp

16.  Fine Paints of Europe   http://www.finepaintsofeurope.com/classic_wall_colors.aspx

17.  Pantone Colors   http://www.pantone.com/pages/paint/paintselector.aspx

18.  Cabbot Stains     http://www.cabotstain.com/colors-and-finishes/families/Ready-Mix-Colors.html

19.  Old Fashioned Milk Paint   http://www.milkpaint.com/color.html

20.  Paint Quality Intsitute Color Designer (Excellent color visualizer tool)  http://www.paintquality.com/index.html

21.  Glidden Professional   http://www.gliddenprofessional.com/colorSelector1

22.  Olympic    http://www.olympic.com/lowes/paint-color-sample-selector/paint-color-sample-selector.aspx

23.  Martin Senour Paints   http://www.martinsenour.com/pdf/MSP_Exterior_Collection.pdf

24.  Yolo Colorhouse   http://www.yolocolorhouse.com/color/the-earths-color-collection-inside/

25.  Masterchem   http://www.masterchem.com/masterchem/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=d72e8fb3e5c49210VgnVCM100000176310acRCRD

26.  American Clay Plasters    http://www.wix.com/americanclay/new#!__colorfamilies

27.  Rodda Paint    http://www.roddapaint.com/diy/white-base/paint-color-palette.aspx

28.  AFM Safecoat    http://www.daylightcolor.com/csl/index.php?c=11 

29.  Desert sealer  http://www.desertbrand.com/images/ClassicSealerColorChart.pdf

30.  Minwax   http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/stains-color-guide/

The psychology of color: 

Color has immense significance in our lives. Whether it’s a red stop sign, or a dream dominated by blue skies, color speaks to us in more ways than one. Explore your favorite colors in the color links above. Remember to keep your favorites in mind while you’re choosing the color for your space. Keep notes and mark down color numbers and manufacturers for future reference.  Your color choices and how you color your space reflects on you and your taste.   Painting your rooms with the right colors creates the right feel and atmosphere in your space.  

Our personal and cultural associations affect our experience of color. Colors are seen as warm or cool mainly because of long-held and often universal associations. Yellow, orange and red are associated with the heat of sun and fire; blue, green and violet with the coolness of leaves, sea and the sky. Warm colors seem closer to the viewer than cool colors, but vivid cool colors can overwhelm light and subtle warm colors. Using warm colors for foreground and cool colors for background enhances the perception of depth. 

Although red, yellow and orange are in general considered high-arousal colors and blue, green and most violets are low-arousal hues, the brilliance, darkness and lightness of a color can alter the psychological message. While a light blue-green appears to be tranquil, wet and cool, a brilliant turquoise, often associated with a lush tropical ocean setting, will be more exciting to the eye. The psychological association of a color is often more meaningful than the visual experience. 

Colors act upon the body as well as the mind. Red has been shown to stimulate the senses and raise the blood pressure, while blue has the opposite effect and calms the mind. 

Studies have found people gamble more and make riskier bets when seated under a red light as opposed to a blue light. That's why Las Vegas is the city of red neon. 

An executive received complaints from workers in a blue office that the office was too cold. When the offices were painted a warm peach, the sweaters came off even though the temperature had not changed. 


Colors in the red, orange and yellow families are referred to as "warm" colors since they evoke images associated with heat, like fire or sunshine. As a result they make us feel warm in a psychological sense.


This powerful color increases blood pressure and heart rate. It often produces feelings of intimacy, energy, passion and sexuality. It also stimulates the appetite and is often used in restaurants and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home. 


 Like red, orange warms a room but in a less dramatic and passionate way. The mood and attitude of orange is more friendly than fiery; more welcoming than seductive. Orange works well in living rooms and family rooms and is also a good choice for children's bedrooms. 


Yellow grabs attention and catches the eye like no other color, hence the use of yellow highlighters in offices. In poorly lit foyers and hallways, yellow shows the way. In their bedrooms, elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood. But bright yellow can be too strong and may actually cause anxiety in infants, young children and the elderly. 


Blues, greens, violets and their intermediates are considered cool colors because of their references to pastoral landscapes and ocean vistas. When we look at these colors they elicit feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation. 


Soothing blue is an ideal bedroom color choice for adults and children. But that same blue that lulls us to sleep also suppresses our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods. Put blue to bed, but try and keep it out of the dining room.  In Greece, blue is said to ward off the "evil eye."  In the American flag, blue signifies justice, perseverance, and vigilance.  Blue is beautiful and is sure to bring a cool relaxation into your space.   


As the dominant color in nature, we are at home with green anywhere in the house. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens and dining rooms. The calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools and work environments. 


Despite the favorable response violet elicits in children, many adults dislike purples, with rosier shades of violet being somewhat more appealing. Children's bedrooms and play areas may be good places to experiment with this color family.  


Purple has often been called a royal color.  Purple dye was originally made from mollusks, making it very expensive to produce; thus the association of purple with royalty.  According to color theory, purple in a child's room is said to increase imagination.  With both a mystical and a royal connotation, purple can set a regal tone.   



White symbolizes freshness, purity, and cleanliness. White is always safe color to choose: It is a great offset to any other color you use it with. As an exterior color, white is versatile and will beautify almost any surface. 


Black is an authoritative classic color that conveys sophistication. Black provides a neutral yet strong counterpoint to any color you choose. Black is a great color for exterior woodwork like trim, shutters, doors, and wrought iron. 


Brown is known as an earth tone/nature color, it goes with everything and is a true classic choice. It is a color associated with quality, reliability and friendship.  Decorating with Brown creates a sense of cozy refinement on interior spaces.  Brown is a great color to live and work around. Red-browns look very informal. Dark browns look more refined. Brown works well with green in an exterior color scheme.  Beiges and tans are easy neutrals that can be used on most large wall surfaces. The color brown is associated with natural, organic or wholesome products.  Brown is a color that puts people at ease and is very welcoming.    

Metallic Colors
Metallic paints have a sheen that brings luxurious sophistication to whatever wall, ceiling, or trim surface they they are painted on.  They must be sprayed to achieve the desired finish.  Brushing them on doesn't give the desired smooth sheen effect that they require.   



From painting custom room scenes to comparing colors and matching photos, the newly enhanced Sherwin Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer apps help make color selection faster and easier than ever. Whether you prefer to use your phone, tablet or laptop or desktop computer, ColorSnap Visualizer lets you explore over 1,500 colors, find color inspiration from a photo, virtually paint your walls, and much more.

Here’s a rundown of the new features found in each of these enhanced digital color tools:


You can turn any Sherwin-Williams color into a painted preview scene in seconds by scanning our color chips.

  • Digital Color Wall features brand new Sherwin-Williams paint colors, and has been redesigned by color family to make selection easier.
  • New 3-D room scenes offer a more realistic look of your favorite paint selections. You can preview your paint selection in a day or night setting.
  • With the new Color Chip Locator, you can add colors to your palette, and then rotate your phone to pinpoint their exact location on the in-store color wall.
  • You can match colors from your pins to Sherwin-Williams paint colors, and save and share custom palettes on your Pinterest boards.
  • New 3-D room scenes enable you to get a more realistic look of your favorite paint selections – and allow you to preview your paint selection in a day or night setting.
  • New Digital Color Wall lets you search for a specific color with a swipe of a finger.
  • New and enhanced painting tools added, including Magic Wand tool that automatically fills an area with paint. Tapping and dragging controls how much of the area is painted.
  • Match colors from your favorite photos by simply tapping anywhere on the photo and drag to find the desired Sherwin-Williams paint color.
  • New grouping functionality allows users to apply one color to multiple areas.
  • You can save color palettes across all your devices with a my S-W.com account.
  • Expert color picks by Sherwin-Williams color experts, including hand-picked color combinations and coordinating colors to give your customers a variety of color schemes to choose from.


  • New Digital Color Wall mirrors and matches the in-store experience, and has been redesigned by color family to make color selection even easier.
  • Enhanced custom paint-a-scene experience allows users to use the magic wand tool and automatically fill an area with paint by tapping and dragging to control how much of the area is painted.
  • New grouping functionality lets users apply one color to multiple areas.
  • New capability to match colors from your favorite photos by tapping anywhere on the photo and dragging to find the desired Sherwin-Williams paint color.
  • New expert color picks, including hand-picked color combinations and coordinating colors to give your customers a variety of color schemes to choose from.