How to compare paint colors across brands

Written by alex burke
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Paint quality can vary among paint brands. Paint names can be similar but that does not mean that the colours used to mix them are identical. A bit more of one colour or another can shift the colour in another direction. The best way to choose a premixed colour is by comparing paint colours across manufacturers. Colours should only be compared if the finish is the same. Comparing a semigloss to a gloss or a matt to a gloss will skew the visual results.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paint chips
  • 12-inch square white mat board
  • Double stick tape
  • Paint and brush
  • Foam core

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  1. 1

    Obtain a paint chip for a single, desirable colour. Choose the paint chip from any brand but make sure the brand name is marked on the chip.

  2. 2

    Match the chosen paint colour to several different brands. Pull a matching paint chip from each brand, again making sure that the manufacturer's name is marked on the paint chip.

  3. 3

    Cut the paint chips away from each strip of paint chips and mark the back of each one with the manufacturer's name. Attach the paint chips to the 12-inch square sheet of white mat board using double stick tape. Leave an inch between each and place them across the mat board in a row.

  4. 4

    Write the name of the brand below each chip. Include the colour name and number, if they are not clearly printed on the chip.

  5. 5

    Compare the samples during different times of the day and in different types of light. Compare the samples against fabrics and other finishes being used with the paint colour. Paint a sample of each on a 12-inch square sheet of foam core for better viewing and comparison.

Tips and warnings

  • Many paint manufacturers offer sample-size containers of paint for comparison.

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