It’s no secret to hear that I love my sample pots. I've even had the title of Sample Pot Queen bestowed upon me by my work colleagues. But don’t be fooled!
I don't hand out sample pots willy-nilly, in fact I can be quite selfish with them. In my eyes, if I see a customer leave the paint store with more than 2 samples pots (for their main colour) then, as a colour consultant, I haven’t done my job!
Whilst some of you are thinking “how hard can it be to pick a colour?!” for others this process can cause immense stress and anxiety, affecting people of all ages, income and intelligence levels.
So, it’s okay to take your time when selecting the main colour of your scheme because this colour will be the foundation for you entire look.
For example, for interiors this colour will set the mood for your home and inspire feature wall, trim and accent colours. Once you have your main colour, the other colours with flow more easily and readily. Trust me, I know this!
So, I give my clients 2 options for their main colour, loosely labelled “Option a” and “Option b”.
Depending on the client, labels can change and are not limited to the following:
“cool” and “warm”
“what I think I want because it’s fashionable” and “what I actually love and am drawn to”
“what I’ve always dreamed” and “what is more practical for my family”
“under pressure from my builder to select colours right NOW” and .....That’s it!
Photo taken by Victoria Sloman 2016
From here, I lay down my 7 Precious Laws of Colour Sampling. They are as follows:
Give the sample pot a good shake before you go. It’s important the tinting pigment is mixed through before you paint to avoid streaks.
Sample areas need to be 1 square meter (I call these “Sample Boxes”). This will allow you to gauge a better understanding of how this colour will look on a larger scale.
Always apply 2 coats (on a bare/un-primed surfaces this may mean 3 coats!). This ensures the colour is being seen at its full intensity. No patchiness allowed!
Don’t sample differing colours right next to each other. Let’s put the point of your sampling in perspective here. You’re looking at how this colour compliments your space NOT how it reacts to the other colour you are sampling. SEPARATE THEM!
Sample in multiple areas of your house and leave for at least 24 hours. Try to put “Sample Boxes” in different rooms of the house or, if outside, differing external walls. Also, don’t be afraid to sample next to artwork, furniture or windows. Again, this will allow you to gauge a better understanding of how this colour will look on a larger scale and how it reacts to passing light, natural light and artificial light
Apply your sample in the same technique as your top coat. Technique will affect the overall finish. If you’re rolling your topcoat then please do this with your sample.
Most importantly, If you don’t like the colour/s, ask yourself “Why?”Sometimes, in life, we discover what we love through our acknowledgment of what doesn’t work for us. This can apply to your colour journey. Reasons for a colour not working could be factors as simple as “it was too light” or “threw off a blue undertone when placed next to my carpet”. These are easily rectified. Easy Fixes! However, sometimes it can be more complicated than that. Sometimes colour choices aren’t practical. The point of this exercise is to understand why something isn’t working for you. Only then, can you develop insight and try something different.
So there you go. For most, selecting colours requires time, patience and understanding. I hope my 7 Precious Laws help you out in the future!
Thank you for visiting The Colour Retreat and I look forward to seeing you again soon!
Now tell me, what is it that you had in mind?
If you have any questions or topics you would love to learn more about, please don't hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!