Choosing colors from a paint swatch is an all around difficult task. Starting with the fact that your paints are tinted with maybe 12 to 30 colors while the color chips are printed in 4, 5 or maybe even 8 color system which almost guarantee some difference in every paint color. At Grants Painting we find mostly the stunning white border that they sometimes use, throws your perception off when comparing shades. If you have a gallon of paint and you need to adjust it, this article will be your new go to guide. So here we go, put on your open minded thinking cap.
First is that you must know that there is only so much tint that should go into paint. Paints that are at the top of the manufactures recommendations maximum colorant amount WILL negatively effect performance in many ways.
#1 Paint Base
First, ironic twist that makes adjusting paint colors complicated from the start. Bases of paint add colorants to the mix from the start.
When you choose a color at the store the employee types in the code and that tells them which base to start with. This could be a number of levels depending on the paint manufacturers preferences: White Base, Pastel Base, Mid-Tone Base, Deep Base, Ultra Deep Base. If u gots u a system in ur ride please no jokes, thanks.
Blacks and pretty much any neon color needs to have zero or very little white in it to achieve the desired color. For this, they will use a base that is totally or mostly clear and just add the desired color.
Communication is key unless you are the owner of the home, applicator of paint AND the tint machine operator. Kinda like that Ace Hardware commercial where she is looking for the perfect color of purple. Everyone will describe colors in different ways so its key for everyone to understand each other.
#2 Know What Colorants Are Being Used
Knowing what colorants are being used to make the current color will help you decide what is needed. Knowing the current makeup of the color provides a lot of insight as to where to go from there. Different colorants have different effects depending on their makeup. Some colorants are more powerful. One drop of black colorant on your finger will totally cover it black but the same amount of yellow added, will not.
#3 Paint Color Saturation – Tint – Intensity
Saturation is what someone is talking about when they want a “Percentage” of the color formula from the paint store. Saturation is not to be confused with Shade as it is not a measure of how much black is added to the color. Some will think that you can get half of the color “Saturation” with half of the colorant formula. This is only true with a clear base as you cannot take half of the white out that the factory already put in the gallon of paint. Blacks and neon colors have zero or very little white in order to achieve the desired color. This would be a fully saturated color. Some people will us the word “tint” in place of color and hue and this is incorrect, however, you need to be aware of this if you wish to communicate with the 17 year old mixing your paint that DOES NOT CARE ABOUT COLOR THEORY.
#4 Shade Of Color
Grayish tint is what many would say in place of “shade” when in fact a color that is both a shade and a tint it then becomes a tone of color. Shade is simply how much black is added to a color NOT dependent of white. This is confusing because we think of shade as in what a tree makes. That is in light, which is an additive and not a subtractive. This is especially confusing because in paint, shade is referring to how much black is being added to the color and not how much light is being taken away.
#5 Hue – Name Of Color
Hue is simply a mechanism that describes a color. Do not name the color, only describe it. Its is not Plum, it is a brownish purple. Actually plum has a bit of black in it so that would make it a “shade” of purple. Not a green apple, but a slightly yellowish light green. Basically, you need to drop any animals, foods, and totally subjective colors like those in nature. Rose red is very subjective as the rose could be more or less healthy or simply a different sub-type of the rose flower.
Most paint colors are both a shade and a tint, or shade and amount of saturation is more correct. When you take a hue and desaturate it and add shade you achieve a “tone”. Tone is interesting because it is the easiest thing to mess up and mostly impossible to fix once you’ve gone too far.
Now you know a bit of color theory. Daniel Son, you must now learn about mixing colors.
Mixing colors in paint is interesting because you are using white and black and they’re not on the color wheel. You know that oddly enough, that blue/yellow makes green and blue/red makes purple, but do you know you can make green from black and yellow? You can! Mixing paint color is really just working your way to brown all the time in one way or another so make small moves. Here are some of the unexpected, I’ll use the food/items names of colors for simplicity.
- Green and black makes pea green to golden green.
- Primary blue is lighter than you believe.
- Primary red is what 85% of people will call red-orange.
- All tints are not created equal. Some change the paint more or less depending on deep base or white base. Some tints will be easily taken over by a stronger one. Yellow is the most likely to be taken over by a darker color.
- If you add a bit of red to a green, what you are actually doing is moving towards brown and not toning down the green. The green is better toned down with more white first IF in a white/pastel base.
- Adding white will move a white based paint slightly, it is not hopeless as many will say. Adding white to a deep base will have a dramatic effect.
- Tan is pretty much a light brown with white added in to mute the color.
- Red/black/yellow makes brown and green sometimes too. Since you can add blue (green and yellow) to make the brown dark and rich, it is presumable that you pretty much are always working towards brown and MUST remember to take baby steps.
- Browns can be made deeper with blue and not black. Yellow can bring them back lighter while not making them muddy.
- Whites will “backup” a bright color and make them cover better. Think of it if you were to spray neon paint on a black item or a white item it would show up solid on white much quicker than black.
- Hit the hue first. Then move the shade/saturation with white and black.
- When working with deep bases, adding colors not already in the colors is expert level Jedi stuff.
- When working in white bases, adding other colors to move closer to the goal is wise (Jedi). White bases can only handle just a few ounces of colorant because there is already so much white in there from the factory(more or less).
- If you’re still stuck on the joke from earlier about the stereo system. Orange, Silver, Purple and Pint are all words that cannot be rhymed(except by Ludacris, he can rhyme anything).