Paint Colors Testing: Don’t Try Colors Directly on the Wall!


Testing paint colors is the only way to know whether the color is right for you or not.  Painting a room with a new color is a huge commitment.   But it’s a wonderful way to take a room from blah to beautiful. It can be overwhelming to head to the store to pick out a color. You show up with the plan of choosing a light green, but find yourself facing a confusing array of colors. Would chartreuse look best, or should you go with sage? Peaceful Garden or Studio Green?

It’s impossible to choose a color based on a tiny paper sample that is printed with ink.  So you’ll likely arrive home with several sample buckets of paint. When you start testing paint colors, we beg you to resist the urge to paint sample squares on your wall.

Here’s why:

You Need a Nice-Sized Sample to Get a Feel for the Color

When you’re painting on a sample color, you don’t want to paint up a huge spot of your wall.   After all this may not be the color you end up choosing in the end. Because of this, many people stay conservative, testing paint colors in teensy tiny squares on the wall. The problem with this is that it’s hard to get a good feel for a color when you’re only seeing it in a small area. Small squares don’t do a good job of representing what a color will look like after you paint an entire wall or the whole room.

It’s Easy to Wrongly Judge Paint Color When It’s Still Wet

Another mistake people make when testing paint colors is painting a sample square on the wall and giving the color a thumbs up or thumbs down before it’s dry. Many colors tend to look much darker when they’re wet, which means it’s too soon to mark that selection off of the list.

Looking at Different Paint Samples at Once Will Play Tricks on Your Eyes

Once you get all of your paint sample squares slathered on the wall, you’ll be facing a kaleidoscope of colors that make it harder, rather than easier, to choose one. The tones of one color can impair your ability to see what a different one will look like by itself. Specific colors can even change the look of others entirely when they’re placed side by side. This is another problem that arises when testing paint colors by painting them directly on the wall.

One Coat Won’t Do the Trick

Another issue? In order to see what a color will truly look like, you’re going to need more than one coat. Most people are understandably hesitant to take the time necessary to paint on a few different coats of sample paint, which means that they’re making a decision based on a thinner, less vibrant version of what the finished product will look like. If you do take the time to layer your sample paint, however, you’ll run into the next problem on our list.

You’re Creating Extra Work for Yourself

When you put two or three layers of sample paint in a square on the wall, you’ve created a buildup that’s going to be noticeable even after you paint over it. Because of this, you’re going to need to sand that area down before priming and painting it with the final color.

Testing Paint Colors With Sure Swatch

Instead of testing paint colors by brushing on sample squares that are too small, don’t have enough coats to represent the color, and will have to be sanded or painted over later, give SureSwatch a try! Using them is easy; simply apply two coats of sample paint (letting them dry in between) before applying each SureSwatch to the wall. Each SureSwatch gives you a sizable sample, but if you want to see what a color will look like in a larger area, simply paint two or more SureSwatch temporary paint swatches and place them on the wall together.

Best of all? They peel off easily with no sanding or covering required. Painting and testing paint colors is a huge project, but SureSwatch can make it much easier and a happier experience for all.

Want to learn more about testing paint colors? Check out our painting tips for ideas and inspiration!

Find SureSwatch at Home Depot, Walmart, and Ace Hardware.

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