How to Accurately Read a Color Deck

Knowing how to accurately read a color deck is an important characteristic to look for when selecting a painter contractor for your home. Here is a question I recently received via our website:

I live on Sanibel Island and hired a painter to paint the exterior of my home. I picked out a color and the painter I worked with told me it would not be a problem for him to get the color matched to paint the exterior of my home. It has been 3 years since the exterior was painted and the color has faded to almost white. The color I originally chose was a Sherwin Williams color SW 6668, which I believe is called Sunrise. Can you please tell me why this color has faded so badly? I cannot afford to get my house painted right away, and when I call the company that painted my home, they are not returning my calls.

I responded with the following: 

I am sorry to hear that you have had a problem with not only the color on the exterior of your home, but also the painting contractor you worked with. I looked up the color you chose from the Sherwin Williams color deck and I now know why the painter told you it would not be a problem to get it matched. The SW 6668 color is an interior-only color, which requires a primer under the color, and Sherwin Williams would not sell that color in an exterior color. Your painting contractor should have told you this once he looked at the Sherwin Williams color deck and also should have directed you to select another paint color that could have better tolerated the Florida sun. Many painting contractors do not know how to read color decks from various paint companies. The paint companies mark their color decks in a particular way, to clarify which colors should be used exclusively for the interior and which colors require special primers. As a painting contractor who has painted in Florida for over 30 years, I am well aware that a paint color with an “I” next to it, means interior only and a paint color with a “P” means it requires a primer and should not be used on the exterior.

I typically suggest my clients select 4 colors that they really like and allow me to analyze how well the colors will hold up in the Florida sun before you have to repaint, and then go from there. We recently painted a commercial building on Summerlin Rd. in Fort Myers and chose the color SW 6373, which is an earth tone yellow color, and we trimmed the building in white.

When you are ready to repaint your home, please keep Ron's Painting in mind. I will be happy to meet with you and help you pick a color that will work with your Sanibel home.

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