Why Your Paint Looks Different in Your Home than in the Store: Southwest Florida Painting

Ron's Painting

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When painting a home, there are a lot of factors that go into a successful Southwest Florida painting project. One important but overlooked factor is lighting, believe it or not, and this mainly comes into play when you first start picking out colors for your home.

It’s a common scenario. A couple will fall in love with a paint color – say, a shade of blue – in the store, but when they get home and start painting, they find that the color looks completely different on their walls.

This is a very disappointing experience – as well as one that could be wasteful. What is happening here is something called “metamerism”. Paint colors are a product of lighting as much as anything else. Metamerism means a paint will look one way under one particular light source and will look a different way under another light source.

There are certain colors that are more susceptible to this. Tans, grays, taupes, grayed blues – really any color with gray in it – are particularly vulnerable to metamerism. Mauves and lilacs can fall victim too. It doesn’t help that most paint stores have harsh fluorescent lighting that doesn’t typically exist in your home.

Other factors that play into what a color looks like include the walls themselves, carpet, surrounding pieces of décor, and even other paint chips or swatches that you bring home. Try to look at the color in isolation to get a good idea of what it will look like, and try to view it in context – that is, in the same type of lighting that makes up your home. Also, checking it out in different times of day helps.