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Brian Henderson
04-20-2018, 4:26 PM
My wife wants me to put up shelves in the bedroom, but she wants them to be the exact same shade as the walls are. So I spent time down at Lowes trying to find paint cards that would match and came up empty. We didn't paint the walls and we have none of the original paint color in a can. I asked the guy at Lowes and he had no idea. He says find a card because they need something they can scan to tell the machine what color to make.

Any ideas? I'm not going to paint the whole room so I can put up a couple of shelves.

Bruce Page
04-20-2018, 5:24 PM
Any ideas?
Unless you can find a piece of painted baseboard, outlet/switch cover etc, that you can have scanned you could try to talk her into a contrasting color. :)
I have never had any luck trying to color match using the cards. Even when I thought the match was perfect I could always see a difference.

Tom M King
04-20-2018, 5:36 PM
Home Depot does a pretty good job, most of the time. I'm not sure if the machine they use is a spectrometer, as I'm sure the people running it don't know, but I've had better luck there than even the pro paint stores. In any case, their machine takes the guesswork out of it for their employees.

Malcolm Schweizer
04-20-2018, 5:41 PM
I just peeled a piece of the drywall facing (the paper part that is painted) off and took it to HD to run through the spectrometer, and they made a perfect match. I used the new paint to cover where I pulled the sample from after a little spackling.

Jim Becker
04-20-2018, 5:45 PM
I just peeled a piece of the drywall facing (the paper part that is painted) off and took it to HD to run through the spectrometer, and they made a perfect match. I used the new paint to cover where I pulled the sample from after a little spackling.

This is exactly what I was going to suggest...steal a sample directly from the wall in a place that a minor spackle repair will "just disappear". Four short strokes of a utility knife to cut a 1-2" square and peel it away with the tip of the knife to start. I've done this more than once.

Brian Henderson
04-20-2018, 6:04 PM
Unless you can find a piece of painted baseboard, outlet/switch cover etc, that you can have scanned you could try to talk her into a contrasting color. :)
I have never had any luck trying to color match using the cards. Even when I thought the match was perfect I could always see a difference.

The problem is, I don't. I tried taking a picture of the color and it doesn't help. It's never the same on the phone as it is in person.

Brian Henderson
04-20-2018, 6:06 PM
Home Depot does a pretty good job, most of the time. I'm not sure if the machine they use is a spectrometer, as I'm sure the people running it don't know, but I've had better luck there than even the pro paint stores. In any case, their machine takes the guesswork out of it for their employees.

Except I don't have a wall I can drag in there. All of the molding is a different color. All of the fixture covers are a different color. That's why I've been trying to match the color with something they can scan because I can't think of a better way of getting a sample down there.

Stephen Tashiro
04-20-2018, 8:41 PM
Except I don't have a wall I can drag in there. All of the molding is a different color. All of the fixture covers are a different color. That's why I've been trying to match the color with something they can scan because I can't think of a better way of getting a sample down there.

Get a set of artist's acrylic paints (and if needed, an artist) and experiment with mixing colors and painting them on thin strips of wood (like paint mixing sticks) till you get a match. Then have that sample scanned at the paint store.

Jim Becker
04-20-2018, 9:10 PM
Except I don't have a wall I can drag in there. .

Malcolm and I mentioned a very easy way to "take a small part of the wall with you" up above in posts 4 & 5

Dan Friedrichs
04-20-2018, 10:26 PM
This problem has always made me think there should be a way to rent/borrow a portable paint scanner thing...they don't look expensive/complicated. Why isn't that a thing?

(But, like Jim and Malcolm suggest, I've cut a few pieces of drywall facing to bring into the store)

Yonak Hawkins
04-21-2018, 1:15 AM
Maybe there's a place behind an electrical cover, a piece of removable molding or some other place that's accessible. What about behind a window treatment bracket or a picture or piece of furniture ?

Stephen Tashiro
04-21-2018, 3:43 AM
This problem has always made me think there should be a way to rent/borrow a portable paint scanner thing...they don't look expensive/complicated. Why isn't that a thing?


Maybe it is. https://www.amazon.com/Color-Muse-color-matching-paint/dp/B01KKEMIF0/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524296442&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=coloro+analyzer

Curt Harms
04-21-2018, 6:40 AM
Maybe there's a place behind an electrical cover, a piece of removable molding or some other place that's accessible. What about behind a window treatment bracket or a picture or piece of furniture ?

Behind a piece of furniture just above the baseboard? That'd work for me, and it wouldn't be sun faded, unless you wanted sun faded.

Dan Friedrichs
04-21-2018, 9:39 AM
Maybe it is. https://www.amazon.com/Color-Muse-color-matching-paint/dp/B01KKEMIF0/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524296442&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=coloro+analyzer

Now that's cool :)

Brian Henderson
04-21-2018, 1:33 PM
Yeah, I know that's ultimately what I'll have to do because there is no easy way to get it done. I want the color to match what's on the walls right now, so if it's sun faded, then it needs to be sun faded. I was just hoping for a better way, this is really something the paint industry needs to work on.

Jim Koepke
04-21-2018, 3:57 PM
Yeah, I know that's ultimately what I'll have to do because there is no easy way to get it done. I want the color to match what's on the walls right now, so if it's sun faded, then it needs to be sun faded. I was just hoping for a better way, this is really something the paint industry needs to work on.

The problem with the industry doing this is how different lighting environment can affect the perception of a color. Back in my days in a print shop a color match had to look right under sunlight, fluorescent light, incandescent light and blends of the three sources, we didn't have LED lamps back then.

One of the problems is each maker of ink or paint uses a different formula and one manufacturer's Kelly Green might not match another's. Same with all the other colors and shades, Kelly Green was just the first to come to mind.

Cut out a patch, take it in and hope for the best.

jtk

Mark Carlson
04-21-2018, 5:03 PM
Most paint manufacturers have mobile apps you can download onto your phone. You take a pic in good lighting and it will tell you the match. I've had it work perfectly and then not so much depending on the light.

Edwin Santos
04-21-2018, 7:19 PM
Yeah, I know that's ultimately what I'll have to do because there is no easy way to get it done. I want the color to match what's on the walls right now, so if it's sun faded, then it needs to be sun faded. I was just hoping for a better way, this is really something the paint industry needs to work on.

Why is it so hard to do what Malcolm and Jim have suggested?
You can do it in 30 seconds with an xacto or other utility knife and patch it with spackle just as quickly. In my experience Home Depot does a great job matching, and they'll dab a tiny bit on your sample to confirm it in front of you. If the sample is sun faded, then they'll match to that.
Maybe you can even cut the sample from the exact place where one of the shelves is going and then there's no spackling.
I find matching the sheen is more difficult than matching the color.
Edwin

Bruce Wrenn
04-21-2018, 8:37 PM
Worst case, paint just the one wall shelves are to be attached to. Paint from corner to corner, just don't get any new paint on the other side of the corner. Look carefully in any room, and due to light angles, the walls will be a slightly different shade.

Lee Schierer
04-21-2018, 10:22 PM
Except I don't have a wall I can drag in there. All of the molding is a different color. All of the fixture covers are a different color. That's why I've been trying to match the color with something they can scan because I can't think of a better way of getting a sample down there.

When a room is painted generally the wall plates are removed and the painter gets as close to the receptacle or switch as possible with the paint. Remove a wall plate and carefully cut the dry wall paper that is hidden by the wall plate, remove that piece of paper and take it to the paint store.

Brian Henderson
04-22-2018, 3:23 AM
The problem with the industry doing this is how different lighting environment can affect the perception of a color. Back in my days in a print shop a color match had to look right under sunlight, fluorescent light, incandescent light and blends of the three sources, we didn't have LED lamps back then.

One of the problems is each maker of ink or paint uses a different formula and one manufacturer's Kelly Green might not match another's. Same with all the other colors and shades, Kelly Green was just the first to come to mind.

Cut out a patch, take it in and hope for the best.

jtk

That's what I'm going to do. Tomorrow I'll cut a patch and take it by Lowes on the way home on Monday. Thanks.

Tom M King
04-22-2018, 8:29 AM
Unless things have changed at Lowes, their method of color matching is all guess work. Home Depot takes any required skill out of the equation.

Phil Mueller
04-22-2018, 9:12 AM
The piece of wall is the best idea. I suspect, though, that given the different angles of the shelf to the wall, it wonít look like a perfect match even if it is the same color. Think about a room with a corner. The different light reflection where the two walls meet will give the impression of two different colors. We did a remodel recently. The remodeled room met the foyer. Where the two walls meet, the foyer is one color swatch away from the remodeled room. Canít tell a difference at all.

Yonak Hawkins
04-22-2018, 10:43 AM
I find matching the sheen is more difficult than matching the color.

This is true. Having had two such issues myself lately, matching the sheen seems to be a difficulty for some reason, even if you know what the original sheen was.

Lee DeRaud
04-22-2018, 12:07 PM
Maybe it is. https://www.amazon.com/Color-Muse-color-matching-paint/dp/B01KKEMIF0/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524296442&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=coloro+analyzerNot clear from the description that the widget outputs anything that the mixing computer at Home Depot can use. The app appears to have a catalog of each brands "standard" colors (probably as RGB values), but that only gets you close if the wall you're trying to match was a custom match in the first place.

That said, for $50 it might be worth a gamble...could be it's made by the same folks who build HD's scanners.

Lee DeRaud
04-22-2018, 12:15 PM
Get a set of artist's acrylic paints (and if needed, an artist) and experiment with mixing colors and painting them on thin strips of wood (like paint mixing sticks) till you get a match. Then have that sample scanned at the paint store.I did this once when I was trying to get paint to match two colors in a framed print that was too large to schlep to Home Depot.
It's not as easy as it sounds, but it worked...eventually.

Stephen Tashiro
04-22-2018, 12:24 PM
My wife wants me to put up shelves in the bedroom, but she wants them to be the exact same shade as the walls are..

Be a home improvement hero. Put up the shelves and then paint the shelves and the bedroom.

Lee DeRaud
04-22-2018, 12:28 PM
Be a home improvement hero. Put up the shelves and then paint the shelves and the bedroom.Not in that order though:
Paint the walls before you put the shelves up, because she will want to move one or more of them later. :)

Steve Peterson
04-24-2018, 1:42 PM
When a room is painted generally the wall plates are removed and the painter gets as close to the receptacle or switch as possible with the paint. Remove a wall plate and carefully cut the dry wall paper that is hidden by the wall plate, remove that piece of paper and take it to the paint store.

The guy at Home Depot said they needed a 1" square of paint for their machine. I usually cut about 1.5" square from behind a door or other inconspicuous location. My success rate is around 50% of getting a great match or just an OK match. Usually the sheen is slightly off.

Yonak Hawkins
04-24-2018, 6:17 PM
...because she will want to move one or more of them later. :)

"You are cattivo, court composer." -- Emperor Joseph, from Amadeus

John C Cox
04-25-2018, 8:49 AM
Brian, I am going to say this out loud.

You will not get an "exact" match. You will get an adequate match that's not too objectionable assuming you pick the right sheen level and the operator doesn't mess up too much and the machine was recently calibrated and maintained..... Generally - this means you will have to paint the wall in question all the way to the corners to avoid an obvious line when light shines on it. So be careful where you cut your square - somewhere inconspicuous will save you a lot of time touching up the wall...

Now - the shelves will give you a natural edge which creates a division - so an "adequate" color match is fine. You won't notice it too much.

And a funny story (in hindsight)...: I took a kitchen wall chunk over to BORG for paint match... They dutifully scanned the sample and mixed the colors... Everything is going OK till I notice the new paint looks bownish and my sample was greenish beige... I ask the color match lady - this doesn't look quite right... Can you scan it again to see if you get the same paint mix?

No! We don't do that...

but it's way too brown - this is clearly not a good match...

Well - if you want me to make another can - you have to pay for it....

And then I happen to flip my wall chunk over.... You guessed it - they had mixed a perfect match for the brown paper drywall backer - not the paint..

I pointed this out - and she still insisted that I must pay for the paint if I want a do-over.... At that point - I left without my paint and went to Blue BORG - where they scanned the right side of the sample and made me a decent color match....

Lee DeRaud
04-25-2018, 10:05 AM
And a funny story (in hindsight)...: I took a kitchen wall chunk over to BORG for paint match... They dutifully scanned the sample and mixed the colors... Everything is going OK till I notice the new paint looks bownish and my sample was greenish beige... I ask the color match lady - this doesn't look quite right... Can you scan it again to see if you get the same paint mix?

No! We don't do that...

but it's way too brown - this is clearly not a good match...

Well - if you want me to make another can - you have to pay for it....

And then I happen to flip my wall chunk over.... You guessed it - they had mixed a perfect match for the brown paper drywall backer - not the paint..

I pointed this out - and she still insisted that I must pay for the paint if I want a do-over.... At that point - I left without my paint and went to Blue BORG - where they scanned the right side of the sample and made me a decent color match....That's odd: at the one I go to, they have a stack of discounted cans of paint from when they screwed up scanning/mixing and started over. The gallon I bought Monday, the guy did twice: first time came out way off and he started over. I didn't ask him to, he did it himself while I was roaming around getting the rest of my supplies and apologized for the delay.

In your circumstances, it would have taken me about two minutes to find someone way higher up the food chain to explain the facts of life to the soon-to-be unemployed worker bee, a lot easier than driving to Lowes.

Jamie Buxton
04-25-2018, 10:32 AM
..Not clear from the description that the widget outputs anything that the mixing computer at Home Depot can use...

I think the neat thing about the widget is that it requires no coordination with the computer at the paint store. Your widget measures your wall color, and records that data somehow. Back at the factory, the manufacturer has used another of the widgets to measure all the colors in a Benjamin Moore sample deck. The manufacturer puts those data values in a database, which it puts in the widget you buy. The widget in your hand compares the values it measured to the ones in the database, and finds the Benjamin Moore part number. You take the part number to your paint store, and they mix up that paint. As long as the widget in your hand makes the measurement in the same way as the the one in the factory, the measurement method doesn't have to be the same as the paint store uses.

This brings up the next thought.... How exactly does the widget characterize a paint color? Does it measure the paint at three colors, for instance the famous R, G, and B? Or does it measure the paint at ten colors? Or twenty? It seems that measuring at many colors would give a better match, but maybe there's some technological downside to doing that.

Yonak Hawkins
04-25-2018, 11:43 AM
You will not get an "exact" match.

Actually, it seems to me, if you're trying to match a wall with shelving, I would think you'd want different sheens, anyway. Normally, walls are flat, whereas woodwork is gloss, semi-gloss or satin.

John C Cox
04-25-2018, 11:45 AM
Jamie - I doubt it works that well in real life..... I did industrial color matching for the better part of 10 years...

Color matching is a really tricky proposition - even the color description readout between machines of the same make and model... Just something as simple as if any dust has gotten on the lens or on the sample makes a huge difference... As simple as the orientation of the sample (many samples will read differently if rotated 90 degrees)... As simple as ambient light in the store or your workshop... Lots of reasons... And you have to send the units back annually (at a minimum) for recalibration, cleaning, and certification... Add to that more or less untrained sales drones and trust me - it's not that simple.. The units we used ran $15K each - I doubt a cellphone app is going to be anywhere close...

Add to that the computer software that takes whatever input from the machine and creates a color match.... They calibrate the color mix output to the input the machine gives them... They have to test this using "standards" and it can only have a small error... And you aren't using their standards...

Trust me when I tell you that you want to take the sample into the store.. You want them to scan it on their machine and mix the paint... Then you want to use your paint chip against their blob as final accept/reject. That way - when they mess it up - they own the bad paint... If you tell them the numbers your machine reads - and they mix the paint to that - you own the results... Then it comes out pink instead of green because of some esoteric difference between your brand machine and theirs or because you got a reflection off the sunny window - you own it.... Hope you like whatever they give you at that point...




I think the neat thing about the widget is that it requires no coordination with the computer at the paint store. Your widget measures your wall color, and records that data somehow. Back at the factory, the manufacturer has used another of the widgets to measure all the colors in a Benjamin Moore sample deck. The manufacturer puts those data values in a database, which it puts in the widget you buy. The widget in your hand compares the values it measured to the ones in the database, and finds the Benjamin Moore part number. You take the part number to your paint store, and they mix up that paint. As long as the widget in your hand makes the measurement in the same way as the the one in the factory, the measurement method doesn't have to be the same as the paint store uses.

This brings up the next thought.... How exactly does the widget characterize a paint color? Does it measure the paint at three colors, for instance the famous R, G, and B? Or does it measure the paint at ten colors? Or twenty? It seems that measuring at many colors would give a better match, but maybe there's some technological downside to doing that.

John C Cox
04-25-2018, 12:00 PM
In your circumstances, it would have taken me about two minutes to find someone way higher up the food chain to explain the facts of life to the soon-to-be unemployed worker bee, a lot easier than driving to Lowes.

Honestly - I am not sure I really want fools who can't he bothered to pay attention to which side of the sample is up matching paint color... And especially the sort of fool who gives a customer hang when it turns out that they matched the wrong side of the sample.. How many messed up batches should I have to wait for? And then - I am probably likely to get something that *barely* matches...

Seriously - it was super obvious that it did not match and the person just shrugged......

No doubt they gave me the excuse about "If I do it over - you have to buy it" because they had messed up so many batches of paint through dumb stuff like that....

If the person had looked at the massive difference between the paint and the sample and noticed the color was off and told me they needed to redo it - I would have been fine.... But no... I was the problem because I noticed the color was massively wrong.....

Why should I be forced to get a manager to make somebody do what they are fighting not to do...

Nope. No business for you.

Lee DeRaud
04-25-2018, 1:11 PM
I think the neat thing about the widget is that it requires no coordination with the computer at the paint store. Your widget measures your wall color, and records that data somehow. Back at the factory, the manufacturer has used another of the widgets to measure all the colors in a Benjamin Moore sample deck. The manufacturer puts those data values in a database, which it puts in the widget you buy. The widget in your hand compares the values it measured to the ones in the database, and finds the Benjamin Moore part number. You take the part number to your paint store, and they mix up that paint. As long as the widget in your hand makes the measurement in the same way as the the one in the factory, the measurement method doesn't have to be the same as the paint store uses.That works fine if all you want is, "What brand X "factory" color is the closest match to this sample?" And I would certainly hope they used something a bit more robust that scanning a printed sample deck to populate their database.

Just for the record, I ordered one of the widgets from Amazon on Sunday, it arrived Monday. I downloaded the app and tried it on a half-dozen different colors and surfaces, all Home Depot/Behr. It went 2-for-3 identifying "standard" colors I had bought...for the third, the actual Behr color was third on the list. When aimed at some custom colors I had around the house, it came up with what looked like matches, but there's no way to tell without buying some to check, or at least having the guy at Home Depot call up the codes for those colors and see how close they match the codes on the cans I have in the garage.


This brings up the next thought.... How exactly does the widget characterize a paint color? Does it measure the paint at three colors, for instance the famous R, G, and B? Or does it measure the paint at ten colors? Or twenty? It seems that measuring at many colors would give a better match, but maybe there's some technological downside to doing that.It measures RGB values under an internal "D50" light source, which apparently is one of several standards for color matching. I have no idea whether that's the same light source the HD scanner uses. The problem is, I don't think there's any way to put RGB values into HD's computer to generate the tint codes its mixing dispenser uses. (One thing I've always thought was odd is that the HD system doesn't give you the name for a custom color even if what its scanner sees is an exact match for a color it already has in its computer: it just shows up on the label as "custom color match".)

I dropped it off at the post office this morning, back to Amazon. Nice idea, but not for what I'd normally use it for.

Lee DeRaud
04-25-2018, 1:17 PM
Why should I be forced to get a manager to make somebody do what they are fighting not to do...

Nope. No business for you.So the next time you go in, maybe they'll have someone competent working the paint counter. Yeah, I know, "I'll never set foot in that store again!" But there's enough incompetence running loose in the world that you'll eventually have every local store on your "black list".

Another way of looking at it is, if you leave without calling out their incompetence, you're rewarding their bad behavior: the bad apple will still be in the barrel, screwing with all the other people lined up to buy paint.

Lee DeRaud
04-25-2018, 1:26 PM
Jamie - I doubt it works that well in real life..... I did industrial color matching for the better part of 10 years...

Color matching is a really tricky proposition - even the color description readout between machines of the same make and model... Just something as simple as if any dust has gotten on the lens or on the sample makes a huge difference... As simple as the orientation of the sample (many samples will read differently if rotated 90 degrees)... As simple as ambient light in the store or your workshop... Lots of reasons... And you have to send the units back annually (at a minimum) for recalibration, cleaning, and certification... Add to that more or less untrained sales drones and trust me - it's not that simple.. The units we used ran $15K each - I doubt a cellphone app is going to be anywhere close... Just to clarify...the "cellphone app" is just there to look up the RGB value in their online database. The scanning is done by a dedicated sensor with its own calibrated light source. (Which, annoyingly enough, it makes you calibrate by having it scan a white surface inside the cap every time you turn it on.) As good as the $15K system? No. But a whole lot better than relying on a cellphone camera and ambient light.

Edwin Santos
04-25-2018, 2:28 PM
Why should I be forced to get a manager to make somebody do what they are fighting not to do...

Nope. No business for you.


So the next time you go in, maybe they'll have someone competent working the paint counter. Yeah, I know, "I'll never set foot in that store again!" But there's enough incompetence running loose in the world that you'll eventually have every local store on your "black list".

Another way of looking at it is, if you leave without calling out their incompetence, you're rewarding their bad behavior: the bad apple will still be in the barrel, screwing with all the other people lined up to buy paint.

Yes, it takes a little effort, but I'm in your camp Lee. I see John's point, but helping weed out a bad employee like this helps you for the future as well as a lot of other customers. I have had only good experiences with my neighborhood Home Depot's paint department. They will try very hard to get the match as well as they can, and routinely tell customers they can bring the paint can back for more tweaking if it is necessary.
If you don't have the time or the inclination to talk with a manager face to face at the store, send HD an email.
I did that once not to complain, but to commend a person at the special services desk, and someone from the Atlanta home office called me within minutes for additional details. I think they take customer feedback very seriously.

I have noticed though, that some Home Depot stores are a little more service oriented than others. Maybe it has to do with the individual store manager and their style.
Edwin

Lee DeRaud
04-25-2018, 3:45 PM
I have noticed though, that some Home Depot stores are a little more service oriented than others. Maybe it has to do with the individual store manager and their style.Yeah, I may be spoiled: the one about a mile from my house is one of their "superstores", the second-largest in the country (205K sqft, against a 110K average). I suspect the management team there is under some pressure to set the standard for the whole chain.

The bad news is, it always seems like if I'm going there for two items, they're at opposite corners of the building. :)

Brian Henderson
04-26-2018, 12:15 PM
That's odd: at the one I go to, they have a stack of discounted cans of paint from when they screwed up scanning/mixing and started over. The gallon I bought Monday, the guy did twice: first time came out way off and he started over. I didn't ask him to, he did it himself while I was roaming around getting the rest of my supplies and apologized for the delay.

In your circumstances, it would have taken me about two minutes to find someone way higher up the food chain to explain the facts of life to the soon-to-be unemployed worker bee, a lot easier than driving to Lowes.

Had that happened to me, I'd have the store manager over to have a chat with that employee, or get in contact with the corporate office. Because now, not only did they not make a sale on the paint you came in for, they didn't make a sale at all and are still stuck with a can of paint that the employee screwed up on.

John C Cox
04-26-2018, 5:24 PM
It's generally a problem with this specific area. I was good friends with one of the top assistant managers at a local Blue BORG.... He lamented that the work ethic and overall concern for customers was the worst in this specific area vs every other store he had worked at... And on top of that - turnover was horrible here (I have seen that same thing as well where I work).. He recently transferred to the other end of the state - and he said it is completely different there...

And it turns out that the specific bad apple drone was gone 2 days later. I think that one barely made it 1 month.... Replaced with another new drone in a long stream of drones...

What happens here is that statistically - the "average pay" for a job is quite low... But the local population is also quite small... So you have to pay your good people well to keep them - because every company is trying to fight for the same good workers.... Big companies just absolutely refuse to do that - so they end up getting eaten alive by having to deal with an endless stream of bad apple employees and high turnover on good workers who drop them like a hot rock for a $0.25/hr raise...... Top down big corporate MBA school management at it's finest....

Re Wood
04-26-2018, 5:53 PM
I've been burned way too many times trying to match paint color. For my own work, I just assume its not possible. If it's something less important to me, then I'll let the teenagers at the Sherwin Williams store give it a go.