4 STEPS: USING SAMPLIZE PEEL & STICK FOR WALLS, CABINETS & TRIMS
Sampling paint colors the traditional way is hard. Even if you’re LOOKING at the perfect paint color for your walls, cabinets, or trims, you might not KNOW it because you aren’t looking at it the right way.
So what IS the right way to sample paint? Let’s find out!
1. START WITH SAMPLIZE
Don’t go to the store for sample pots, poster board, and paint rollers/trays when you can have peel-and-stick samples delivered to your FRONT DOOR in a DAY.
The only time I use sample pots is when I need to adjust a color (lighten or darken it from its original version) and see what it looks like before painting my walls.
If you ordered one of my Online Paint Color Consultations, your curated color list is included in your consult. If you’re reading this blog post from scratch, I encourage you to check out SAMPLIZE – it’s a game-changer.
2. YOU NEED WHITE PAPER OR POSTER BOARD
Once you’ve got your samples in your hot little hands, don’t start slappin’ them on the walls YET.
You must separate your OLD paint color from your NEW options by placing approx. THREE INCHES of white paper around THREE SIDES of each new sample.
Your old paint color will skew your perception of any new colour.
Take a look at this sample…
How does this colour look to you? Think about its depth and undertones, in particular.
Take another look at it in this next photo…
IT’S THE SAME COLOR! The white paper helps you see the actual DEPTH of this color and its undertones/general approach because it’s not directly compared to the OLD color. Crazy, eh?
While it’s okay to compare old and new to see the DIFFERENCE, don’t judge or choose your new color based on how they compare.
A HELPFUL TIP…
I recommend leaving your SAMPLIZE samples on their paper backing so you can tape them to a poster board.
Once you’ve narrowed down your colors and are ready to commit, get that backing off and have some fun!
BTW, IF YOU’RE SAMPLING WHITE PAINT COLORS…
Poster board/paper (being a cool white) can OVER-EXPOSE the undertones in whites and off-whites when comparing the two, leaving you with the impression that they are more colorful than they actually are – ESPECIALLY with warm whites.
Keep this in mind if the white sample you’re looking at seems OVERLY warm. Look at it WITHOUT the white paper and note how it works with your surrounding finishes.
3. THE ONE OPEN SIDE OF YOUR PAINT SAMPLE…
The open side of your sample will be butted up against your trim, backsplash, fireplace, countertop, or any other surface it needs to be coordinated with. You can also butt this side up to other samples to see the differences.
The top sample is a touch bluer; the bottom sample is a wink more violet
These two colors might look similar, but there’s a subtle change between the two (more so in person than on camera). By comparing them, it’s easier to see which one is warmer/cooler/darker/lighter, etc…
The separation between your samples ISN’T as important as the separation between OLD wall colors and NEW colors.
4. WHERE TO PLACE YOUR WALL PAINT SAMPLES
- directly next to the trim
- next to any vertical surface it needs to coordinate with (i.e., backsplash, fireplace, etc…)
- sitting right on top of the baseboard, so you can see how the samples/flooring connect
- while you can place samples in the middle of a wall; it’s best if they relate or visibly attach to something around them (i.e., the sofa is in the foreground); samples floating on walls with no reference point aren’t as helpful
WHERE TO PLACE YOUR CABINET PAINT SAMPLES
- with the backsplash; directly beside it AND on it
- directly underneath the lip of the countertop – the open edge of the sample should meet up with the countertop (shown below)
- on the lower portion of your upper cabinets (don’t forget the white paper surround!)
Samples should always be 100% vertical – light reflects differently off angled or horizontal surfaces.
LIGHTENING & DARKENING PAINT COLORS – SAMPLE POTS
If you’ve recently done an Online Paint Color Consulting with me, I may have suggested lightening or darkening a paint color. On the other hand, if you like a suggested color but WISH it were a bit lighter or darker, most colors can be adjusted!
What’s MOST important is that you know HOW to do these samples…
1. The paint store does the lightening/darkening for you; usually 25%, 50%, or 75% (25% is most common, 50% and 75% are not).
2. You’ll need a sample pot from the brand that supplies the color you like (either a small sample pot or a quart).
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PAINT A SAMPLE?
You MUST get the sample pots made by the brand that carries the color –no having Home Depot match up your Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore colors (three slaps with a wet noodle if you do that).
Here’s an example of a Home Depot Behr color match to Benjamin Moore…
Home Depot Behr color match on the left – actual Benjamin Moore color on the right; sure, it’s the right ‘idea,’ but it’s not the right color.
Here’s another beauty…
To paint your sample, I recommend…
- A roller (regular ten or 13mmm nap) is best. Foam rollers don’t give as good coverage.
- It’s best to use poster board or foam board (Elmer’s type) – check out your local dollar store for the best price. They’re smoother than most walls but most effective for sampling purposes (paper just wrinkles).
- I rarely recommend painting your samples directly on the cabinet or the wall.
- TWO coats, always.
- Remember to leave THREE sides of your poster board/foam board with THREE+ INCHES of white showing around the edge.
IF YOU’RE SENDING SAMPLES PHOTO FOR YOUR FOLLOW-UP EMAIL
If you have your completed consultation and SAMPLIZE samples in hand and want to use your one follow-up email to ask a question, there are guidelines to follow…
BTW: LABEL YOUR SAMPLES WELL (I can’t zoom in on the writing on the SAMPLIZE sheets; it just goes blurry).
I LOVE TO SEE TWO TYPES OF PHOTOS
1. Approx 5-6 FEET back from the samples and the surfaces they’re being compared to – extreme close-ups do not work well.
2. 10-15 FEET back, where I can see more of the room, the sample, and the surface it’s being compared to.
Please ensure you follow the guidance regarding having white paper around your samples. In the words of the great Jerry Maguire – help ME, help YOU!
TAKE PHOTOS OF SAMPLES IN DIFFERENT AREAS
- directly next to any important vertical surfaces (i.e., countertop, backsplash tile, etc.)
- next to trim on several different walls
- directly above the baseboard
TAKING PHOTOS WITH NATURAL LIGHT
- photos taken in intense sunshine will be blown-out
- photos taken in dark shadows won’t show up well
- moderate filtered light is always best – not too bright, not dark, and shaded.
Long story short, send a mix of photos in varying lights, so I can see how things shift.
TAKING PHOTOS WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING
- artificial lighting (warm or cool bulbs) will sway how a color looks
- as few interior lights on as possible (if possible)
- open up blinds and drapes to let natural light in
- under cabinet lighting should never be on; it skews colors drastically
Remember, my goal is to help you learn how to pick the BEST paint color for you AND your room!
Please note, I’m in a close partnership with SAMPLIZE, and while I do receive payment, I FULLY RECOMMEND this product and don’t make my own color choices without it (I don’t recommend many things other than paint colours, so it has to be good – wink wink).