Contractors who want to help color-confused clients should check lighting, ask about mood, and discourage picking colors at the paint store counter, a color expert advises.
Those are among the tips that Kelly-Moore Paint Color Stylist Mary Lawlor suggests to contractors who are helping customers choose colors.
Home makeover shows and magazines have made today’s paint customers color savvy, Lawlor said in a her advice, released to PaintSquare News. And while some customers may hire a contractor “with their paint chip in hand, the need to look to the professional painting contractor for color advice just never goes away.”
Whether customers want help selecting a color, or just reassurance about their decision, contractors can help if they follow these 10 tips, Lawlor said.
1. Don’t let customers pick colors at the paint store counter. Give them a fan deck, color cards or other color tools provided by the paint company of choice, then have customers view the choices in the room to be painted.
2. Encourage customers to look at carpet, furniture and other existing elements in the room. The colors of these items will influence the room color.
3. When customers place color samples near the room’s existing elements, they should immediately identify and eliminate any colors that will not work in that space.
4. From the remaining colors, customers should consider those they love—and those they didn’t know they loved. A surprise color might be just right for the space.
5. A pleasing color scheme will include a blend of warm and cool colors. Use a color wheel to help find colors that work well with existing elements. Most color wheels offer helpful hints for putting schemes together. Even if only one paint color will be used on the walls, the colors of other items in the room will create a color scheme.
6. Ask customers what mood they want to convey in the room. A quiet workspace might require the tranquility created by cooler colors like blues and greens. Gathering places might benefit from the liveliness of reds, oranges and other warm colors.
7. Heavily saturated colors make great accents and should be used sparingly. More neutralized hues are better for the overall color. For example, if a customer wants a yellow room, the perfect yellow might not be yellow at all, but a neutral with yellow undertones.
8. Colors intensify when applied across a large area. Suggest that customers select a shade slightly lighter than their first choice.
9. Make customers aware of current and future lighting. Colors look different in varying light sources. Color viewed in natural daylight changes once a light is turned on. Old-style “cool” fluorescent lights tend to wash out colors. Color in a room with “warm” incandescent light appears more natural. The newer compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are now available in a variety of color temperatures, with a 3500K being the most pleasing—not too cool or too warm, with a tendency to reveal colors very accurately.
10. Customers are hiring contractors for their painting expertise. Contractors should not be afraid to point out any technical consequences of colors they are considering.