A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to transform a space or revamp a room. But when choosing a new color, proceed with caution! Remember that colors have an undertone -- a color that’s present, but not always obvious depending on the lighting and what other colors surround it.
What might seem like a safe neutral can reveal an unwanted tint (think a gorgeous gray that reveals a purple hue once it’s covering your living room walls – yikes!).
Thankfully, you can easily avoid an undertone disaster by taking a few precautions. Here are five easy steps to help find your paint’s undertone so you can pick the perfect color.
5 Tips for Understanding Undertones
1. Identify it. A subtle undertone can be tough to spot until surrounding colors bring it out. Once you’ve applied paint and added accents, your color’s hidden undertone can seemingly change from the color you thought you picked. For example, your no-fail neutral beige may transform to peach once the room is painted and lit! Our tip? Place your color swatch next to similar colors to spot the variations in hues.
2. Know your neutrals. Even basic neutrals have undertones that influence what colors will pair perfectly with your paint. You’ll usually find a hint of yellow, green, or pink hidden within a neutral. Once you’ve whittled down your color choices, compare your neutral paint samples or swatches to a white poster board to easily determine undertone.
3. Lighten up. Once you’ve selected a few paint samples for your space, take them home to see what they’ll look like in your room, with your lighting. Whether the luminance comes from a lamp or a window, what may seem like a safe neutral can reveal an unwanted color. Tape samples to the wall to see what they look like at different times of the day. You may be surprised how lighting can bring out hidden hues.
4. Coordinate. Identifying undertones can be tricky, and coordinating multiple colors can be even trickier. We’ve taken care of the guesswork for you! Coordinate neutrals based on undertone family with our new Whites & Neutrals Color Card. We’ve created columns of five colors from light to dark that work naturally together, helping you create a comfortable yet sophisticated space. The colors seamlessly work together in our pre-made palettes to add a soothing, welcoming feeling to your space.
5. Transition well. When it comes to painting your home, aim for a smooth color transition from room to room. Narrow your paint choices by choosing the same undertone for the space adjacent to the room you want to paint. If one room is beige with a subtle green undertone and you want to paint the room next to it a blue-gray, try a blue-gray with a slight hint of green.
A color’s undertone is an important aspect of color selection. Take the time to find these sometimes subtle undertones and you’ll master the art of pairing colors for the perfect color scheme.
If you’re unsure of undertone, ask one of our paint experts at your local Diamond Vogel service center. They’ll be able to help you pick the perfect color palette for your space.