This is a first for us, so hopefully it gets a little better and easier with practice. We hope to be able to provide you with valuable information and answer any questions you might have concerning all aspects of the painting business. The side of the business that I enjoy the most is color consulting so that seemed like a good first topic.
What I have found to be the best way to test paint colors is to create sample boards. You can use poster board or something similar. I usually make four samples out of a regular sized piece of board. This makes color selection much easier during a consultation. I also think it's a good idea to carry small color cards with you when shopping for items to go in your home.
I can't tell you how often we hear "I just want some kind of neutral tan." It's when I put the "tans" side by side that you really begin to see the undertones. Beige paint colors will generally have 3 undertones: yellow, green, and pink. It is important to pick a beige that will work with your finishes and furnishings. A long-time client of ours put it very well while I was holding a sample board next to his kitchen cabinets...he said "Oh, they look like they are friends." I've already used that quote on another consult. In a future post I will go into a little more detail on the undertones in beige and give you a few of my favorites.
Another thing I have found is that it's okay to get out of that beige box now and then. We have recently used greens and golds as neutral colors for the main living and common areas of the house. We recently finished a project in a home (photos below) that was being put on the market. Within 2 weeks the house was SOLD...with no tan walls anywhere!! In fact many of our projects are 1st time repaints for clients who want to paint over "builder's beige". These photos also give me an idea for an upcoming post on home staging. These homeowners did it right!