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Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Paint Color:

It’s always fun to pop into the paint store and check out the latest color trends, imaging the magical transformation a new paint color creates. There is no other tool in the designer’s kit that brings a bigger bang for the design buck than fresh paint.

There’s nothing worse than a near-miss when it comes to color. Sure, the all-out color disaster would qualify, but how often does that happen with paint? Not nearly as often as those near-misses. We see them often.

To keep you from heading towards disaster, keep the following tips in minds as you dream of stunning new color…

When choosing paint color, always try before you buy


Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Color:

  1. Do not choose your color in the paint store without taking it home for a test run.
  2. Pick up a wet paint sample and a mini roller (foam brushes don’t lay enough paint for an accurate color reading).
  3. Paint a minimum sample size on your wall that’s at least 24” x 24”. Bigger is always better.
  4. Test your color in three areas: in the corner, the wall opposite the largest window and the window wall itself (this way you can see the color on the lightest wall, darkest wall, while the corner will show you the most intensified color).
  5. The best time of day to choose colors is between 10am to 2pm – when the sun is highest in the sky.
  6. Take step #5 to heart, but make sure to analyze your color with your morning coffee and with your evening cocktails. Your color will look different during each time of day.
  7. Color is all about relationships. When it comes to choosing paint, make sure you have assembled all the important elements that will be in the room; sofa, carpet and tile, cabinetry, etc. The color of your paint is a lot easier to adjust than anything else in a design scheme (and even easier if you haven’t painted yet!)
  8. When comparing more than one color, make sure you can view your samples individually, otherwise the different colors will influence each other.
  9. Consider using a color professional. This is what they do, and you can save a lot of time and effort by heading in the right direction from the beginning.
  10. Give yourself enough time to find your perfect color. Taking your time minimizes the stress of making the ‘right’ decision, and you can make sure you’ve got it nailed down before the painter gets rolling!

Consider hiring a professional color expert. Here, interior designer Paula McHugh is working with Daly’s Dan Cookston.

How Color Effects Mood

Did you ever walk into a room and feel instantly calm? Often times it’s more than Yanni on repeat that generates that sense of calm. Much of that feeling is attributed to the paint color they chose, and more specifically the undertone of the paint color they chose.

When discussing paint color, we usually think of how the shade will look in a particular room. Did you know that color can also affect the way we feel? The philosophy of color explains how color is directly tied to our emotions. Everyone understands what it means to be “red with anger”, “green with envy”, or what it is to “feel the blues”. When it comes to color for your home, you can control how your home ‘feels’ by the artful – and strategic – use of color.


Color is connected to the light spectrum, and therefore affects our bodies physically, even when our eyes are closed. For example, you could walk into a freshly painted white room and feel how cold it is, but enter a different white room and it might feel fresh and lively instead. Much of this is accomplished by the undertones and formulation of the color itself. That’s why full-spectrum paints are so compelling.

Full-spectrum paints, like every color in the C2 Paint palette, are formulated using multiple pigments that represent more of the color wheel than traditional paint formulas. Additionally, no C2 Paint color uses any black pigment in their color recipes, so you never have a color that looks lifeless or dull. The beauty of full-spectrum colors is that regardless of the current light condition, the paint color interacts with light in a compelling, luminous way.


Beautiful full spectrum colorants

Combining full-spectrum paints and armed with a little knowledge about specific colors and how they make you feel, you can create an environment that really makes you feel good. Really good.

Here is a brief explanation of each color and how it affects you:

Yellow – It’s virtually impossible to be cranky in a yellow room. Using yellow, anything from palest creams to deepest golds, is like capturing the sun in a jar. Yellow is an energetic color, so use it where you want to bump up the joy.

Lightning Bug, BD-71

Lightning Bug, BD-71

Orange – If you’re looking to stimulate the appetite and add spice, orange is the perfect choice. It also symbolizes change when it’s bright and lively, and represents stability when muted and quiet. In design, energetic orange is a great color to excitement to a neutral space.


Bittervine, BD-45

Red – Ready to romp? Yup, forget those 50 Shades and use red instead. Red raises your heart rate and time passes in a blur. Take it a little more orange and it’s the perfect color to increase your appetite.

Plum Tomato, BD-62

Purple – Interestingly, purple is a combination of hot to-trot-red and cooler-than-cool blue, so it brings both elements to the table. Purple can make your feel very meditative and intellectual or vivacious and royal.

Tamarind, C2-505

Tamarind, C2-505

Blue – One of  the most popular and reassuring color used in design, blue communicates stability and safety, as evidenced on this chic office wall.

Espionage, C2-742; Whistler White (ceiling, walls, trim), C2-756

Espionage, C2-742; Whistler White (ceiling, walls, trim), C2-756

Green  If you want to create a soothing sense of calm, green is your hue. Soft colors, like green sea glass all the way to rich, deep emeralds and olives; green is a great choice.

Posh, C2-934

Posh, C2-934

Why Full Spectrum Color is Changing the Game for Paint Companies

Brilliant Color and Better Coverage

Have you ever heard someone toss around the term “full-spectrum paint” and wondered what they were talking about? Well, it’s not just for insiders anymore. Most of us are looking for paint color that will be beautiful, dynamic and durable. Enter, full spectrum paint.

Quite simply, full spectrum paint color utilizes multiple pigments that represent more of the color wheel. Most paint colors are made with two or three pigments, plus black, to create the majority of paint colors on the market. Full spectrum paints often have upwards of eight or more pigments, and no black, to create more beautiful, luminous colors.

C2 Paint’s “Zorro”, a near black color that feels as mysterious as the masked man himself, contains no black pigment. Black paint made with no black? It sounds crazy, but it’s true! So, why does that matter to you?

Zorro image for blog_REVISED

Historically, black has been an important pigment in the paint industry because it gives paint makers a shortcut to getting great coverage in one or two coats. If you have ever had the chore of painting four or five coats of red on a wall, then you know what I mean.

There is a huge drawback to using black in the production of paint colors. Black pigments “de-chromatize” colors and make them look lifeless at certain times of the day. That means that the rich claret color you so painstakingly chose will look grayed and dull instead of colorful and interesting. Think about it in scientific terms: black absorbs light, rather than reflects it. Make sense?

Since no one wants muddy, lifeless walls, the solution is to use a full spectrum approach to creating every color. Once I explain how C2 Paint colors are made, I am often asked by my customers: “Why doesn’t every paint company do this; it seems so logical?”

Top 3 Reasons Why Companies Don’t Invest in Full Spectrum Paint Color:

#1 The basic pigment cost is higher, and most paint companies are interested in shaving those dollars OFF their costs, not adding to them. Investing in better pigments and investing in new color recipes for an entire paint brand is not seen as a priority to those shareholders. I certainly don’t blame them; the cost is immense to make changes across a national platform, but it DOES affect how the paint interacts with light, and ultimately it affects how I feel about the color!

#2 Most paint makers don’t consider color in their decisions. (I know, it makes no sense!) And if they do, it’s pretty much last in the equation. First, the price points of the paint are determined, and then the paint itself is formulated. The color conversation is secondary to all of this.

#3 Lack of interest in color. This sounds pretty fundamental, but I think there is a lot of truth to this idea. Paint chemists are not by nature colorists. So, it’s simply not on their radar in the same way as it is to you and me.

When you or I get ready to repaint, our primary concern is about the color. We know that when we go to our independent paint store, they represent great-quality products. But how that color will look on the wall year after year has to be taken into consideration.

At C2, paint color is as much a primary value to the company as is the paint product itself.


The Proof is in the Pigments

Are you aware that different paint companies use different pigments to make their colors? That’s why you can’t just take a paint recipe from one company and have it made into someone else’s paint brand. They don’t necessarily translate without some serious color-matching skills.

Some pigments are finely ground and are made of very small particles; others are larger and less uniform in size and shape. The smaller ones cost more than the larger ones, which is one reason why cheap paint never looks like it does on the sample. This particle size also affects how the color displays on your wall.

Paint, by its very nature, is transparent. Yes, you can actually see through it! That’s why it takes four or five coats of “average” paint to get adequate coverage on certain colors, like reds. When you use a finer grind of pigment to make a color, you end up with a paint that also gives much a better, more opaque, coverage or “hide.”

It’s similar to the difference between using cheap, drugstore eye shadow and higher-quality department store eye shadow. The color, application, longevity and final product are that much better with the good stuff.

With better hide, our old friend black is no longer needed in the equation. And with black out of the picture, we can make our walls feel luminously beautiful. Not bad for a can of paint!