Monday, April 22, 2019

How to Find a True Paint Color Expert

There are a lot of self-proclaimed paint color experts these days, many of whom have little or no scientifically based color training. Some have even created their own approach and managed to market (and monetize) it with workshops, videos, color sample boards, blog posts and more. What most have in common is that the best they can offer you is their personal opinions about color, but unfortunately opinions aren't the same as true color knowledge.

So What's Wrong with Opinions? 


What's wrong with having only opinions to offer is that color is a personal experience because of our unique vision and brain. So when one of these "experts" on Pinterest or Houzz or in a blog gives an opinion about a color, all they're telling you is what the color looked like To Them in some unknown setting, with no objective data to support their claims. Since color is light waves that are defined by context and by the observer, their opinion doesn't help you. You have no idea whether or not they have good color acuity, or under what circumstances they formed their opinion. This reliance on unsubstantiated opinion in the absence of any scientific standard also explains the confusing and often conflicting claims you see about a color's "undertones".

I can tell right away that someone doesn't know color when I see the use of the term "undertone". There is no such thing because architectural paint is opaque. Straight out of the can it doesn't have undertones. Instead, every color except pure black, pure gray and pure white belongs to a hue family. True color experts know this and know how to scientifically identify these hue families and use Hue along with other objective information, including Value, Chroma and Light Reflectance Value to specify color.

Sandy LeRoy, Camp Chroma
Certified Color Strategist II 

Bottom Line


When you want to work with someone who really knows their stuff, ask if they use objective, i.e. scientific and measurable color data values in their work. Better still, ask if they're a Certified Color Strategist through Lori Sawaya's excellent training in Camp Chroma. They're truly knowledgeable people you can count on, and I'm proud to be one of them.