We all have a favorite color, that shade of green or blue or purple that just makes us feel good. But if you’re looking for Tiffany blue or Coca-Cola red for your next project, sometimes there just isn’t that perfect match in the countless options of paint chips available at the paint store.
That’s where color matching comes in handy. Experts can now take just about any item – a piece of jewelry, a blouse, even a pillow or door and copy it in paint. Consider it couture color at no extra cost.
Computers are used to match a color and put the precise amount of colorant in a base to create your perfect can of paint. David at Hirshfield’s Paint Manufacturing says you don’t need to have a large sample of the color you want to copy for the process to work. As long as the computer has a sample the size of a quarter, it can recreate your color.
Computers can have a tough time with a sample that has a rough or textured surface, like a tapestry or pillow. David says that’s when color matching needs to go a little more low-tech.
That process still starts with the computer to get close to the color you’re looking for. Then, it’s up to the employee to decide which colorants to add and how much. This is where Hirshfield’s expertise comes in.
David walked me through the process: first a sample of the paint is brushed out and dried to compare to the sample being matched. This process can be repeated several times until the correct color is created and you’re happy with the match. Ron at the West St. Paul Hirshfield’s says the “hand to eye” tweaking can be done while you wait but does take some time. It may be best to leave the sample at your neighborhood Hirshfield’s and let the experts work on it to create the best match possible. Then it can go home with you to start your next project.