what I do

what I do

Monday, January 9, 2012

Color boards

When I am selecting new paint colors for a client, I like to use large poster-size sample boards with a 1" white edge around it. The white edge is crucial in keeping the sample from competing with the existing wall color when you hold them next to each other. The boards allow me to move the swatch from wall to wall and room to room (unlike painting a swatch directly on the wall itself). I prefer to use foam core boards as they stand freely on their own and although they are more expensive, they hold up nicely. (I explain in more detail about my boards and how to select a paint color in a post I wrote last year ... you can read that post here).

One of the things I have wanted to do for a long time is make up some new sample boards. I painted most of the boards that I have been using over six years ago and as paint color trends have changed, some of my boards are out-dated. I used to use more yellow-based neutrals - colors like Philadelphia Cream and Monroe Bisque. But these days I am using more gray based neutrals.

I also wanted to come up with a general palette to help simplify paint selection. I tend to gravitate towards the same colors that I know work well and it is a lot more efficient to bring out paint boards that I know will work when helping a client select paint rather than trying to flip through fan deck after fan deck for a new color.

Last week I selected 20 or so of my 'go-to' neutrals along with a few new ones, added some new blues and greens and came up with a new group of boards to help me when I am working with clients. I purposely selected neutrals with different undertones (blue, green, yellow, pink) so that I would have a color that will work with any wood, stone or carpet that is existing.

To make my boards, I tape off the edge of the board first with blue painter's tape and then paint two coats of the paint with inexpensive foam rollers. When the paint is dry, I remove the tape and label the paint color in the lower margin with a black felt pen (Sharpie). NOTE: This time I had some trouble with the tape pulling off a bit of the poster board paper when I removed it which isn't really a problem except that it doesn't look as clean and neat as I would prefer. I thought it might have been the tape but when I painted the backs of some of my previous boards they were fine ... it turns out the new foam boards I purchased were a lot less sturdy then the ones I have previously used. Next time I would get a less sticky painter's tape to prevent that from happening. 

I took advantage of a slow week while I was home trying to recover from my cold / allergy attack and painted 45 new boards! Although I think the paint fumes set me back a bit in my recovery, it was really great to go out for my first couple of paint selection appointments this year and have all new boards! It makes my job easier and I know my clients appreciate the nice visual. 
Happy Monday Everyone! 


Town and Country Gals said...

what a amazing idea! I've not seen anyone do that before and it's fabulous! The colors you used are gorgeous! I think picking paint colors is one of the hardest things in the design process and you make it so easy!

annie@mostlovelythings said...

That's a lot of work...but I'm sure your clients find it very helpful...it's impossible to see a little chip and imagine what it would look like on all your walls.

A Perfect Gray said...

sherri, fantastic idea! I need to do that. it might prevent a few mistakes on my end! donna

La Coquette de la Mode said...

I love those neutrals :)

XX Kathryn


lizziefitz said...

That is what I do too! The white border is essential. My master bedroom has to boards on display this week. Eeney meany miney mo ;)))

Unknown said...

Such a great idea!
Hope you're feeling much better!

Victoria said...

That is a fabulous idea. I am sure it makes the client's decision easier than choosing from a chip in a fan deck.

pve design said...

All I can say is your clients are so lucky! If you ask your paint / hardware store they will give you a big kit from the paint supplier with large swatches. just in case you need it-
i have my colors in a file that I take with me when matching... which is lifesaving!

Jessie said...

What a great idea, Sherri! Your clients are so lucky they hired you because you go the extra mile for them.

Hope you feel better.


leviheart said...

Great idea. Another project for me to tackle! Could you give me a list of your favorites to get started?
Appreciate the idea...

Unknown said...

Leviheart - I would start with a set of neutrals. They are the hardest to 'see' without a large swatch. I find the colors are more forgiving but a light neutral can look very different even with a large swatch from the company depending on its surroundings (a darker color will not be as affected by outside foliage coming through the windows for example). I chose a few neutrals with different undertones (green, blue, pink) so that I had something for 'most' interiors - colors like Manchester Tan, Revere Pewter, Grant Beige, Shaker Beige, Wheeling Neutral, Clay Beige, Stonington Gray.

leviheart said...

Thanks Sherri,
I appreciate your time. Getting on it!