How to Achieve the Colour Results You Were Aiming For

As we saw last month with all the fuss over THAT dress - colour can appear differently to people, especially under different lighting conditions


So what happened? Well, on the one hand it was to do with individual colour perception; not just what the eye sees - but how your brain processes what it sees. Bearing in mind the lighting conditions where the photo was taken - when the brain sees a colour under shadow it sometimes assumes a colour is darker than it actually is. Additionally, the photo was also taken on a mobile phone device and screen resolutions can also make colours appear differently.

As this happened to the dress it can also happen with your paintcolours too. So, how can you ensure that this doesn’t happen to your new paint purchase? Well let’s find out….

Natural Light

When choosing to paint a room or piece of furniture – It’s best to sample paint first thing in the morning so that you can see the change in the colour throughout the different times of the day. The paint tone may change from when the day starts (sunrise, brighter light, cooler tone) to when the day ends (sunset, warmer light, red and yellow tones). Also, depending on the time of year, the combined effect of artificial lights combined with natural light might come into play especially on those darker winter days.

Artificial light

Incandescent bulbs provide warm light with a touch of yellow or amber so your warm colours may appear darker and richer and your cooler tones may appear dull. Fluorescent bulbs work best with cooler colours like blues or greens and Halogen lights, although the closest to replicating natural light work better with cooler colours.

Paint Finishes

Gloss can add depth to any colour but under certain light appear reflective which can change the perception of the colour. Ultimately, the glossier the finish, the more light will bounce off and distort the colour appearance. Also if you are painting on furniture, the colour may vary dependant on the surface i.e. Wood may absorb some paint into the grain of the wood, whereas metal will not allow for absorbancy and the paint will build up a thick layer.

Additional tips to think about:

-        Test with the lights on in the room the way you would normally have them on.

-        Objects in the room can also affect the colour as they absorb and reflect light in different ways.

We hope this article has helped you understand a bit more about how light can affect your colour decision - now all that’s left is to get painting!



In case you were wondering which colour the dress was in PJ colours - PJ9526 (Blue) PJ9681 (Black) and PJ9653 (Gold) and PJ8166 (White)