Light and Color and Your House Paint
July 31, 2010 § 3 Comments
Sometimes color appears out of nowhere and dazzles you — even for only a few moments — like it did the day I snapped this photo in the late afternoon sun. The yellow of this barn grabbed my attention and said, “Stop where you are and look at me — I am gorgeous!” A few moments later, the barn was in shadow and the intense color was gone for another day.
When you’re choosing a house color, be sure to paint some sample colors on the house and look at them in various lights — early morning, late afternoon — and on cloudy days as well. You may see the color change. That might be a good thing or maybe not. I once watched my living room color change from tan to gray to green to pink all in the course of a 12-hour period. To a color person like myself, that experience was horrendous. I had the primer out within the week. (The color I painted my living room was taupe — the mysterious color that accepts other hues around it and changes like a chameleon. Some people actually like that — I have clients who do — but not so much for me at least on the interior.)
Color depends on light. And light or the lack of it can change your perception of the color itself. What you thought was one color in the paint store or even when you opened up the can turns out to be quite something else once it’s applied to your wall, whether it’s inside or out. Use your sampling time to see how light affects not only the color you’ve chosen but also the “value” of the color (how intense it is). If the color attracts too much attention for your taste, move more toward the gray side of that particular hue. Dull it down a touch and you’ll get it right. Color will be more intense on a large area anyway, like the side of your house. Check it out first before the painters arrive.