Paint, while easy to change, is a large swath of color that we are likely to live with for years. Painting is an investment of both time and money and getting it right can be very frustrating.

In order to find colors, I like going to expensive paint stores and checking out their colors.  Places like Serena and Lily, Farrow and Ball or even Restoration Hardware have done the hard work of finding classic colors.  Then I need to match it in my favorite paint brand because I can not afford $100 a gallon for paint.

Recently I found the web site Color Swatches.  It allows me to put in the color and brand I’m looking for.  Then it breaks down the color in terms of the RGB and gives me the option to convert to another brand.

While it’s not perfect, it is infinitely easier than standing in front of the paint chips with your phone trying to match a color.

This tool can also be used for designing web sites, matching powerpoint colors and even party planning.  I can not tell you how often I go to the paint store for color chips so I can match it to tableware when party planning.  This habit started with my wedding when I needed all the accessories to be in the intended color.  I left a sample with the cake decorator and the florist. It made life so much easier.  Describing colors can be hard which is why a sample is so important.

In case you are curious I was searching for two colors: arsenic green and a beige pink called smoked trout.  I know, lovely color names, but the colors themselves are outstanding.

Farrow Ball Arsenic

Farrow Ball Smoked Trout

The following are my less expensive equivalent finds

Glidden Sea Glass

Behr Sonoran Desert

My green equivalent is slightly less bold so it’s an imperfect system.  But it’s close enough to make me happy.  Anything that replaces the mustard color currently in my room will make me happy.

Best of luck finding your own perfect colors and remember to visit the sites of the experts. Good design and great colors should never cost extra.