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Why It Isn't a Good Idea to Colour Match Paint

Updated: May 2, 2023

Why colour matching paint can be problematic: Insights from a painting and decorating expert

As a leading Painting and Decorating expert, we have seen many customers who have made the mistake of trying to colour match their desired paint colour from one brand to another.

However, this is not a good idea, and it can result in a range of problems.


In this article, we will discuss why it isn't a good idea to colour match paint, and we will also talk about the different pigments, binders, and resins used in paint production with examples of original paints and colour matches. Additionally, we will discuss how other brands cannot exactly get it right and the pitfalls of getting Little Greene Paint colour matched into another brand.

Why It Isn't a Good Idea to Colour Match Paint

First and foremost, colour matching is not a simple process, and there are many variables that can affect the final outcome. This is particularly true when it comes to paint, which contains a complex blend of pigments, binders, and resins. Even minor differences in these components can significantly impact the final colour.

Moreover, different paint brands use different formulas, and even subtle differences can result in a colour that doesn't match the original shade. This is particularly true when trying to match colours across different types of paint brands, such as matching a Little Greene Paint colour to Johnstones Trade or Crown Trade.

Different Pigments, Binders, and Resins

When it comes to paint production, pigments are used to provide colour, binders hold the pigment together, and resins provide the paint's durability and adhesion. Different pigments, binders, and resins have different characteristics, and they can significantly impact the final colour and quality of the paint.

For example, some pigments are more opaque than others, and they can affect how the colour appears when applied to a surface. Binders can also impact the paint's sheen level, with some binders creating a high-gloss finish and others resulting in a more matte appearance. Resins can also impact the paint's durability and resistance to fading and chalking.

Other Brands Can't Exactly Get It Right

Even when trying to match paint colours within the same brand, there can be small variations due to differences in production batches or changes to the formula. When trying to match colours across different brands, the chances of getting an exact match are even slimmer.

Different brands have different formulations, and they use different pigments, binders, and resins. Moreover, each brand may have a unique way of blending these components to create the final product. As a result, colour matching from one brand to another is a challenging process, and the outcome is often disappointing and can be more costly to the customer.


Top Tip


Buy the branded colour to prevent the wrong colour shade. This saves you or the decorator (you have hired) buying the correct brand and colour and re applying, saving on labour and materials cost.


Computerised Colour Matchers


Paint brand manufacturers use computerised colour matchers, also known as magic eyes, to match colours. These machines scan the sample colour and then compare it to the colours in their database to find the closest match.

While these machines are helpful in finding a close match, they are not always perfect. This is because the colours in a manufacturer's range are limited and the magic eye can only direct the manufacturer to the nearest colour in their range.


Therefore, even with the use of a magic eye, manufacturers still need to rely on experienced colour experts to adjust the colour formula and ensure that the final product matches the original colour sample as closely as possible.

Therefore, even with the use of a magic eye, manufacturers still need to rely on experienced colour experts to adjust the colour formula and ensure that the final product matches the original colour sample as closely as possible.

In conclusion, while the magic eye is a useful tool for paint manufacturers, it is not a perfect solution for colour matching. Experienced colour experts and adjustments to the colour formula are still necessary to achieve the desired colour accuracy.

Pitfalls of Getting Little Greene Paint Colours Matched into Another Brand

Little Greene Paint is a unique and high-quality brand that uses the best ingredients and production processes to create a beautiful range of colours. However, trying to colour match Little Greene Paint into another brand can result in significant pitfalls.

One of the main issues is that the pigments, binders, and resins used in Little Greene Paint are unique to the brand. Trying to match these components to another brand's formula can be difficult, and it can result in a colour that doesn't match the original shade. Additionally, even minor differences in the paint's components can impact the final outcome, resulting in a shade that is different from the original.

Moreover, Little Greene Paint has a unique finish that cannot be replicated by other brands. The paint has a beautiful depth of colour and a subtle sheen that creates a luxurious look. Trying to match this finish to another brand can be challenging, and it may result in a finish that looks flat or dull.


3 Colour matching examples


Lets take a look at three colour matching examples...


Woad 251


Let's take the popular Little Greene Paint colour, Woad. When this colour is colour matched with Johnstones Trade, there is a significant difference in shade. The Johnstones Trade colour match was a lot darker than the original Little Greene Paint colour, resulting in a very different look on the wall.


two of the same colours in different brands

Etruria


Little Greene's Etruria paint colour is a unique and elegant shade that can elevate the look of any room. However, if you're comparing it to a colour match version from another brand, you may notice some differences. In this case, the colour match version is darker and has more green undertones than the original Little Greene paint. These variations could be due to differences in the pigments or the paint formulation process between the two brands. It's important to keep in mind that even small variations in colour can significantly affect the overall appearance of a room.


the colour etruria colour matched in two different brands

Lets take a closer look at the colour match in a different room under different lighting...


closer look on the colour etruria colour matched in two different brands


Greene Stone Light


The Little Greene paint colour Green Stone Light is a unique and distinctive hue, but when it comes to colour matching with other brands, there can be some differences. In this case, the colour match version of Green Stone Light appears to be darker and has more green colour in it. This difference may be due to variations in the way different brands formulate their paint colours, including differences in the types and amounts of pigments used. It's important to note that even small differences in colour can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a room.


Green stone light colour match in two different brands

Lets take a closer look under different lighting...


close look on the colour Green stone light colour match in two different brands


Slaked Lime Deep


Slaked Lime Deep is a distinctive and stylish colour from Little Greene's paint range. However, when compared to its colour match version from another brand, there is some noticeable differences. In this case, the colour match version appears to be darker and has a different tone to it, which could be due to variations in pigment type or formulation processes between the two brands. It's essential to bear in mind that even slight variations in colour can impact the overall look and feel of a room, so it's always a good idea to test a small patch of paint on the wall before committing to a larger project. This way, you can ensure that the final result meets your expectations and matches your desired aesthetic.


Slaked Lime Deep colour match in two different brands

Lets take a closer look in a different environment...


Close look at the colour Slaked Lime Deep colour match in two different brands

This difference in shade can be attributed to the different pigments, binders, and resins used by each brand. Little Greene Paints uses six different bases in their formulations, while other brands may only use two. This can result in a significant difference in colour, even when attempting to colour match.

It's essential to consider these differences when deciding whether or not to colour match Little Greene Paint colours with other brands. While it may be possible to get a close match, it's unlikely that the final result will be an exact match.



Why is Little Greene Paint more expensive than other Trade paints?


One of the reasons why Little Greene Paints may be more expensive than other trade paints is because of the high-quality ingredients that they use in their formulations. As we've discussed, Little Greene Paints use a variety of different pigments, binders, resins, and bases to create their unique paint colours.


These ingredients are often of a higher quality than those used in other trade paints. For example, Little Greene Paints use only the finest natural pigments, such as Ultramarine, Cobalt, and Chromium Oxide, which are more expensive than synthetic pigments used in other paints.


Additionally, Little Greene Paints often use more pigments in their formulations than other paint brands, which can lead to a richer, more vibrant colour. This means that you may need to use less paint to achieve the same coverage as other brands, making Little Greene Paints a more cost-effective choice in the long run.


Another factor contributing to the higher cost of Little Greene Paints is their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Little Greene Paints uses eco-friendly ingredients and manufacturing processes, which may be more expensive than traditional manufacturing methods. However, this commitment to sustainability ensures that their paints are not only high-quality but also better for the environment.


Finally, Little Greene Paints is a small, independent company that places a premium on customer service and product quality. This means that they may invest more in research and development to create unique paint colours and finishes that cannot be found in other brands.



If you're looking to purchase any Little Greene products, whether it be paint or wallpaper, you'll be pleased to know that you can find it all on our partnered Little Greene paint website. With just a click of a button below, you'll be taken to a wide selection of Little Greene products that are available for purchase.

At our partnered website, you'll be able to browse through Little Greene's extensive range of high-quality paints and wallpapers, all of which are manufactured to the highest standard. Whether you're looking to refresh your walls with a fresh coat of paint or add some character to your space with some beautiful wallpaper, Little Greene has something to suit every taste and style.

Our website provides a simple and easy-to-use platform for you to make your purchase, and with competitive prices and excellent customer service, you can be confident that you're making the right choice in choosing Little Greene products.

So why not take a look at our selection of Little Greene products today? With a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from, you're sure to find something that will add that extra touch of elegance to your home or project.


Where to buy Little Greene Paint


Not only can you purchase Little Greene paint and wallpaper online through the button provided, but we are also a local and family-owned bricks and mortar store. Our showroom offers the opportunity to view the full range of colours and wallpapers in person. So, whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping or the personal touch of a physical store, we have you covered.

So why not take a look at our selection of Little Greene products today? With a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from, you're sure to find something that will add that extra touch of elegance to your home or project.




Conclusion

In conclusion, colour matching paint can be a tricky process, and there are many factors to consider beyond just the colour itself. With Little Greene Paints using 6 different bases in their paint formulations and other brands using only 2, it's important to be aware of the potential differences in colour that can arise when trying to match colours between brands. By understanding these nuances, you can make an informed decision and avoid the pitfalls of colour matching. Trying to colour match paint from one brand to another is not a good idea.

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