Paint matching help
August 31, 2022 12:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to match a certain paint color with an off-white and maybe a few other colors. My goal is to eventually paint all or almost all of the interior walls in my house this off-white, but I'd like to do it bit by bit and have it look deliberate during the process, so I think they need to match well. Do you have paint color suggestions or a good (cheap, fast) way to get hooked up with a matching palette?

The house is currently painted in the muddy (awful) Behr Burnt Almond, but I'm not a fan of any of the palettes Behr connects to that color. Thanks for any advice!
posted by Spokane to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
I'm not sure I am completely clear on the question. Is it that you want to buy the same off-white over the course of a longer period of time, and you want to make sure it always looks the same? Or you want to find some coordinating colors to go with the off-white you're using? In the latter case I don't understand the bit by bit component and in the former case I don't understand the matching palette. So I don't know if I am answering the right thing.

But my experience is that first of all, if you buy the same color (a named color or specific formula, not a "match" from a sample) with the same type of paint and same sheen, it's extremely consistent. At least if you use the good brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. If you change ANY of the factors, like you use a different sheen, or a different line within the same brand, it will very likely look noticeably different. However, even if the paint looks exactly the same fresh out of the can, it does change over time on the wall, with light exposure, dirt, and general aging. So brand new paint against older identical paint can be noticeably different. But if they're not butting up directly against each other (if they're in different rooms or even if there's just a piece of moulding separating them) it'll usually be fine.

For coordinating colors, most of the brands have booklets with sample palettes you could use. A lot of the stores also have employees who are there to help with color choices and could help you put together a palette.

So I guess my advice boils down to: use a good brand, use one of their standard colors, stick with the same line within their brand, ask the employees for help choosing colors, and paint all adjoining surfaces at the same time, but it's ok to do non-adjoining surfaces at different times.

This is not expert advice, it is just based on my experience painting a lot of rooms in a lot of houses as a DIYer.
posted by primethyme at 1:05 PM on August 31, 2022 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Sorry, I guess my question wasn't clear. I'm looking to switch to another color throughout the interior, but it has to look okay with the muddy walls, because I'm going to DIY it so it'll take me awhile to work my way through the house. I'm trying to find a just-slightly-off-white (and potentially other colors) that look okay with Burnt Almond.
posted by Spokane at 1:09 PM on August 31, 2022

Also a little unsure which aspect of "matching" you mean, but if you want to paint the same color gradually on different areas of your home, the only way to absolutely positively have that same color match is to buy enough paint for the entire job at the same time. Although paint manufacturers claim that they can match a paint bought at a later time to the earlier shade, it often is just different enough to be noticeable. And it never, never takes just one coat, no matter what they say, so make sure you purchase enough to paint two coats. Same with trim.
posted by citygirl at 1:12 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm still not super clear on the question. Personally, I wouldn't care if one room temporarily didn't go with another, and I certainly wouldn't base my final color choices on whether things go with a color I'm going to get rid of.

If you're looking for just-slightly-off-white and you're set on it going with the burnt almond, almost anything will work, since it's basically white, but just make sure it's a warm off-white rather than a cool off-white (i.e. it should lean towards brown or yellow rather than blue or green).

As far as finding other colors, have you looked to see if other paint companies have a similar color to burnt almond in their color palettes that you could work from?
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:17 PM on August 31, 2022

Do you dislike the Polar White and White Stone, that Behr suggest to go with Burnt Almond?

I'm a person that finds choosing paint colours surprisingly stressful. I would get paint colour fan deck and find a strip that you objectively like, that also looks acceptable to you next to the Burnt Almond paint, and then get testers for three or four colours around the one you think will work.
posted by plonkee at 1:20 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry if the question is still confusing! To state it as simply as I can, it is: what off whites go well with Burnt Almond? Thanks for struggling through clarifying this with me!
posted by Spokane at 1:28 PM on August 31, 2022

The off-white I use on all ceilings and trim is Pratt and Lambert Seed Pearl. It's quite a bright one, and neutral, so it goes with warm or cool decor and wall colors. You don't have to buy it in the Pratt Brand; wherever I go for paint, I just tell them P&L Seed Pearl and they can mix it exactly.
posted by wryly at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

What I generally do when matching an off-white to a colour is get the white paint tinted with a very tiny amount of pigment in the same proportions as the bright colour itself. So, for example, in my current condo, our accent walls are bright teal and our white walls have a very, very light teal tint to them that is the same hue as the bright walls but at a wildly lower saturation. In my last condo, my dark walls were a deep terra cotta colour and my white walls had a very light creamy pinkish tinge.

I don't know if this is particularly normal, but I have liked it very much both times. There's no weird colour interaction when the accent walls reflect on the off-white walls because they are already the same colour.

It might work less well for you, though, because you specifically hate the colour in question and you might not enjoy having it around, even in a very light version.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Apparently Behr Burnt Almond matches SW Soft Fawn.
The SW tool says Soft Fawn coordinates with Moderate White and Divine White
You can get 12x12 stick on sheets from the SW store or and try them out on your walls.
posted by matildaben at 2:20 PM on August 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

The off-white that my contractor recommended for all my trim and ceilings was Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. It's a warmish white. I'm very happy with it.
posted by Nickel at 3:26 PM on August 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Okay, I found something on the Behr Paint Color Visualizer. My, that was a deep rabbit hole.
Behr #280F-4 "Burnt Almond" is definitely classified as orange, instead of as a neutral. It is fourth row down, third column from left.
The closest equivalents to a lighter color on this page appear to be S240-2 "Rice Crackers," 290E-1 "Weathered Sandstone," and S240-1 "Creme Fraiche."
The good news is that the undertone should work with the existing wall paint.

I suggest puttering around on the site to find a lighter existing color that suits your needs, rather than trying to create a one-off lighter version that may have weird undertones that will clash with "Burnt Almond."
I agree with all above comments about how light will play tricks and make a room look completely different in summer and winter (assuming you have windows); that matte, satin and semi-gloss can do odd tricks; and that age is not kind to painted surfaces.
Do not skimp on using a primer and two coats of good paint, regardless of what the can says.
You will probably hit the ceiling a few times by accident. Hopefully the basic Behr ceiling paint will be adequate for touch-ups.
posted by TrishaU at 10:57 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is not the answer to your coordination question and just another vote on 'matching': I went to a big name paint shop this weekend to buy a second can of a colour, with the same type, sheen and tint as a previous can, to match one I'd previously bought. It didn't match, and I ended up repainting the whole of some half painted walls because of it.

When you paint a wall, either (a) do it from a single can or (b) mix the scraps from multiple cans before starting. Paint one whole wall that colour, and allow enough for touch ups. Lighting will take care of meeting walls that don't match (the shadows cast differently so your brain accepts the colour differences as a natural occurrence) but will do nothing for mismatched cans in the middle of a single wall. So, in your case, plan on doing a whole wall at a time.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:09 PM on August 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

One more note: Behr #12 "Swiss Coffee" is a nice warm white with "Burnt Almond," "Rice Crackers" and "Creme Fraiche" according to some of the Behr room visualizer combinations.
posted by TrishaU at 11:30 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older renting a car with a temporary renewal license   |   What does the science say on fluoride at the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.