Help me identify a paint color
March 23, 2007 12:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning on painting my apartment. I know what color I want my living room, but I'm bad at identifying colors. Can you help me out?

As luck would have it, it's on the wall in Don Cheadle's apartment in Reign Over Me:

I tried identifying it via Behr's flash tool with no luck.

Also, a matter of opinion, the room in question has crown molding and a chair rail. Any thoughts on what would complement that red best? I suppose the cream color in the movie works, but any other suggestions are welcome.
posted by o2b to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
okay, that's a ridiculously small photo to get an idea of the color.

From what I can tell you want to look at Ruby Ring SG-150 and maybe fine tune it from there. It looks as though the wall in his apartment may have a wash/treatment though. Something to consider.

I had a similar, though not as deeply dramatic wall in my old house and used a nice cream color to accent it. You may want to go with something more sand/tan so as not to bring out any pink in the lighter color.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:43 PM on March 23, 2007

The only way for this to really work is to go to the paint store and grab every color-card that seems reasonably close. Bring them home, tape them on the wall, and stare at them for a while. Even if, by dumb luck, you picked out exactly the same paint color, you might find it didn't look quite right in your room.

Also remember that the gloss of the paint will affect its perceived brightness—the more gloss, the more reflected light, and the brighter the room will seem, which may be good or bad depending on what you're going for. Also also remember that if you ever get sick of this color (or are leasing and move), painting over that red will be a bee-yotch.

I agree cream/ivory would be a good trim color.
posted by adamrice at 12:55 PM on March 23, 2007

Best answer: Go to Benjamin Moore...they have little $3 jars of most their swatches, and 50¢ sponge can paint little 2ft. x 2ft. squares of color combos on the walls (above and below the moldings). Sit with it for a few days. See how overhead light, natural light, etc. hits all the diff. walls differently at various times of the day.

Matching the exact shade is not going to be as effective as matching the overall effect you're trying to emulate. Your walls/furniture/lighting is bound to be different than what you're trying to match - and will have a big effect on the overall mood.

The only way to really see if you've created that effect is to test it out with the various paint squares and see which ones you're drawn to.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:02 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Home Depot used to have a commercial where they insisted they could color match anything, even a hairball. Maybe you can save the picture to a flash drive, have it printed out on a high quality color printer at staples or the like and take it to home depot for color matching?
posted by necessitas at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2007

The Benjamin Moore mini-jars are fantastic, although they don't have a jar for every paint color. Get a bunch of jars, grab a bunch of paint chip cards that range around the jar colors, and that way if you don't get an exact match via a jar color you can use the cards to find the right tone or variation you want.

Also remember that colors will look different if the room/wall is south-facing (i.e., gets a lot of warm light) or north-facing (tends toward less light, of cooler dimensions). Red paint may not be as subject to these variations overall, but my parents painted their entire house a pale green that in south-facing rooms looks fine but in north-facing rooms looks sickly.

Red paint needs a LOT of coats to cover well, so if you are priming beneath the paint, get the store to tint your primer as well.
posted by mdiskin at 1:53 PM on March 23, 2007

seconding mdskin's warning... just helped a friend paint his apartment over the fall. His roommate's bedroom is about that shade, and it took something like four coats over white to get it even.
posted by Kellydamnit at 2:03 PM on March 23, 2007

This may sound crazy but that reminds me of a color from the Devine Paint color palette (Benjamin Moore carries it). Check out the colors called: Sangria, Paprika, Cabernet, Bordeaux. I'm guessing it's close to Bordeaux. Devine also sells little samples of colors to paint on a wall (though I use posterboard and then move the board around the room at different times of day.)

Their paint coverage is excellent, though you are going to pay a bit more for their product. They say it has the consistency of yogurt and they are right...the stuff is very thick and rich.
posted by jeanmari at 2:05 PM on March 23, 2007

Seconding the advice to tape up paint chips and test out the colors if you can. Do not rely on an online color-matcher like Behr's. The color that appears on your computer monitor has nothing to do with the color that will appear on your walls.
posted by donajo at 2:26 PM on March 23, 2007

Lowe's will now mix a $3 jar of any color from any brand they offer, not just select colors.
posted by junkbox at 3:01 PM on March 23, 2007

It's a textured wall there's two colours there. Did you want both of them or just the one it appears to be in your miniscule picture.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 10:28 AM on March 26, 2007

Sherwin-Williams also has the tiny paint cans, and their paint quality is excellent.
posted by pyjammy at 7:38 AM on March 27, 2007

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