Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Getting The Right Paint Color Isn't Always Easy

Picking paint colors isn't always easy.  Experts tell you to get a small sample or several different shades and try them out first.  But who wants to do that?  If you are like me, you want to get your paint and get on with your project.

The other day I went out to get a high gloss black. I researched my options, new the paint I wanted and headed out to the paint store.  Not a hardware store, but an actual paint store - that specializes in paint. I just wanted black. Easy enough right?

Well, it would have been easy, but the store didn't have the pre-mixed in black. Hmmm....what are my options?  The two men working at the counter looked at me like I had asked for something out of the ordinary. After staring at their paints for a minute, struggling to give me an option, one of the men said he could mix the paint I wanted and make it black. Genius....for a paint store right?  Just so we were on the same page,  I let him know that I was painting a desk and needed the paint to be jet black (confirming it's darkness) in a high gloss.  This is what I'm going to have right? He looked annoyed that I asked him this and he simply said "yes."

He mixed the paint and I was out the door.  Now, in the car, I was thinking that he didn't show me the shade before he put the lid on. But I figured this was a legitimate paint store so I should be good.

Well I got home, opened the can and you got it.... not even close.

I went back to the man who mixed my paint and very nicely told him that I asked for black and got grey.  He opened the can and asked if I wanted to make it darker?  Yes, that would be great.  He gave it a few shots of something, mixed it up and looked at it again.  This time even he agreed, it still wasn't black.  Moving at a snails pace, he went back to his paint shelf and said he could give me an oil in black?  (Omg....I'm thinking to myself) I want the paint you gave me but in black.  Is this possible?

It looked like a light bulb went off in his head.  He pulled another can of the same paint and went back to mix it.  This time, without saying a word, he handed me a a swatch of the new black. Bingo! This will work I said and left the store.

Now, it would have been nice to have heard, "I'm so sorry you had to come back", or "Sorry we didn't get that right the first time," but that wasn't happening.  Happy to have black, I went home to paint.

Can you see the difference?  The "first try" is after they tried to darken it. I'm still a little baffled that this behavior actually came from a specialty paint store. I wasn't asking for anything unusual.

Lessons learned: Don't leave the paint store without checking the color first and if you don't like the color you have, go back.  Don't let the paint stores intimidate you. It's your project and you have to live with it.