Have you ever wanted to paint your living room and you pick what you think is the perfect paint color? Then you get it on the wall and as it dries you realize it’s slightly too dark, too blue or something is off? Do you wish you could add just a little something to your paint and you have a certain picture of a color in your mind for your paint project and you just can’t seem to find it on the paint deck? You can custom mix the perfect paint for painting walls with just a few simple steps…. and I wanted to share with you how to custom mix your own paint colors!
First be brave and be ready to experiment and be patient all at once! You can do your own custom mixes of paint colors with just a few simple steps. Mixing your own custom color allows you to not only pick you own hues, but personalize your space, and saves you from buying gallons of paint you hate.
The best part is you are going to use sample cans of paint, no color theory knowledge needed! The paint finishes you pick can effect the look of the paint by being more reflective and appearing even a little lighter or darker so use the sheen you want to end up with to mix your custom color and don’t mix sheens of paint. You can do this for both interior paint and exterior paint to get the perfect custom color.
To mix a custom color, pick the main color of paint shade closest to the one you want to achieve. I use sample cans from the paint store. Also buy a can of black paint, a can of white paint. And then trust your gut. If you look at the color and you wish the color was just a tad more “green or yellow” buy those colors as well. You can also do this with artist paint, but it’s actually cheaper with paint samples in many cases.
Begin mixing your custom paint color by adding about a 1/2 cup of the main base color into a small plastic cup. Slowly add the color in small increments you would like to add. If you want it darker, a little black, lighter some white. Try to add it in measurable teaspoons at a time and keep track.
When you think you have the color you want, you’ll want to paint it on a surface to dry and make sure. The trick to making your own custom blends of paint colors is to paint the color on a primed piece of wood (like a paint stir stick) and let it dry completely. The primed surface is really important. If you don’t and just paint it on raw wood, some of the pigment can be sucked into the wood and won’t render true on a color match, the primer helps the color sit on the surface where it should be.
You might wonder… does paint dry darker or lighter? Paint typically dries darker on a surface which is why it’s important to always let your paint dry before judging the color.
Once the custom paint color is dry
After mixing, label them clearly in a baby food or small jar with a lid while you are waiting for the paint to dry.
Mark it clearly on the surface so you remember which paint is which. There’s nothing like finally getting the right color and then realizing you don’t know which container it is.
Then happily take your dried, newly mixed painted paint stick to the paint store or home improvement store of choice and ask them to color match it. For a big project, have a new sample can mixed of the new color and take it home to see how it looks in your lighting at home to make sure it’s exactly how you want it before committing to a lot of paint!
Once you know your custom mixed paint color is THE color, make sure you have enough mixed in the same batch to ensure enough coverage and for touch ups later.
You can also use this technique with existing paint and cans in the “oops” section of the paint store. If you happen to have old paint hanging around that you want to reuse that’s still in good condition, consider mixing it into a new shade! This is where mixing it small, and keeping track of your proportions is important to mix it on a bigger scale so an entire gallon isn’t ruined. I’ve actually done that and learned the hard way!
Now have fun and go paint! If you liked this post, check out how we made over our guest bathroom with paint.
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