PaintPRO , Vol. 2 No. 3, May 2000
PaintPRO Vol 2, No 3

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Other articles in this issue:
Color Know How
Concrete Makes A Statement
2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City
Coating Metal Surfaces
Managing Cash Flow
Faux Finishing: Glazing
Contractor Profile: Mike MacNeil
Paint Product News
Painting Tips

PaintPRO Archives — Painting Tips

Matching Paint Color, Color Basics

Understanding some basics about colors and how they can influence each other will make the challenge of matching colors easier.

Finding the perfect match, even when you may have several fan decks of colors to choose from, can be tough. But understanding some basics about colors and how they can influence each other will make the challenge of matching colors easier. (Read this issue's article on Colors, And Helping Customers Choose). Simply positioning a color on the fan deck against the wall color you are trying to match is not always the best approach. Here’s a way to make color matching more exact and a fun way to impress a few of your customers at the same time.

Start with a 5”x7” index card. Fold the card in half and cut a triangle shape out of the center. Unfold it now to reveal a diamond shaped hole in the center of your card. Now tape 2 corners of the card to the wall so you can now see the color you’re trying to match through the hole in the card. Next, slide the color on your fan deck that most closely matches the wall color in behind the index card so the window contains 50% of each color. With both the wall color and your fan deck color side by side in the window you create an undistorted and concentrated look at how two colors match or differ from each other. This tip will help to refine your search and zero in on the matching color.

"Read the Label"
A helpful reminder to everyone who wants the upper hand on productivity...

The backside of a can of paint is often overlooked by many painters. Shortcuts to speed production can cause serious problems on your jobs. Anytime you’re concerned with what will work best on a particular surface, or what won’t work, it’s critical to "READ THE LABEL." And even when adhesion or climate issues are not a concern it’s still very important to know what the label says on the products you use. You will find yourself saving time and money when you start educating yourself on all products available.

Case in point — A few years back I did a big home with literally miles of baseboard. The unique stain colors required two coats of stain. In order to speed the topcoat process along we sprayed all baseboard with a lacquer sealer then gave them to the carpenters for installation. After puttying nail holes and a light sanding we turned to the water-based varathane we had used on all other wood surfaces inside the home. All other wood surfaces did not receive the lacquer sealer. By referencing the label on the varathane it was determined this particular product would not work as a top coat over the lacquer sealer. And applying a small sample of the varathane on a piece of baseboard proved it was not suitable for this lacquered surface. Reading the label on Deft it became the product of choice because it offered a brushable finish for this surface. Had we overlooked this limitation with the water-based varathane we would probably have realized the mishap when the carpet installers began their work.

Second case in point — After pressure washing the exterior of a house for repaint we realized the metal garage door was still giving off a chalky white powder when rubbed with a hand. Concerned that the latex enamel may have trouble bonding to this surface we read the label on a can of Zinsser 1-2-3 which specifically addressed this concern. The problem was quickly resolved with this coating and very little time was lost.

The Answer Man
Chalky Siding: Zinsser 1-2-3 contains chalk-binding resins so moderately chalked aluminum or wood siding need not be washed before painting.


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