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  • Betsey Dempsey

Is it true? "Paint colors always look darker once on the walls."

I hear it all the time: "I know it always looks darker on the walls than on the chip." Not really! When you are looking at a paint chip in the store, it is usually only an inch or two in size. Your room will have MUCH more square footage than that chip. The bigger the area you are painting, the more the undertones and intensity will come out. For example, if the gray you pick has a tiny bit of red in it, it could look a pinky-gray when the whole room is painted. Also, if there is any significant intensity (a "neon" effect) in the little chip, your room will glow! Therefore, I believe the term "darker" is often used when, in fact, the nuances of the color are popping out. That being said, if there is less light in your home than in the store, that color will look darker once painted in your home. One trick: see if the store has larger paper samples of the color to borrow or look at in a light that more reflects your home.

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