Yet another shade of blue?

The team are working hard on finalising the pack of documents so the Builder (more on this later) can pull together their costed proposal. Our part in this has been finalising our choices on the different finishes we want – floors, ceiling and so on which feels very surreal given we have yet to dig any (proper) holes. It will however smooth the build process if this can all be agreed up-front.

In the course of all this, the architects suggested we take a look at an environmentally friendly, mineral paint for our walls. This then led us to getting distracted for days in the fascinating and confusing world of colour.

Colour choices are very personal and what makes these choices even more complicated is how colour is represented differently between the real world, with paint, versus on the computer, with light. In school I was taught (things may have moved on a bit now) that all colour is a mix of red, green and blue which didn’t really explain why, when I mixed any amount of red, green or blue paint I always ended up with brown.

Of course I now know what the teacher was really saying is that mixing red, green and blue light is how different colours can be generated and that is exactly what a computer screen does. As my art class experiments proved, this isn’t how you print different colours in the real world – instead you need to mix different combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and ‘key’ (often, but not always, black) pigments.

Why does this matter?

To avoid accumulating a bankrupting collection of tester pots, obviously the cost of environmentally friendly mineral paint makes Farrow and Ball look like B&Q Basics, we ended up spending hours and hours at the weekend looking at mineral paint colour swatches and how they might then look on our room walls using the computer. Hugely absorbing, good fun and a massive time sink.

The fun was complicated in that the colours from the manufacturer websites on the computer are represented by light (red, green, blue) but that isn’t how the colours will look in reality when dealing with paint (cyan, magenta, yellow, key pigments) so getting tones and tints to match is tricky. This is before you start factoring in the daft names that paint companies use, Early Morning Mist, Green Tea, Unicorn Mane etc which makes it a bit tricky to work out what colour they really are. Unless you are Keim of course, a German paint brand who use a strict numerical system – splendidly precise!

Fortunately we are many, many weeks away from painting anything so this debate can run and run for a while yet …


One thought on “Yet another shade of blue?

  1. Is this why everyone now uses white? But then they are always different too!
    And as for the ultra modern grey…

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