So you’ve painted your walls and your paint results don’t look much like the samples you used to make your paint choices. In fact, the walls look different depending on the time of day. So what happened? You’re not the only one. Many do-it-yourself painters have found themselves in this predicament.
This is because of an effect called metamerism. You have probably experienced this effect when putting on socks. In incandescent light, it may look like you’ve put on two black socks, only to find in different light, such as fluorescent or natural light, that one sock is dark blue. This can happen with paint color as well and should be considered when choosing paint colors. Both the sample — in this case, the socks — and the source of illumination can affect one’s perception of color.
Your local True Value hardware store's Certified Color Experts® are available to answer questions you have about paint, choosing paint colors and the effects of light in your home. Also, pick up a Custom Mixed Color Sample to try a few colors on your walls at home. Choosing colors based on how they look in the store can often lead to less than perfect results when the paint meets the wall. Color samples allow you to paint a small space and live with different options for a while before making your final decision. You can also pick up Idea Cards, which have predetermined palettes ready for you; or Stripe Cards, which show shades of the same color.
When choosing paint colors, don’t forget that you can also experiment online with True Value's interactive Color Visualizer, where you can preview how colors will look before you paint by changing paint colors and furniture to reflect six different moods. Our Color Selection Tool features a color wheel with every color in the True Value® paint palette.