The Best Free Apps to Help You Visualize Paint Color Changes — Color Confidence


I have wasted so much time staring endlessly at racks of paint samples, filling my purse with swatches, getting home only to realize none of them make sense in the room I want to paint—or worse yet, painting the walls a color only to realize it makes no sense—and repeating the whole frustrating process. Those days are over! There are now several free handy-dandy apps that allow you to virtually paint your very own rooms, so you can see how the colors will actually look. Most of these are a joy to use, a couple are a bit tedious, but all of them are far superior to the way we used to pick paints. Let’s take a look.

To evaluate these three desktop programs and three apps, I used two professionally shot photos from our House Tours, as well as one I snapped of my living room just using my phone and no special lighting or filters. For each app, I used the simplest method of painting offered, and did not highlight individual areas by hand except when that was the only (terrible) option.

  • Format: Desktop program
  • Download Image?: Yes
  • Email Image?: Yes
  • Share Image?: Facebook and Pinterest
  • Pros: Super easy to use, extensive color selection, no login needed, you can undo actions, you can autofill or hand-select areas, you can create a palette before you start painting, program preserved shadows so you can see how the color actually functions in light, the program handled rooms with lots of detailing (window frames, molding, and so on) better than most other apps, and the email option will send you the color names, numbers and swatches.
  • Cons: Didn’t handle detailing perfectly, didn’t always make hard edges, paints are organized by large color group (oranges, greens, etc.) but are seemingly random within each group, colors appeared lighter than the swatches, and if you download your image it does not include paint info.
  • Format: Desktop program
  • Download Image?: No
  • Email Image?: No
  • Share Image?: No
  • Pros: Preserves shadows in image, more helpful than having no app at all, definitely useful if you prefer Benjamin Moore paints.
  • Cons: Have to create login, could not get it to function on Chrome, colors are not in any sort of order, can’t create a palette, have to highlight surfaces by hand (a total pain even if you have a touchscreen laptop), can’t un-highlight areas except with a tiny eraser tool, doesn’t color dark areas well, no saving option, and absolutely tedious to use. Swear words may have been uttered when I finished the first room and remembered I had two more to do.
  • Format: iOS and Android apps
  • Download Image?: Yes
  • Email Image?: Yes
  • Share Image?: Twitter and Facebook
  • Pros: Incredibly fast and easy to use, you can adjust lighting (daylight, LED, incandescent), image is saved with color swatches/names/numbers, you can undo actions, and fills areas well.
  • Cons: Have to provide email address

Glidden ColorAPP

  • Format: iOS (I can’t find a link but it’s in the App Store) and Android app
  • Download Image?: Yes
  • Email Image?: Yes
  • Share Image?: Twitter
  • Pros: No login needed, you can undo actions, preserves shadows in photos, and it was so easy to use that even though the app is in Spanish, I had zero trouble despite my very rusty high school Espanol.
  • Cons: Appears to only be available in Spanish, if you download image it doesn’t include the paint information so you need to take a screenshot, swatches are organized by colors but fairly randomly (example: all the oranges together in no particular order), and has a bit of trouble differentiating between surfaces (ceiling vs. wall, for example).

Note: this is the exact same program as the Olympic Paint Visualizer.

  • Format: Desktop program
  • Download Image?: Yes
  • Email Image?: Yes
  • Share Image?: Facebook and Pinterest
  • Pros: Super easy to use, extensive color selection, no login needed, you can undo actions, you can create a palette before you start painting, program preserved shadows so you can see how the color actually functions in light, and the email option will send you the color names, numbers, and swatches.
  • Cons: The program handled rooms with lots of detailing (window frames, molding, and so on) better than most other apps, didn’t always make hard edges, paints are organized by large color group (oranges, greens, etc.) but are seemingly random within each group, colors appeared lighter than the swatches, and if you download image it does not include paint info.

Paint Tester

  • Format: iOS and Android app
  • Download Image?: Yes
  • Email Image?: Yes
  • Share Image?: Twitter and Facebook
  • Pros: No login needed, not affiliated with a paint company, not limited by a company’s paint colors, you can undo actions, you can use Tape function to create perfect lines, you can select colors from photos, and you can lighten/darken each color after you apply it.
  • Cons: The free app comes with ads, and paint doesn’t cover dark areas well/at all.

Have you used a painting app? Tell us all about it!

Once you’re all done painting, you might need help with room layout!

http://ift.tt/2wDDEKP

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