Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Interesting Color Adventure

Over the last few weeks I've been working with a client to find the "perfect" color for her kitchen remodel. Her home is on a hill with a stupendous view of Puget Sound - this means there is a LOT of blue light that floods the room off the water. I have always found water reflections to be the most challenging when choosing colors. The changing nature of the light quality just makes it difficult to find a color that looks true in all lighting conditions, from day to night.

Well, we've been on quite a journey with our color. We decided the C2's "Mortar" was the right combination of neutral/taupe/stone. We then tried the same color but increased the formulations by 150% and 200% to determine which intensity would be the best.

An interesting thing happened. The color started looking "rosy". Not only that, but the other materials being installed, like the floor tile, looked different from the samples. Yikes!!!

So we then "de-rosed" the color. Ack. Too green! We also tried making the color without black tints, using complements instead. Lots of sampler pots and test quarts were flying out the tint room.

Nothing was quite right, and we were getting frustrated. We found a color in the Pratt & Lambert deck that was super close to "Mortar" - it is called "Seahawk", on of the tried-and-true colors that I've used for years. We looked up the formulation... Yellow oxide, low black and brown. Score! Checking the "Mortar" formulation it became apparent why it started giving a rosy cast - it contained magenta as one of the colorants. Aha!!!

However, interestingly enough.... "Seahawk" wasn't right either. Not alive enough. Apparently the magenta interacts with the other colorants in the formulation to make the color read better. So in the end, we pulled back on the magenta just a touch to minimize the rosy cast without getting rid of it altogether.

After weeks of color manipulation, we ended up almost back where we started. My client is getting her home painted this week. I can't wait to see it.