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Can I use colors in photos I like to create color palettes for painting different rooms in my house?


QUESTION: Can I use colors in photos I like to create color palettes for painting different rooms in my house?

ANSWER: Absolutely! One good example is on the Sherwin Williams’ website. Under Color Tools, you can choose “Color Snap Visualizer”. We used their visualizer for the web (they also have iPhone and Android versions) and made a couple examples.

We downloaded some autumn-themed photos we liked from the Pixabay website, which allows you to use royalty-free photos. One of the tools on the Color Snap Visualizer is to build your own color palettes using a photo you upload from your computer or phone. Below you will see 2 examples we show of photos we used – the leather gloves/coffee mug/woods scene and the pumpkin/gourd/wooden crate still-life. Each time we uploaded a photo we were then given the option to choose colors that we liked out of the photo to add to our palette (up to 8). Each time you click in the photo it will show you which Sherwin Williams’ paint color matches that particular color in the photo. Each time you add a color to your palette, you can also click on the color in the palette section below and get tons of information such as similar and complimentary colors. You can also preview of what these colors could look like on room samples provided on the Sherwin Williams website.

autumn color palettes
coffee color palettes

You can even upload photos of rooms from your own home and then use colors from the palette you created to see what the colors will look like in your rooms! We did not use that particular feature, but we did use some of the colors in our palettes to “paint” sections of the rooms from the examples they gave us. We included examples of some of these as well so you can see the palettes taken from the photos we chose and then see what some of the colors from those photos could look like when used in the example rooms.

Please keep in mind, especially when using photos of your own home, that this is really a rough idea of how this could look for you. Even though some of the examples they give you do show rooms in day and night lighting, there are so many other factors that determine what a color will look like. Ceiling heights, room size, what the walls are made from, trim size, types and amount of natural and artificial lighting, what sheen is used (flat, satin, gloss, etc.), styles of furniture you put in the room and how much furniture you use, and so on. All these things can make a huge difference. But this visualizer can be really helpful if say, you always wondered what blue walls and black trim would look like, and now you can see that you maybe think it looks awesome or hideous! At the very least it can help in the process of elimination of certain colors and combos, and it is a fun and creative way to spend an afternoon!

Download this article and the rest of the Fall 2020 newsletter.

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