How Does Light Impact Paint Colour?

Ever looked at the walls of a friend’s house, or a house in a magazine or online, and thought that you need to have that exact wall colour in your home? But after painting that exact colour on walls, you find that it is not the same. That is metamerism at work. But, what exactly is metamerism?

Light and Its Effect on Colour

Metamerism occurs when colours appear to change under various lighting conditions. This means it is a no-no to pick paint colours inside the paint store. You should really look at colour swatches in the space where you are planning on painting it, recommends one of the master painters in Wellington.

He adds that you must look at the paint swatch in the morning and at night as well as with the indoor lighting inside the space on and off because all colours will look different in different lighting conditions.

Northern and Southern Exposure

Selecting paint colours under natural sunlight is best because it offers a balance between the light spectrum’s cool and warm ends. Northern exposure is going to be more intense, while the southern exposure is more on the cooler side.

Let us say you paint two rooms the exact colour — one room with southern exposure and the other with northern exposure. The colour would appear slightly different in both rooms. Additionally, sunlight is not always consistent. It would differ when it is clear, cloudy, or overcast and would change throughout the day.

Indoor Lighting

With regards to lamplight and overhead light, fluorescent lights highlight greens and blues, while halogen and incandescent lights highlight yellows and reds, and muted greens and blues. What is more, if the wall were lit from above, the colour would appear slightly different than if it were lit from below.

Some colours are likewise naturally more metameristic than other colours. For example, different conditions especially affect taupes, greys, green-greys, blue-greys, mauves, and lavender hues.

Whether you are planning on repainting the walls in your kitchen or repainting your entire house, choosing the specific shade is crucial.

Now that you have some idea on how you could begin to select your paint colours, you could go to the paint store and ask for swatches of all the colours you are considering. If you are still in doubt, consult an experienced painter for professional advice.

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