Posted on | July 26, 2010 | 18 Comments
Painting a room can be a daunting task, from prepping the area with tape, and drop cloths, and then to painting the actual room. But perhaps the most difficult part of the process is choosing a paint color and if you’re extra ambitious, accent colors for trim, doors, and ceilings. I have always been amazed at the sheer number of paint colors available and that is only in one store. If you visit numerous stores your color options quickly multiply. So despite the plethora of paint colors available, I usually end up going the safe route, and stick with neutral colors. The reason for this is I the misfortune of having to repaint a kitchen a month later because the initial color chosen was all wrong (disclosure: this happened before I started at X-Rite) so I repainted my kitchen white. But here is the thing, I want to be creative with my paint colors, I want something bold, and exciting, but I can’t quite take that first step. As you know, a paint chip on the wall is not the ideal sample size to judge how the whole room would look in a specific color. The sample size bottles of paint are limiting as well, you are still painting, and you have to narrow down your choices greatly before you decide on a sample color to bring home.
Luckily there is help out there for people like myself, who want to take the color plunge but without the huge color commitment. Virtual Room Painting Software. Yes, virtual room painting software is exactly what it sounds like, these are software programs that let you pick a default room picture provided by the software or in some cases you upload your own room photographs, and you can virtually paint your room with whatever paint fandeck is provided with the software. In many cases the software offers options for accent colors, or similar colors so that you can make sure you find the perfect paint color or colors. There are many of these programs available at your paint store, counter, or online. Here are some of the programs that I have found:
- Sherman Williams – Color Visualizer – This is a great tool since you can click on the link above and get right to painting your room. No registration required, you can upload your room photo and just begin painting right away. The software is easy to use and once completed you can save, email, or print out your completed work. Of course Color Visualizer features Sherman Williams paint colors, but you still have lots of color options.
- Benjamin Moore – Personal Color Viewer – Personal Color Viewer by Benjamin Moore is a great tool which allows users explore color basics, virtually paint rooms. In order to save files or upload your own images you need to register. The program offers a wide range of interior rooms and exterior images to virtually paint. You can quickly and easily scroll through the entire Benjamin Moore fandeck, and can also adjust for paint thickness.
- Valspar – Digital Painter – Digital Painter by Valspar is a nice tool to be able to use Valspar wide range of fandecks but unfortunately you can’t upload your own images. To get started you can either start with picking an image out of Valspar database, or chose a collection or start off with a color. The software loads quickly and is easy to use.
- Behr – ColorSmart – Behr offers ColorSmart as their virtual room painting software. This program is interesting in its setup since you have to pick your color palette first and then you could finally preview your palette on your chosen room photo. You will have to subscribe in order to upload your own images. Getting started is easy by either choosing a specific Behr color name or number, or just browsing for your color, or getting inspired through their library.
- Ace Hardware– Colors For Your Life – Your local Ace Hardware also offers room painting software in Colors For Your Life. There is an optional color test to see what your color preferences might be, and they offer default room images which you can assign colors too. In order to upload your own images you have to either purchase the software online or in the store.
- Glidden- Room Painter – From Glidden we have Room Painter which provides a generic room set up to virtually paint. They also offer coordinating colors as well, and it is easy to save and print your choices. You can begin your search for colors by checking out Glidden’s Color Palette, Top 10 color palettes, and color palettes to Match a Mood. It is a quick and simple tool to use, but you are limited with room canvas that is provided.
- PPG Porter Paints – Visions at A Glance – Visions at A Glance by PPG Porter Paints gets started with either selecting a photo or playing a color game to find out what your color personality is. In painting a room you choose what room you are painting, and then a sample room photo, and can then start painting with various palettes that are available. You can easily print or save your project and bring your project summary to the store.
- PPG Pittsburg Paints – Visions at A Glance – Looks like this is the same software as the Porter Paints version but with the ability to upload your own photos. Although you can only do this by downloading the software which is free of charge.
- Rodda Paint – Color Visualizer – Has a downloaded Color Visualizer software which is free for customers, but you need to sign up and become a preferred customer.
- Kelly Moore – Click & Paint – Kelly Moore’s Click & Paint requires you to purchase their software.
- Comex Virtual Decorator – Comex brands such as Kwal, Parker, Frazee, General, and Color Wheel Paint all offer ColorWorkspace ColorLife VirtualDecorator, where you can virtually paint rooms. The program allows for uploads of your own images as well. In order to save and print images you need to register with them. The software also has a unique feature of allowing you to add or remove virtual furniture.
- Lanco – Lanco also has a scaled down version of a virtual room painter, your options and colors are limited but gives you an idea of what Lanco’s palettes would look like on generic room images.
- McCormick Paints – You can download their Virtual Painting System Color Visualizer free of charge.
- Pratt & Lambert Color Visualizer – Pratt & Lambert’s Color Visualizer offers the options to paint existing photos for interior rooms and exterior facades. Although you won’t be able to save your chosen palette you can print it out for reference. Simple and easy to use.
- Colorjive – Online room painting software, that is not affiliated with any paint company, but they only offer Sherman Williams, and Benjamin Moore fandecks.
- X-Rite – PersonalDesigner – Although not available online, X-Rite’s PersonalDesigner is an available add-on for any of our Paint Matching Equipment. Stores that carry PersonalDesigner will have a monitor facing out towards the customer allowing them to virtually paint a room. They can use default room images provided on the software or they can upload their own photos, to virtually paint. PersonalDesigner also provides accent colors as well. The fandecks provided in the software would be chosen by the store. So next time you are at your favorite paint store ask them if they carry PersonalDesigner by X-Rite.
- Jotun – ColourAdvisor – Jotun is a Norwegian based coatings and paint manufacturer. Their decorative paints are available worldwide. To use ColourAdvisor you will need to create an account, but once signed up you can upload your own photos and save your colors and images.
- Caparol – SPECTRUM – Caparol is a leading decorative paint manufacture based in Germany, who products service Europe, Asia, and Africa. SPECTRUM is an interesting tool, it is easy to get started quickly by choosing a preloaded image, and them picking colors to virtually paint the room., you can also quickly generate a pdf to print of a room that you have completed. It is recommended to create an account for saving purposes. Additionally Caparol offers SPECTRUM 3.0 which offers many more features than their online version, such as uploading your own images, 3D functionality and ability to paint with textures.
- ICI Paints – Mouse Painter
- Alcro – Color Dream – Program is in Swedish but easy enough to get started
- Did We Miss Anyone? – Let us know if we missed any other virtual room painting programs, leave a comment, send an email.
So the tools are available, the colors are plenty why not experiment and get creative and see how you can change your room around. Who knows you just might like the new look so much that next thing you know you will be opening up a paint can.
Share with us your favorite room paint visualizer software and why? If you have photos even better!