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How Does Light Affect the Color of Paint?

October 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — platinumarlington @ 8:47 pm
a room with large windows letting in light

Painting your home can be a pretty big undertaking—there’s so much more to it than merely applying paint to the walls and calling it a day! You must spend time gathering materials, preparing the space, and of course, selecting the perfect color scheme. But did you know that both natural and artificial lighting can influence the color of paint? This means that you’ll want to be even more patient when selecting your colors. Continue reading below to learn a little more about the interplay between light and paint color so that you can ensure you’re selecting a color scheme that looks, and remains looking, its absolute best!

Can Light Influence the Color of Paint?

Unfortunately, paint doesn’t always retain its color after it’s been applied to a surface. This can occur for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from the quality of the paint itself to how it was applied, as well as any external forces at work. However, light is one of the biggest offenders.

Natural light, or light that enters your home through windows, doors, and skylights, differs in brightness and intensity depending on the time of day, the weather, and even the season. For example, if you have a window facing north, the light entering that room will be softer and produce a warmer effect. On the other hand, rooms with more southern light exposure receive more intense, brighter light. These varying degrees of light can all impact how painted walls look, altering the color noticeably.  

Artificial light, or light being emitted from interior sources like lamps, overhead lights, wall sconces, and more, can also come in varying levels of warmth and brightness. Incandescent bulbs, for instance, emit warmer, yellow-tinted light, whereas fluorescent bulbs produce cooler, more bluish tones. The differing placements of these lights can also cast shadows, which might make the paint appear darker than normal.

What Do I Need to Keep in Mind When Picking a Paint Color?

The secret to selecting a paint color that works well for your goal, regardless of the amount of light you’re working with, is to rely on testing paint samples. These small, colored cards are often overlooked—but they’re an undeniably essential part of the painting process. They let you make well-informed decisions, since you’ll actually see how the paint looks under different lighting conditions. Brighter, richer colors can often be problematic, and colors like khaki, sage, and taupe can morph drastically under different lighting.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that certain finishes produce different effects under light. Flat, gloss, semi-gloss, and others can all change the way certain colors look. Gloss can add depth, but under certain light it can be very reflective. Flat finishes tend to have less light bounce.

If you still have questions or doubts about how a particular color will look under lighting, then you should rely on a trusted team of professional painters to help you make the call. Their knowledge and experience are quite valuable, and they know better than anyone else just how stubborn certain colors can be under different lighting conditions.

About Platinum Painting of Arlington

Platinum Painting of Arlington has assisted countless homeowners around Arlington and the surrounding area with all kinds of interior and exterior painting projects. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to arrange a FREE in-home estimate to get your next project underway, don’t hesitate to contact their team online or over the phone for additional information or assistance. Telephone: (817) 983-7280.

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