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Color Tricks: How to Avoid Illusions in Your Home

Posted by Nolan Painting on March 5, 2021
how to avoid illusions in your home with colors

Remember in 2015 when that infamous illusion-colored dress polarized thousands of social media users? A single image of a striped dress created two feisty competitors: those who were sure the dress was blue and black, and those who insisted it was instead white and gold! 

Two years after this viral saga, a second article of clothing became the topic of contention. A sneaker on Twitter convinced some people that they were looking at a pink shoe with white laces, while others saw a grey shoe with mint laces. These debates still pop up on emerging media sites like Tik-Tok and other social channels. 

It turned out that the dress actually was blue and black, but that doesn’t mean those who saw white and gold need to get their eyes checked. In fact, these color illusions are relatively common, especially during the process of selecting interior painting colors.

Color swatches seen in certain contexts can create frustrating realizations that your wall’s colors aren’t what you expected. Luckily, our experts at Nolan Painting have seen it all, and are here to help you avoid any color illusions in your homes. Here are a few color tips to combat illusions: 

Hold the paint swatch against a neutral color: 

When you look at a color swatch, your eyes actually unintentionally register the colors that surround it. In that sense, a swatch color will give off a different illusion for every background color because your eyes blend them together. Background colors like red can dramatically change your color perception. Use your white walls or doors as a background for your swatches so that there are no surprises when it’s time to paint! 

Don’t compare two color swatches against each other:

In the same way that background colors can intrude on your vision, two swatches next to each other can create even more illusions. Even when you look at a single swatch, (which progresses from darkest to lightest), your brain compares the shades. When you add another swatch to the mix, this completely alters the original colors. View your color swatches on their own!

Look in the paint swatch in the actual room where it will be painted:

Lighting, space, and furniture can similarly create certain color illusions in your rooms. Consider the impact that exterior or interior lighting has on your walls, and also know that you perceive color in a different way in bigger rooms than you do in smaller ones. Make sure to look at the swatch inside the intended room because these factors can make a true difference in color. 

Hold the paint swatch vertically: 

This might sound bizarre, but how surfaces are oriented actually can influence our color perceptions. Vertical surfaces, like your interior walls, absorb light differently than horizontal surfaces.

Who knew painting could be so tricky? No need to stress about picking colors for your home. Our team at Nolan Painting has been assisting clients in choosing paint colors for their homes in the greater Philadelphia area for over 35 years! Our color consultants will make sure that your home’s interior looks exactly the way you wanted. Contact your local interior painting experts at Nolan Painting today at (610) 572-2806!