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Choose the wrong paint color? Valspar feels your pain

Consumer Reports News: April 11, 2012 03:33 PM

That salmon color you painted the bathroom came out a screaming orange and the taupe in the dining room is edging too close to brown. What's a homeowner to do? Valspar thinks it has the answer with its "Love your color guarantee." For the next six months Valspar, Lowe's house brand, is offering a free replacement paint color to anyone who does not "absolutely love" their first color choice. "Choosing the right paint color can be an emotional journey for many people," said a Lowe's rep. Indeed.

The replacement program applies only to purchases of Valspar Signature Colors interior paint at Lowe's. To get a rebate for replacement paint, homeowners must first buy a can of their preferred color and take a photo of the two colors appearing side by side on a wall. (To help you choose a color, Lowe's offers an interactive paint selector on its website.) Then send Valspar the photo, receipts for both colors and the rebate request. A rebate should follow.

In Consumer Reports most recent Ratings of interior paint we recommend Valspar's Signature Colors matte but not its semi-gloss or satin. We did like Valspar + satin. But paints are reformulated frequently and we continue to test the new ones as they become available. A top paint one season may be overtaken by a better one the next. Also on our most recent recommended list are various finishes by Benjamin Moore, Behr, Glidden and Kliz, among others.

Of course, the best way to avoid the whole color conundrum is to choose carefully to begin with. Here's what we recommend.


  • Don't choose until you've developed the room's overall scheme. It's harder to find fabric, carpeting, and furniture you like than it is to find the perfect paint color, and paint can be cheaper and easier to change.
  • Narrow your choice with online color-selection tools, which are offered by major manufacturers.
  • When you shop, bring colors from fabrics you're trying to match.
  • Look at paint-sample strips with a range that includes your choice; that way you'll see whether you're in the right color family.
  • Consider whether you want a "warm" color (yellow undertones) or a "cool" one (blue undertones). Each lends a different feel.
  • Buy sample jars, apply the paint, let it dry, and see how it looks in different light.
  • Choose a high-quality paint. Coverage, gloss type, and resistance to fading are factors to consider.

Mary H.J. Farrell

   

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