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  • Writer's picturePascale Fabre

The Pitfalls of Attempting to Colour Match Designer Paints

Many homeowners turn to designer paints, known for their quality and unique colour selections. However, attempting to colour match designer paints can lead to several pitfalls that can adversely affect your desired outcome. While I am not advocating that everyone should use designer paints, I do believe that, if budget is your priority, you are better off choosing colours from the colour chart from your brand of choice.

Still want to go for a designer paint? Here are 5 reasons why they’re worth your investment.

Precision and Complexity

Designer paints are meticulously crafted by experts who spend considerable time researching, experimenting, and refining their colour palettes. These professionals possess a deep understanding of colour theory, undertones, and the intricate nuances that make a shade truly exceptional. Some of the pigments used to achieve the final colour are also unique – and often expensive. Attempting to replicate these colours without the same ingredients and expertise will be an imprecise process.

Variation and Consistency

Colour matching is not an exact science, and even with advanced technology, achieving consistency in colour replication is difficult. As explained earlier, some of the designer colour pigments are unique to the design so cannot be reproduced in the same way by other manufacturers. What often happens is that the colour achieved will be matched to nearest on the manufacturers colour chart. Resulting in something similar but not exact.

Quality and Performance

Designer paints are renowned for their exceptional quality and performance characteristics. The formulation of these paints goes beyond their colour, incorporating factors like durability, finish and the interplay with light once it is on the surface. When you try to colour match a designer paint, you may end up compromising on the overall quality of the product, as the replicated paint might not possess the same attributes or perform as effectively as the original. This can also impact how it reflects or absorbs the light in your room.

Undertones and Subtleties

One of the most challenging aspects of colour matching lies in capturing the undertones and subtleties that make a colour truly remarkable. Designer paints often feature unique undertones that enhance the depth and complexity of a shade. Without the expertise of the paint's creators, it can be extremely difficult to replicate these nuanced characteristics accurately. As a result, your colour-matched paint may lack the sophistication and visual interest that the original designer paint offers. I have experienced this disappointment from my personal projects in the past. After going to great lengths to select a paint colour from the designer samples and then notice the difference once the colour match is on the wall.

Inspiration and Design Vision

Designer paints are often developed as part of a larger design concept or collection. They are carefully curated to harmonise with specific themes or styles, allowing you to create a cohesive and visually appealing space. By using the original designer paint, you can tap into the creative vision intended by the experts, ensuring that your colour choices align seamlessly with your design concept and inspiration.


While it may be tempting to try and colour match designer paints, I think the potential pitfalls and compromises outweigh the benefits. The precision, complexity, and unique qualities of these paints can only be preserved when using the original formulations. So, when it comes to designer paints, resist the urge to colour match and trust in the professionals to deliver the desired results. I like to compare it to a well-known cola brand: Do you think other brands taste the same? After all they’re all cola aren’t they…


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