Pick The Perfect Paint Color With These Mobile Apps

Color — we just can't get enough of it. Whether you love bold tones or soothing neutrals, the good and bad news is that we have thousands of shades that we can apply to our interiors. Previously we've listed must-have apps to help you decorate your dream home, and these help with everything from paint selection, floor plans, furniture, lighting, and more. Paint color apps are widely available, packed with photos and expertly chosen combinations to inspire and help you pick the perfect paint color range for your home. House Digest looked at four apps from well-known pain manufacturers, and here's what you can expect from them.

First, let's look at Sherwin Williams' ColorSnap. Immediately you're invited to create an account, though you can browse without one. Next, you'll be asked to connect your color sensor (a separate device purchased at SW stores). But you can still browse colors without doing either of these things.

The Color Match option offers all the colors in the catalog, but getting to the section you want takes a lot of swiping. But once you tap on a swatch, you get the color's number and values, and if it's available for interior or exterior surfaces. What's very helpful is the menu option "Coordinate." This gives you three additional colors to consider to offset your main color, and the combos are fascinating. Scrolling down reveals similar colors, and tapping one of these will bring you a different set of contrasting shades. There are also photos of finished rooms with the color you chose on the walls.

Benjamin Moore's Color Portfolio

Previously we've offered tips on how designers pick the perfect shade of paint. Page 1 of the Color Portfolio app will help you do the same thing starting with its Collections page. These are eight groups of curated colors. Each one features several shades meant to show some possibilities with a glance –- historic, classic, or designer, for example. Each collection opens into dozens of paint sample strips. Tapping a color changes the footer to that shade, and tapping the footer gives you a description.

Next is the color catalog, which you can swipe to get to various color families with two subheads to guide you. A visualizer uses video or photos of your interior, accessing your camera roll with your permission. With a few taps, you can electronically "paint" your interior, adding the color you like to the image in your media. The photo option works better than the video option, as it could take a couple of tries to get the video to work. There's also a photo gallery for inspiration.

With Color Capture you can take a photo of a surface or object and the app gives you the corresponding color in their catalog with just a tap, which is super helpful if you're trying to match a color. There's also a color reader — again, this is a separate device you purchase and connect through Blue Tooth. The app has a FAQ section, and there are also links to find the nearest Benjamin Moore store or to buy products online.

Glidden's Color App

There are about a dozen apps for picking the perfect paint color for your space, including one by designer Amy Wax, who told us about the best colors for walls and ceilings. But for our purposes, previewing apps from paint companies, we looked at two more manufacturer's apps. Glidden's Color App first asks what room you're painting. Pick one and upload a photo so the app can identify current colors for you. You can also browse colors, grouped by family. The app indicates the most popular colors in that family and offers sub-groups that are lighter or darker. The "Get Inspired" feature shows popular colors, Glidden's current and previous color of the year, and a rich collection of curated palettes, the most compelling based on regions from the Caribbean to New England.

The Find & Play option narrows your color choice. Starting with a main color, the app gives you a dozen photos of the same room with different variants of your color. Suddenly it's easy to see that, for example, the dark red you may love has too much purple. You can also apply the color(s) you chose to your room. There's also a gallery of interior styles from Bohemian to Classic and Minimal to California Coastal.

Glidden's app is intuitive and user-friendly; casually browsing through colors and styles has never been so easy. The full menu has ways to provide feedback, find a store, or order online.

BEHR's ColorSmart

This app immediately starts with "Explore Colors," which you do, sorting by color family, or popular colors or projects. Choosing a color by tapping a tile leads to its name and number, and a way to visualize the color in a specific room. If you sort by color family, a subset of tiles offers related colors to work with. Tap one and you can view coordinated and similar colors, a way to visualize the color, a way to save it to a project, and also a way to just save the color itself.

Inspiration comes in gallery or scrapbook format, and you can click through interiors, sorting by type of room, mood, style, or color. With a few clicks, you'll be looking at a "modern blue bedroom" or a "gray eclectic kitchen" — this is a browser's paradise.

The app you should work with is the one that thinks like you do. While all are free downloads and comparatively easy to use, the biggest difference is the interface and how they start. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have ways to browse colors for free, but both also need additional equipment to make full use of the app. BEHR and Glidden have a more relaxed approach, allowing users to wander through colors, styles, and moods while still providing loads of information. Color in the home is such a personal choice. These apps all help you pick out the perfect paint color for you.