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A Look at the Incredible Technology Behind Paint Matching

Last updated 4 years ago

Many homeowners have struggled to find the exact match for a color with dozens of sample strips, only to choose one and find that it’s just barely too dark or too light. To save owners the headache and expense of choosing the wrong paint color, professional painters can use a device called a spectrophotometer that can sample the color of almost any object and find an exact match. But how exactly does it find the exact color you need from a sample? Read on to learn more.

How Colors Work
Before looking at paint matching technology, it helps to understand how the human eye perceives color. Visible light is just energy at different wavelengths; the human eye has three cones which can are responsible for seeing every color of the rainbow up to about a million different combinations.

Early Technology
Early spectrophotometers used transmission filters to absorb other wavelengths and allow a certain color to pass through. This technique is not perfect, however, since absorption can still interfere with color readings. This can be particularly problematic when accounting for ambient illumination and the reflectivity of different surfaces.

Modern Paint Matching
Modern spectrophotometers use interference filters to actively reflect other wavelengths and allow only the correct one through. The resulting wavelength is then converted into an electronic signal, and computer software calculates the correct pigments to replicate the color. However, the computer can only accomplish so much; heavily textured items and metallic objects provide too much interference for it to compensate and provide an accurate reading. Professional painters have handheld devices that can sample colors from other walls and other large objects.

Our specialists from Browder Painting Company can provide an in-home consultation and estimate for your home or business in San Luis Obispo County. We take pride in maintaining our reputation as a leading painting specialist in Central Coast with superior results and competitive pricing. Contact us at (805) 544-0547 to request more information. 


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