Sherwin Williams Colors: Paint Color Names are Deceiving!

Question: Why do some Sherwin Williams colors look nothing like the names they carry? I can't count how many times I picked a tan or beige paint color only to find out that it looked pink on the walls!

I am tired of living with chronically pink walls, and I can't afford to re-paint just because of a color mistake... is there a way to know how any color will look before actually painting the walls?

Answer: it's true that the names for Shewin Williams colors can be misleading (but then again, it's true for most other paint manufacturers as well).

For example, SW 6043 Unfussy Beige can indeed fool you into thinking that you are choosing a beige paint color (after all, the name says "beige", right?). In reality though, it will read pretty mauve on the walls.

Likewise, SW 7058 Magnetic Gray will look more like a toned down, sophisticated green than gray.

This confuses many people, but it usually happens only when they choose paint colors in isolation (looking at one paint chip or one color strip individually).

The solution to this is to view the colors you are considering for your project in the context of other similar colors. The easiest way to do this is by using a Sherwin Williams paint chart, or a paint fan deck (even better).

For example, pick any gray color chip in a fan deck, and then compare it to all the other grays in the deck. You will notice that some will appear blue-ish, others will look green-ish, yet others will read pink-ish or with a violet tinge, and finally there will be some that will seem perfectly gray and neutral.

Your gray color chip will reveal its true "flavor" now.

You can do this little exercise with beiges, whites and even real hues (red, blue, green, yellow, etc). It will help you see the undertones in any Sherwin Williams paint colors, so you will have a better idea of what to expect, and won't get fooled by the colors' names anymore.

And when in doubt, you can always test any color with Sherwin Williams paint samples.

Or, if you want a shortcut to the most popular interior paint colors from Sherwin Williams' palettes, consider getting yourself a copy of the Paint Color Cheat Sheets. Pink walls will never happen to you again, guaranteed!

Click here to post comments

Return to Sherwin Williams Paint Colors Q&As.

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets