Comparing On-line to In-store Paint Color Chips?

I will be having a lot of painting done in late spring or early summer. And I will be doing a lot of the painting myself. I have already started picking colors, or at least trying to.

While in the store, I find a swatch of the color I want, or something close. When I get home and compare the swatch to a downloaded swatch provided by the manufacturer, they're nothing alike. And they don't even come close online.

I am taking into consideration that my monitor colors may not be perfect. They are pretty close and would not account for such a huge difference.

Has anyone else run into this problem? And if so, which color sample did they go with, the paper swatch or the online swatch? Also, has anyone asked a pro and been told which was best to go by?

It's been years since I've bought paint. As the color I want is a premixed color, would the store have free samples to try?

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February 19, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use the paper swatch. Resolutions on computers are different.


The color will not look the same and may differ on different computers

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February 19, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Always use the paper one you get at the store. Different computer, camera and monitor settings will not result in the true color.

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February 22, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would go with the paper swatch but you mentioned the paper swatch to online and even painted comes out differently. You may have to ask sales person, how would you achieve the paint color to the swatch - perhaps you need a primer, or base or it depends on what surface you're painting on so the color may vary? Ask a paint specialist.


I know my laptop screen vs. my fiancés computer screen varies - plus we have our brightness settings differently, so it's hard to tell a true color on the computer but it will give you an idea.

As far as paint samples, you can research to see if any local paint supplies provide you a free pint or sample. I know this location, gives you free samples. I've done it before before purchasing a lot of paint.

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March 2, 20180 found this helpful

A quart is a lot of paint for a free sample. Lowes charged me $3.45 for an 8oz sample.

But heck, Kelly Moore's samples are only available in four states and I don't live in any of them.


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February 19, 20180 found this helpful

I don't think I can help you with most of your questions but I certainly can with one------the store will not give you a free sample !!

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February 19, 20180 found this helpful

Judy, mom from-missouri, Haysie,

You three have convinced me to go with the paper color sample, I'm sure it would be more accurate. But I want you to know my computer and monitor are not that far off.


I went back online and got three pictures from Valspar of their Night Scape. As you can see in the first picture, none are the same.

The far right color comes from their sample can. And I learned while they don't give away free samples, they do sell small samples.

Thanks, Y'all!

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