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Chroma 0.20 Rule of Thumb for White Paint Colors

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Lori Sawaya
(@lorisawaya)
Estimable Member Admin
Registered: 2024 years ago
Posts: 164
Topic starter  

Good morning!

I have a question regarding your rule of thumb about chroma. You stated that you like to see a difference of about .20 (ish) between a white trim and wall color. Does that mean a difference in chroma of say, .59 wouldn’t look as good because there is too much contrast? For example, I’m trying to find a trim color to go with Gray Mist (chroma .80). Would you say that Dove White (.58) or Cloud White (.59) would be better choices than Super White (.21)? Trying to use your techniques to find the perfect paint colors, but still need a little help figuring it all out!

Thanks in advance, Natalie.

Hi Natalie,

0.20 (ish) is the minimum to avoid one color of white making the other look dirty or dingy.

You can use the framework of Chroma to scale UP from 0.20 according to your preference.

The bigger the difference, the bigger the contrast in Chroma.

If you prefer the look of a tighter range that you get with Dove White or Cloud White, then that's the right answer for you.

If you want the trim to pop as definitely clean and white, then Super White is the look you're after.

When you understand how to manage color contrasts by "adjusting the color channel" of Chroma, then you have an organized framework to follow and can map out the different results/looks you get by pairing colors of white based on their Chroma values.

In your example, you can decide if you like the pop you get with a bigger 0.59 difference or the more subtle look that results from a lesser difference in the 0.20 range.


   
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colornovicehere
(@colornovicehere)
New Member
Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Thank you for this. It is an easy to follow ( and remember!) rule for those of us who like to have something to rely on!


   
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Lori Sawaya
(@lorisawaya)
Estimable Member Admin
Registered: 2024 years ago
Posts: 164
Topic starter  

@colornovicehere, you are most welcome. Thanks for the nice comment. ? 

I just got a bunch of white color collections added to the Color DNA Table last night.

So if anyone is looking for an easy way to find - and sort by Chroma - white paint colors from major brands, it's here: https://thelandofcolor.com/color-dna-table/


   
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colormyworld
(@colormyworld)
Active Member
Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
 

Hi Lori,

Thank you so much for this! I am helping my daughter choose colors for her first home, and I can’t tell you how often I read your articles and check your colorography charts! She chose Balboa Mist for her main living space, and based on your information we know SW Extra White will work well for trim. Do you think BM Beacon Gray and BM Proposal will also work with Extra White? She would like to carry the same color trim throughout the house. Thanks to you, we are assured that the trim is also enough of a contrast in chroma with her soft white kitchen cabinets. That is a huge relief and will save us from making a costly mistake in painting! Your 2.0 guide is easy to remember, and a huge help to us non-professionals. Thank you!


   
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