PAINT COLORS Palettes to please any personality

Some institutions are expanding the variety of available hues.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Calling all serial painters! You know who you are. You're the ones who paint the dining room a soft buttery yellow, only to repaint it a moss green the next week, then a pleasing pink the following month because the earlier colors just didn't thrill you.
You -- and anyone else who appreciates the use of wall color in their home -- will dance around your paint cans, happy to know there are new color choices arriving daily at local paint stores.
For starters, big-name institutions like Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg and Chrysler Museum have rolled out their own lines of fresh hues.
The latest Williamsburg Color Collection, available through Pratt & amp; Lambert and Martin Senour brands, is expanding from 144 to 184 colors. The new tones feature a substantial number of pale tones -- salmons, pinks, creams, blues and blushes -- with historic names such as Grissell Hay Sea Green, Palace Soft White and Market Square Tavern Shell Light.Inspiration
An ideas brochure shows some particularly pleasing combinations, putting Market Square Green Medium or Williamsburg Red Cedar on walls and Williamsburg Courthouse White or Bracken Cream on trim.
"We found many folks, including our interior designers were taking the Williamsburg colors and lightening them for the walls," says Laurie Weber, marketing manager of products for Colonial Williamsburg. "These paler shades work very well with interiors which feature strong accent colors."
The CW paints come in the friendly-to-use twist-and-pour containers, which feature a built-in handle and pour spout, as well as a twist-off resealable lid. They're available at independent paint and Ace hardware stores nationwide.
If your taste leans toward art, you'll want to check out the 12 options in the Chrysler Museum Colors Collection. Paint names such as Elizabethan Umber, Baroque Blue, Dalis Gallery Green and Impressionist Rose take their influences from colors used in the museum's exhibition galleries.
Museum walls are often neutral colors, but the Chrysler went with specially mixed wall colors -- deep blues, terra cotta, sienna and teal -- when it renovated about 12 of its galleries. The paints are available at Sherwin-Williams stores.
Emotional connection
In addition, several companies have unveiled new ways to brush away the drabness of your stark white walls.
Pittsburgh Paints now gives you an interactive way to choose a palette of colors that suits your personality. You visit to play the Color Sense Game and answer a series of entertaining yet helpful questions. For instance, one segment tells you a genie grants you two wishes and asks you to choose how you would like to enhance your life. You select two answers from a selection of 14 words that include "happiness, adventure, passion, calm, justice, health, etc."
At the end of the game, you're aligned with one of eight color palettes. If your profile comes up "water beads," your color style tends to be relaxing splashes of blue. A "leather, stone and wood" color style prefers coppery, golden and other earth tones.
"Recent behavioral studies indicate that people are searching for an emotional connection to the choices they make," says Josette Buisson, artistic director at Pittsburgh Paints. "The Voice of Color addresses those needs. It doesn't just show consumers what colors work well together. It creates an individual color identity based on that person's psychological and behavioral makeup."
And, to make sure you like the colors that match your personality, you can purchase a two-ounce sample jar of each for $3.99. No more lugging home a gallon of paint that you ultimately despise and toss out.
True Value Co. also launches the Color Made Simple program for its hardware stores nationwide. At, you quiz yourself to determine if you are a "red" or "purple" person. The online site also lets you e-mail paint questions to an expert.
Other innovations
At the hardware stores, you can soon purchase 4-ounce, $3.99 sample bottles called Color Auditions for 100 of the hottest, most popular colors. The little bottles accommodate a 1-inch brush and provide enough paint for a trial section of wall covering 4 square feet.
Or, you can use "idea cards" and color brochures with "peel 'n' place" color chips to match colors to your home d & eacute;cor.
On the print side, Benjamin Moore has just launched a new annual magazine, '05 Color, dedicated to decorating with color. The 63-page magazine introduces you to four families of color that may inspire you to try some change in your life.
It gives you color tricks to widen, narrow or enlarge small spaces and helps you create niches of color that separate living, working and entertaining areas.
The magazine also profiles interior designers such as Susan Turn of Palm Beach, Fla., who shares her experiences at using color to make all your furniture pop. The article shows how she decorated a New England farmhouse.
"Most people are afraid of color until they see the beauty of it on their walls," she says.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.