'D' for Design FAQ Painting

Working With Digital Paint Swatches

Here’s a question from my recent FAQ post. Nicole wrote:

Maybe this is a silly question, but how did you get the paint colors off the brand’s websites? […] I wanted to email a “true” swatch [to my family] with my photos but couldn’t save a swatch from the Valspar website. Did you get permission from the companies or am I missing something??

Thanks for asking (and nice name, by the way). All of the big paint companies use flash for their websites, which means you can’t right click to save swatches. You can get around that though by taking a screenshot and grabbing your color from the image created.

So how do I make the brush strokes and paint blobs for my mood boards? I made my own custom set of Photoshop brushes, but you can use a font like Blobs, Brushstrokes & Balloons or this free ink splat font instead. Just pick your color and then use the brushstroke or blob of your choice. If you’re feeling fancy, you can play around with the layer effects in Photoshop.

Paint Swatch

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  • Lexi
    July 24, 2009 at 12:39 am

    You should note that everyone’s computer screen is different, and therefore the swatch isn’t a true swatch at all.

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  • Lindsay @ Likely Design
    July 24, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Thanks!!!! This will work great as I can change the color of the splat by “touching” the actual swatch on the paint company’s website…I like to work in iWork’s Numbers as I don’t have Photoshop. Thanks, Nicole!!!

  • Rachel May
    July 24, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Good to know-I was always wondering how to get stuff from flash-thanks for the tips!

  • Nicole
    July 24, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for answering my question!! I feel a bit like a celebrity :) This will absolutely be helpful when I (finally) complete some of my other decorating projects, and if I see something online that I want to save for future reference from a flash site.

    Now if only you could tutor me in Photoshop…..

    Thanks again!

  • Miller Industries
    July 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Another way you could do it:

    If you don’t have photoshop, but you have a scanner, go to the store, grab all the swatches you want. scan the paint swatches you like and copy them to the program you use.

    Cost a little bit of gas, but it’s cheaper than buying photoshop, right?

  • Making it Lovely
    July 24, 2009 at 10:28 am

    If you’re using the fonts, you could use any graphics program!

  • suzanne
    July 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Oh yes!!!! So happy you posted this. I’ve been wondering this for ages, but didn’t think to ask! So, so happy to know the trick… This is great!

  • Ryan
    July 24, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I’ve noticed more paint companies (BM for example) are also listing the Hex# and RGB for paint colors along side swatches on the web site.

  • Brit
    July 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t have Photoshop, but I love what it can do so I’m looking to get it. Just can’t decide which one is right for me. I’m not lookin to do anything really fancy, just messing around with my photos. Any recommendations? I love what you do on your site!

  • becky @ farmgirl paints
    July 24, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    You’re so techy…what I wouldn’t give to have that knowledge and ability:)

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  • Maggie May
    July 25, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I added your lovely blog to my blogroll. The design here is charming, as is your gentle tone in writing. Lovely porch!

  • Tracy Elaine
    July 25, 2009 at 1:57 am

    There is a free program called Skitch (available at skitch.com) that allows you to select and save flash images as jpeg’s among other things. It’s easy and a lot quicker to use than taking a full screen shot and then cropping. I love it.

    • Colleen
      December 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

      Bummer that that program only works on Macs! It’s such a pain to grab images on PCs in Vista (though I think they have a new tool to do it in Windows 7).

  • Eef
    July 25, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I think it’s great how you try to respond on some questions!
    It makes me wanna ask all my questions too, because your blog is so lovely! How do you do that? (i think this question add up ALL my questions, hihi!)

    Lot of questions hey..

    Have a great weekend!

  • Ferienhauser Toskana
    July 26, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Paint swatches are amazing. However, i may not have the technical know-how on how to get it done for my site.

  • Nicole
    July 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    If you’ll just be using Photoshop for fun with your own photos, it may not be worth the investment. Picnik is an online service (I think $20-$40 for a year) that gives you a lot of the same tools as Photoshop, but without needing a tutorial!

  • Nicole
    July 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    P.S. Nicole & Nicole, thank you for asking and answering the paint splotch question! I’m ANOTHER Nicole, who was actually wondering the same thing this past weekend while pulling together an inspiration board. Very helpful!

  • Ivory Pearl Interiors
    July 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for explaining this. Very interesting!

  • Sarah
    July 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Great idea – thanks for the info!

  • Brit
    July 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the Picnik tip. It’s been fun to play around with, and perfect for what I need!

  • Erin
    July 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    This is great! I’d been wondering how you did it as well. Thanks!!

  • down pillow
    July 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Wow! That was fantastic advice! You have no idea who useful that paint swatch info was for me just now!!!

  • jessie
    August 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for this post! This will help me with my design boards!!!! :)

  • Elena @ the white picket fence
    August 10, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for this! I had fun with it in my last post!

  • Heather Kasdan
    August 13, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Dudes and dudettes without Photoshop it’s all about GIMP! Just google it to get it for free. I have it on my computer and LOVE it. I am a total novice at this type of stuff but with GIMP and some free brushes I found on the net I was able to make my paint blob! See it posted soon at http://www.monroeavenue.blogspot.com


  • Shabby Chic Furniture
    August 14, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Yes – GIMP is free but nothing does it as well as Ye-Olde-Photoshop!

  • web design
    March 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    So happy you posted this. I’ve been wondering this for ages, but didn’t think to ask! So, so happy to know the trick..