My Tuesday Tip: Free online painting services. On a recent Sunday afternoon, I designed, painted and repainted the walls of several rooms of my home without spending a dime. And when I was bored with my pallet choices, I clicked a few buttons and selected a new makeover in less than 20 minutes for a bathroom, living room, and two bedrooms.
As a step-saving device, many major paint companies offer free online services that allows you to test a variety of paints on the interior and exterior walls of a home or office. In less than an hour, I tested virtual room makeovers from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and Pratt & Lambert. Here’s how the process works.
Benjamin Moore. Of the three virtual paint kits, Benjamin Moore was the only one that required registration. But in exchange, I had access to a wide menu of do-it-yourself paint options. These are the steps:
1. Log onto to Benjamin Moore & Co. Select the “Personal Color Viewer” option.
2. Type in notes about your home in the “My Project Notebook.” This option enabled me to record my comments, design details and reminders. You can create a different file for different areas of your home.
Select a room to paint. You can either use the rooms (living rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, etc.) provided for free by the program or for $10 you can purchase software (disc or download) that enables you to upload actual digital pictures of your own rooms.
Pick your shades. The program provides an extensive pallet. Apply color to ceilings, walls, trim and other accents.
Save and print your rooms. You can use the note section to jot down the names and number of different paints. You can tap into this file during future visits to the site. The site also contains a calculator that estimates how much paint you will need for each project based on measurements provided by you. The rough estimates could help eliminate waste or shortages.
I also had fun painting at www.sherwin-williams.com/. Here’s what I did:
Select the “Color Visualization” button on the homeowner’s page at: www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself.
- Pick either the exterior or interior option. Interior option provides several sample rooms.
- Click and drag swatches of color to different areas of the room. The program instantly transforms the target area. Take note of color names and numbers .
- Select the print option.
Pratt & Lambert Paints: This paint company offered a wide range of paint colors.
- Pick the Lambert Color Visualizer option at www.prattandlambert.com.
- Select an area from either the interior or exterior scenes. In the bedroom menu, for example, there are five different model rooms on the menu.
- Paint the room through the click-and-drag function.
- Print the room makeover.
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