Confessions of a Paint Mixer

ColorTherapy

Ever wonder what goes into a simple can of White Dove paint, or why it’s warm without being too yellow, yet is still sedate? I had a chance to watch a can being mixed by hand the other day, and this led to a little chitchat with a neighborhood paint mixer. Call this color forecasting 2011, part two.

This wasn’t one of the guys I use four times a week. It was a small neighborhood store uptown east, where the mixing wheel was out front and I watched my paint being blended by hand, eyes wide like a little kid…

Yellow oxide, by the way, is the answer to our question; that and grey. There are 12 tints on a Ben Moore wheel, which run along the lines of this: bright red, blue, yellow and green; yellow oxide (looks like yellow ochre), magenta, gray and black. Basically 12 primaries and an earth palette can bring you 3000+ colors in paint.

I had to ask this young man, what are your most popular colors? This, presumably, is from the horse’s mouth — not designers or decorators or color consultants or affected, aspirational fellows such as myself. And what was the answer?

Chantilly Lace and Feather Gray. Lots of blue grays, he said. Shaker Beige, Lennox Tan and Stuart Gold. If that’s a slice of real life, sounds very uptown/Yorkville to me — no Bohemian Black or Downtown Daring Pink. Nonetheless, there it is, though I do wish I’d prodded further.

PAINTS MENTIONED:
Benjamin Moore,
Chantilly Lace OC-65
Feather Gray 2127-60
Shaker Beige HC-45
Lenox Tan HC-44
Stuart Gold HC-10

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter