These 12 Paint Color Apps Will Help You Visualize Your Dream Home

updated Jan 10, 2023
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When it comes to painting, it’s a safe bet that you fall into one of two camps of people: Those who feel like a kid in a candy shop when presented with rows of colorful samples and swatches, or those who feel debilitated by a virtually endless array of paint colors to choose from. Either way, pursuing the perfect shade of paint while redesigning your home or DIYing a statement wall can be tricky. You can’t exactly bring all of your decor to a paint store or home center, not to mention bring in the exact amount of natural light your space receives in a given day, so there’s a good chance the color you choose is going to look different when you actually paint your room with it.

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to test out paint colors without so much as a trip to the store, or even whipping out your trusty ld paint brush, for that matter. Multiple websites and apps have technologies that let virtually try on colors in a space before deciding on a color. Some of these tools make finding the right shade as simple as taking a picture of a room and changing the paint color until you find the perfect match. While these functions aren’t a full substitute for swatching, you can get a pretty good sense about whether a color is totally off or in the right neighborhood, which can translate to time, money, and energy saved in the long run.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Who it’s for: Paint shoppers who have no idea where to start

Tool format: Desktop 

The details: This online paint visualizer from Lowe’s has a database consisting of hundreds of paint colors by Valspar and HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams to help you get inspired and find the perfect shade for your bedroom, bathroom, and beyond. The visualizer allows you to select multiple colors you’re interested in at a time to toggle back and forth with using one of their sample scenes from exteriors, bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms or, you can upload your own image of a room in your home. Plus, users can download your selections to share with a Lowe’s employee to make the paint purchasing process easy-breezy. 

Credit: Sara Amrhein

Who it’s for: People who have found the perfect shade…but not from a paint sample

Tool format: Mobile 

The details: Whether you’ve been inspired by a wallpaper, the runway, or a piece of art, Color Muse offers on-the-spot color matching from a vast library across various industries. Once you’ve found your dream color, the app will pair it with a matching paint color that you can compare side-by-side and decorate with in a virtual room, getting you one step closer to nailing your creative vision. 

Credit: Painthouse

Who it’s for: Painters who want the most accurate at-home look

Tool format: Mobile

The details: Home Harmony allows you to upload a photo, browse a selection of Behr paints by color, and virtually test it out on your wall with just a quick tap of the screen. It’s the lighting features, though, that make this app feel next-level: You can apply filters to see what your chosen tone would look like under fluorescent, LED, or incandescent bulbs, plus several natural lighting options.

Who it’s for: Convenience-obsessed Amazon shoppers

Tool format: Mobile

The details: Virtually try and instantly buy with ColorPic, which lets you experiment with swatches from Prestige Paint and links directly to Amazon when you’ve found The One. Alternatively, if there’s a paint you’ve been eyeing from another brand, the app actually breaks down comparable options from Behr, Valspar, and more, so you can narrow your search (or get more inspo) while perusing Prestige’s lookalikes.

Credit: Minette Hand

Who it’s for: For the “just browsing” types

Tool format: Desktop

The details: While you can upload your own photo, Glidden’s simulation tool also has stock photos of different types of rooms that all look rather stylish, so you can simply peruse your options and get inspired before ever getting your space involved. Once you have decided on a color, you can order paint directly from the page.

Credit: Anna Jacobs

Who it’s for: People in need of color inspiration

Tool format: Desktop

The details: Select your room type, the vibe you’re going for, and Behr will share color palette selections to help you create just the right feel for your space. From there, you can visualize the color(s) by uploading a photo or choosing from a selection of virtual rooms, order samples, and even chat with an expert to help you ensure it’s the right choice for your space.

Who it’s for: People working on outdoor projects with wooden materials

Tool format: Mobile or desktop

The details: This paint visualizer helps you picture how different wood stains will look for projects like decks and patios. After selecting a project from the list and choosing the type of wood you have and the condition it’s in, you’ll have the chance to “try on” different wood stain finishes to see what suits your style and situation best.

Credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom

Who it’s for: People looking to redesign and nail down a color palette

Tool format: Mobile

The details: The Home Depot’s app allows you to view how colors would look in certain rooms, but this platform also takes this visualization a step further. You can match colors from items like decor, accessories, and bedding, so you can ensure the paint shade you go with will complement your current setup perfectly.

Who it’s for: Fans of moodboards and those on the indecisive side

Tool format: Mobile

The details: Once logged into Benjamin Moore’s tool, you can upload a photo and test out different colors. You’re given the chance to choose up to five surfaces in your photo that you’d like to test the paint on, whether that be walls, a ceiling, a fireplace—you name it. If you come across a few shades you like or need to sleep on your decision, you can actually save your “Projects” and log back on later to view them.

Who it’s for: Fans of mobile-first tools and non-brand loyalists 

Tool format: Mobile

The details: Snap a picture with your phone and upload directly to this app to access a variety of paint options from more than one brand. Paint Tester also allows you to manually go in and set up boundaries with “painter’s tape” and erase paint that spills over from the app’s autofill, so your rendering is as clean and accurate as possible.

Who it’s for: Paint and design enthusiasts

Tool format: Desktop

The details: Fans of paint chip walls will appreciate that you can scan through a virtual version of one in this app. You can also browse through curated color collections and color match from shots on your camera roll. If you’re just starting your color search, ColorSnap also has preloaded images of unique things, like plants and food from around the world, that you can pull inspiration from to begin building your dream palette.

Who it’s for: People who prefer a second opinion

Tool format: Mobile

The details: Thanks to its “edge-detect” system, this visualizer from PPG aims to prevent any weird colorfill and works to make your room look as realistic and true-to-life as possible. After you’ve compiled the colors that caught your eye, you can share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and through email to get your family’s and friend’s opinions before taking the plunge.