I just wanted to share a quick and easy organization tip today. Last month, we had our upstairs bedrooms painted. They had been the same boring beige since we moved into our house more than 8 years ago! Over the years, we’ve painted our kitchen (as part of a complete gut job renovation), our powder room, our guest bedroom, our basement, and our living room. For each of those painting projects, we probably bought between like 5-10 cans of sample paint EACH trying to decide what paint colors to use.
And then we slap them onto the wall in an attempt to figure out which ones we like best. The picture below was from when we were deciding on paint colors for our living room in 2013.
What can I say, we like to be thorough?
Why, for the love of all things holy, do we have so many paint samples?
When it came time to paint those upstairs bedrooms though, I had some frustration. I wanted a quick and easy way to see what EXISTING paint samples we had on hand before heading to the store to buy even MORE paint samples. After all, a color we didn’t like for our kitchen could potentially be great for our master bedroom. But a lot of our paint sample cans (I’m looking at YOU Benjamin Moore) don’t have a color swatch on top of the can. So, we’re left scratching our heads what color might be under that lid.
So, what I did was created a paint sample “inventory.”
How to Create a Paint Sample Inventory
I looked at every can of sample paint we have in this house and wrote down the paint color name.
Then I went to the paint manufacturer’s website (Behr, Benjamin Moore, etc.), searched for the paint color name, and copied their color swatch to a Google Docs spreadsheet.
Now, are colors on the computer screen exactly what they’re going to look like on the wall? Of course not. But, at least this spreadsheet “inventory” helps us pick out which types of blues we have, which types of grays, etc. In the spreadsheet, I also added the “Color Code,” which is what other manufacturers typically request when color matching a paint. For example, we live closer to a Home Depot than a Benjamin Moore, so if we see a Benjamin Moore paint swatch online that looks nice, we’ll ask Home Depot (Behr paint) to color match it. I also included a link to the paint color, since that typically allows you to see the paint colors in different types of rooms, as well as complementary paint colors that go with it.
The nitty gritty details
In case you’re wondering how to “copy” the paint swatch color from the paint manufacturer’s website into your own tracking sheet, these are the steps that I followed. There might be an easier way, but for someone who is not terribly adept at technology, this is what I came up with.
- Search for the color name on the manufacturer’s website
- Right click on the paint “swatch” on the manufacturer’s website and click the “inspect” option (this is using Chrome, but other browsers should have similar options.”
- After you click “inspect,” this funky, overwhelming screen will appear at the side or bottom of your browser window. Look for the “background color” hex color code in the “inspect” window and copy it. You’ll type (or paste) that color code into your spreadsheet.
- In Google Sheets, after you select the “fill” option for an individual cell, a small window pops up that allows you to manually type in a color code. Type in the hex color code from the paint manufacturer’s website that you just copied.
- Repeat these steps for as many paint colors as you need.
I noticed that Benjamin Moore uses RGB colors, not hex colors, so for those ones, I just googled “RGB to Hex converter,” to get the corresponding hex codes. Google Drive doesn’t have an option for entering in RGB color codes, at least not that I saw.
Now, the next time we have a paint project, I can easily refer to the paint colors we have on hand before rummaging through our big plastic bin of paint sample cans. Easy peasy!
Do you also have a paint sample can collection? How do you track the different colors you have on hand?