Paint Color matching at Benjamin Moore & Co.
We’re here with Allen – he’s our preferred color mixer at Benjamin Moore. I’m going to ask him a few questions.
How long have I known you (I forget)?
- About 20 years.
Wow. You’re only 35 years old, right? He’s been making colors for us for a number of years. I want to ask you – if someone brings you a color card from, let’s say, Farrow & Ball, because they don’t manufacture locally in Seattle, the designer will bring a color. Take us through the process of how long it takes you to do it, how hard it is, just so that everyone can get a sense of it and appreciate you better, Allan.
- Ok. Well, I take a look at the color and actually try to find something in our fan deck that’s reasonably close. I always use natural daylight (I go to the door back there). Then, I make a judgment as to where the starting point is going to be on the color and just keep tweaking it until it’s correct.
Tell us what a “tweak” means.
- Tweaking means adding color to get it as close as I can to the color sample that’s being matched. Sometimes it’s only 2 or 3 tweaks, sometimes it can take up to a dozen. It depends on the complexity of the color. That all takes time.
Which color is the hardest to do?
- For me, off-whites.
Off-whites. Because they’re complicated, aren’t they?
- They’re such small increments of color. Actually I don’t want to put in too much color and mis-tint the paint. I’m always careful about that. That would be the most difficult. I enjoy deeper colors – they’re always a challenge. It depends, yeah, on who I’m doing the match for – if it’s for a designer, typically, they’re very critical of colors, and they’ll inspect them under their lights, and take a long time judging the color.
Would you say Shearer Painting is pretty critical?
- I would say so, yes, but in a good sense.
How many colors have you done for us in the last 4 days?
- Over a dozen.
Thank you, Allen. Thank you. Merci beaucoup.
Here’s a little interview with Allen, because I want my customers to understand and appreciate that it’s not easy to match to match a color. For example, if one of the new colors (CSP – color stories palette) is speced out for an industrial product P40, 100% solids floor epoxy in a Color Stories, it has to be matched. The Color Stories palette was designed for GenX. In an ironic twist, Allen used to take Benjamin Moore colors and match it to Ameritone Paint at Daly’s. Put your hand over your heart.