Paint Color Tips Randy Hillam | What colors are good for home resale?
John Shearer: I’d like to ask you a few questions about color. You’ve been working with color for a long time.
Randy Hillam: Yes I have.
John: Would you let everybody know your name, your background, and your experience prescribing color?
Randy: Okay. My name is Randy Hillam. Background is in interior design and decorative finishing. I’ve been with Daly’s for about ten years as a decorating consultant. We do a lot of paint consultations here. I worked in visual merchandising for several years, so I’ve sort of been around paint and color, and a lot of that has been hands on: mixing the paint at Daly’s. In the first part of working at Daly’s, I was actually the tinter. So, I got to see what went into the paint and got intimately acquainted with…
John: So tell me what a tinter is.
Randy: A tinter is the person in the paint store who puts the color in the can and at Daly’s, especially, it’s the person who does the color matching. So, another way of saying it would be the colorist, because the tinter does the color custom matches.
John: So you were the color matcher?
John: So, if I said, “I want you to match this blue,” and I showed you something on my phone, you could do it for me?
Randy: Well, the display is the problem on the phone, but in theory, yeah. I mean, we have people bring all kinds of things to be matched. They might bring a petal of a flower or a stick of butter, or whatever, and whatever it is, we try to match it by eye. So, that was a really good training for me, as far as learning what pigments do what and what makes a color. So, I’m also a fine artist and that kind of got me interested more in painting and so I went down the road of fine art, too. You know, putting all of these things together.
John: Do you think there is an advantage of being a colorist with a background in tinting?
Randy: Absolutely. Yeah.
John: So, there’s a lot of colorists out there, and you think you’re better because you’ve actually made the paint and see the limitations?
Randy: Absolutely. Yes.
John: Do you have a story you can give me on that, where that was an advantage for you versus another colorist?
Randy: That’s a good question. I’ll have to think about that. One thing about pigments is – let’s say you’re doing an exterior, one thing we know about how the paint was made, if you’re working with earth pigments versus man-made pigments, they’re going to hide better and they’re going to resist the weather, and all of those kinds of things better. Like all of your iron oxide colors, but those are also kind of the earth colors.
John: Is the word Colorfast. Is that what you mean?
John: It won’t fade?
Randy: Yeah. They won’t fade and they’re stronger.
John: Colorfast [thumbs up to camera].
Randy: Colorfast. But a lot of man-made pigments, which are also called organic pigments, they’re very colorfast too, but not all of them. There’s certain times when maybe a certain yellow will have a characteristic of fading, so it would be okay to use on the interior of your house, but not on the exterior. So, sometimes issues like that would be important to know when spec-ing paint, and just coverage too. You know, I would be reluctant to spec some kind of really deep transparent color for an exterior, just because of the coverage.
John: I have a question for you that’s a hot topic in Seattle. If I’m getting my place ready to sell on the market, talking interior walls, people are always concerned, because when you’re selling, obviously you’re trying to sell your property for as much money as possible. So, you want to put your best foot forward for the colors. Give us – so if someone were to call you for a consult and they were to say, “Randy, what should I paint this 2,000 square foot condo in Belltown to maximize the resale value? Is it white?” That’s what everybody says. Should it be white?
John: Tell us.
Randy: I think white would be too cold, so I would be interested in neutrals, but what’s really important to me when I go into a house or condo is what existing materials are there. There are all kinds of surfaces; there are carpets, tiles, countertops. All those kinds of things that are kind of – may not be changing, so those things have to show up the best that they can. So, my job is to get an updated color that you know, that also is going to make some of those materials, which may not even be fresh and new, to make them fresh and new, because sometimes the relationship, you know, the right color next to some, you know, maybe the material that’s a little sad looking, the right paint will bring it back up.
John: So, Randy, you said neutrals. You have two color palates right here, the C2 and the Pratt & Lambert. Can you pull a color scheme out for me?
Randy: Sure. Okay. So, I have one of my favorite neutrals from Pratt & Lambert, Ventana, which means window in Spanish. This is what I would consider a warm gray. It seems like people are very interested in grays right now, but in Seattle, on one hand they’re saying that they want gray, and on the other hand, they’re saying, “Well, I don’t want it to look cold because this is Seattle.” So, Ventana has a lot of green in it, a lot of gold in it, but it still kind of reads as a gray.
John: What’s the other color you have there?
Randy: This is called Chalk Gray. So this is a gray off-white from Pratt & Lambert. It’s a soft – what I would call a soft, warm gray, too. So this could work as a wall or it could work with something like this as a trim [held up Ventana]. So, you know, that would be a nice combo, and you don’t get that kind of high contrast white. It’s a little bit softer. So a lot of people are kind of interested in that white-popping trim, but for me, the architecture has to support that. So, if you don’t have big chunky, important trim, then I’m not going to recommend that you use big, bright white as your trim color. I’m going to try to get you to go a little softer.
John: Thank you, Randy.
Randy: You’re welcome.