HGTV had an add for some paint manufactorer that had software to help
in choosing a color for a room. You scan-in a picture of your room
and put it in the software. Then you choose colors and see how it
looks. The software removes your wall coloring and replaces it with
the colors you choose.
I thought I remember them saying it was www.behr.com, but I've
searched their site and I can't find it -- though they have an awesome
site with TONS of good ideas. They also said Home Depot had it... but
when I stopped by, they were out and didn't expect to get any more
disks for some time.
Does anyone know where I can download this program? The Behr website
does have something where you can choose a picture of a room and
they'll change colors for you... but I didn't see how to do your own
photos. Unless I totally misunderstood the commercial.
Remember that while this can give you a good "gist", that unless you can
color-calibrate your monitor (and even then) it won't give you a realisitic
idea. Some colors are worse than others--I've never met a computer monitor
that can do a reasonable job with some of the darker, more saturated teal
and green colors, for example, and blues are really dicy.
I do the same sort of thing in Photoshop on a regular basis...simply
selecting all the walls and making the selection into a mask to help change
wall colors without affecting furnishings, then applying the color on a
separate layer and blending it based on color rather than simply pasting it
over. That way I keep my shadows. But even so, the results "on the wall" are
always a bit different. Have you ever bought a can of paint based on a chip,
then gotten it onto the walls to discover that it looks like you've smeared
toothpaste on the wall? (or something from the medicine cabinet, etc...)
Things always look different in person, and I don't know anything that will
beat doing a test can, test board, whatever.
I only go straight to the walls if I know that I'm not too worried about
painting over if I don't like it, even if I have done a computerize mockup.
You're right in that nothing compares to testing the color on the
wall... but I'll at least get an idea of what primary color to go
with. I have no idea whether I want to do green, blue, brown, etc, and
looking at a photo of my rooms with something other then white (which
is what it has now) will give me some ideas. I thought about hiring
someone to come in and do some consulting, but money is a huge factor.
The Behr website has really given me some awesome starting points with
choosing colors and matching things that'll go with my furniture. I
have pieces of cloth from all my furniture, so that'll also help in
pinpointing my colors at the store.
Thanks for the info, and if you have any technical tips to post
regarding photoshop, I'd love to hear them. I have done masking to
crop photos, but I've never done it with my room photos. How do you
compensate for the shadows, etc?
This is a great way to start, but you may find some colors difficult to
match, and it may be that what looks good in a small dose on a couch looks
absolutely wretched on a wall--sometimes going a couple shades lighter or
darker than your "inspiration" can really work to your advantage vs.
Working in the full version of Photoshop 6.01, here's my procedure. This may
be possible in Photoshop elements, but the procedure will be a little
different and I don't know how much play the "lite" program gives you in
Use the polygon lasso tool to closely select either the walls or anything
that you don't want to color. Use alt-clicking to subtract areas from your
selection and shift-clicking to add areas to your selection. Feather your
selection a LITTLE bit, depending on the resolution of the original photos
your feather may only be 2 pixels or in a very high resolution photo, as
much as 5-10 pixels. If you've selected the walls, copy your selection. If
you've selected "everything else", invert your selection and copy the wall
Paste this into a new layer. Select all on the new layer. Pick a foreground
color. Now... use "fill", using the foreground color, checking the "preserve
transparancy" function. Now you will have a blank section of that color.
Here's the magic photoshop part of it.
Go to your layer palette. Select the "wall only" layer.
Set your transparency to, oh, 50%.
Experiment with blending modes. I find that "Hard light" and "Color" and
"hue" all give interesting results. Soft light looks fairly realistic in the
shadows but won't "match" your foreground color. Overlay is probably the
best. Using a 50% transparancy and "overlay" to put flaming bright purple
into a photograph of a white wall, I get the closest representation of what
that wall would actually look like. Dark shadows down a hallway are still
dark shadows, but they're dark PURPLE shadows. The highlights are my
foreground color. However, putting a dark purple on a light wall required
either NO transparancy or different blend modes. This is one place where you
kind of have to wing it based on what looks right to you. With the very dark
purple, "Multiply" at 70% looked great.
"Difference" and "Exclusion" can generate some trippy and impractical
results, but may get you to thinking "outside of the box".
If your walls already happened to be a color, it would be almost easier.
You'd simply blend by "color" or "hue".
Jenrose <--graphic designer by trade
That's exactlly what I wanted to do... and work perfectly in
Photoshop. Thanks!!! I've taken several photos of my living room
from various angles, and I'm using Acdsee to move between the various
layouts to see what works. Once I find some general colors, I'll hit
the paint stores and get samples to try out.
Benjamin Moore has a program specifically for trying different colours on
I downloaded a version for about $14 and loaded some of my digital pics in
and played with a few different colours.
Nice thing was that I didn't have to learn photoshop and the BM program had
the notion of connected surfaces so I could mark out all the wall surfaces
in a room and paint them witha a click, leaving trim, windows, mirrors,
furniture etc alone.
That's fine, and if you want to pay to download a program to do that, great.
Having photoshop on hand and already knowing it, I don't see the point--the
poster I was talking to also had photoshop. Many people already have
PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements.
I can easily set up a room picture (takes about 10 minutes) so that I can
paint the walls quickly, leaving trim, etc. alone. Then I can paint the trim
quickly, and change furnishing colors the same way. With creative use of
snapshots and layers, etc. it's easy to flip back and forth. Heck... I can
even spackle the walls (using the clone tool) if I need to! <g> If only I
could print to my room....
I've used interior decorating programs, and they're okay. But for a
PhotoShop junkie, most of the time it's not worth the bother of going into
On 23 Jun 2003 10:39:06 -0700, email@example.com (Keegan Alex)
Dunno about specialty programs for this, but I did what you're wanting
quite easily using Photoshop Elements ($80 watered-down version of
Photoshop). We were wanting to get an idea of what color to paint our
new workshop vis a vis our house nearby.
I used a digital camera for the image of the house and shop, but one
could certainly use a scanner, too. I masked the wall areas, flooded
the masked areas with color, saved, and repeated several times with
differing shades. Then displayed the doctored images as a slide
show--it appeared that the shop was changing color as each was
I'm pretty sure you can do the same thing Corel's PhotoPaint or Jasc's
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