Into Color – Paint Chipping

Chip it tool used on an image of sequins – image chipped via Leif blog

Sherwin Williams has a new color blocking tool called Chip it! It’s an interesting take on building your own palette and is very easy to acquire – just drag and drop to your desk top.

Like any tool, this one has it’s strengths and limitations – It works best and most literally on compartmentalized color images like the one up top. Chip it gives you a five-color palette of what the tool’s digital eye deems the image area’s dominant colors, and their corresponding paint skus so that you can go to your local Sherwin Williams and purchase the paint.

But what I find compelling was not what it does, but rather what becomes evident because of what it can’t do – this is a fabulous lay person’s tool to divine your perfect accent color!

One of the most useful design “rules” is that the minor color in any color scheme makes the most effective accent color – let’s see this in action.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a great palette from my Pinterest photography page – for those of you unfamiliar with this resource, these are all full resolution images that I have unloaded as a FREE gift – you can reprint these high resolution images at all most any size, to extend your design $$$ with some free art and the price of your frame and matte! If you’re not a Pinterest member, contact me via comments (below) with your email and I’ll send you an invite to join Pinterst – end of shameless plug, and on to meaningful demonstration via the image below:

Here’s an image from my photography page – this “cottagey” image created a really nice palette – but left out the minor shades.

This gray and blue palette would look fabulous with an accent of a mossy hue

This is fun….let’s build some room palettes based on organic color palettes…you really do’t need an app or a desk top sample t o recognize what is happening. The minor shades that pop behave like color pointers and are easy to see when you look at the image, then right at what the tool saw as the big picture – God becomes evident in the details…

Chip it used on an image of Rice Patties via Pinterest – the lesser colors comprise the perfect accent shades!

How about a more modern palette based on a brighter modern art image?

art imahe via Leif Blog

or maybe some of those ocean color trends we discussed that have held on tightly to their popularity throughout 2012:

A Mediterranean view from Pinterest

You might not think of this palette as a seaside color group, but I have showed in articles past how pixalating images draws some unexpected conclusions – this amazing view would be a stunning room!

I searched around to see who else is checking this tool out and what they are doing with it – here’s an excerpt from Design Milk, and their take on this fun application:

Fr Miranda Skoczek

Posted on 06.08.12 by Marni in Art, Interior Design

The following post is brought to you by Sherwin-Williams. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.

CMYLK: Miranda Skoczek

For this week’s CMYLK, we’ve experimented with Sherwin-Williams’ new Chip It! color tool, which creates instant color palettes from any image on the web. We chose four paintings by Australian artist Miranda Skoczek, who works in a mixture of oil, acrylic, and enamel. Skoczek, who works out of Melbourne, combines graphic shapes and silhouettes in fields of color, including pyramids and the what looks to be the Queen, to explore the boundaries between abstraction and representation, design and the painterly. As you can see, from both her work and the palettes, the pieces also combine neutrals with saturated brights.

CMYLK: Miranda Skoczek

CMYLK: Miranda Skoczek

CMYLK: Miranda Skoczek

Like what we’ve made? You can do it, too! Create custom color palettes of up to 10 colors from any image on the web by using the Chip It! tool at Simply enter an image URL or download the nifty Chip It! bookmarklet and hover over any image on the Internet. You can log in using Facebook to collect your favorite palettes, too.

We love the idea of building a room’s color theme (from paint to accessories) around one of your favorite pictures. Imagine finding the perfect paint color simply from the image of a patterned pillow you found online, or picture surrounding yourself with the breeze and blue skies of Hawaii by creating a palette from your vacation photographs. It’s so fun, we just can’t stop!

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Now, I have a paint program that color samples. I can identify an accent shade without it  in the paint store, like rolling out of bed,  but I acknowledge that I am the complete minority in this regard – if you are not a color savant, (thank God I am a savant at something) Benjamin Moore makes a color app that works with some popular smart phone brands:

This tool can grab a specific color.

You can also take a print out of your image to Sherwin Williams or any paint store and get some expert advise on getting the closest approximation of one of the minor shades. If they seem uncertain, pack up your palette and find a paint store with someone who feels like a resource when you ask for help.

And don’t forget to have fun!!!!