Best Paint-Matching Apps

Paint match apps run the gamut, but here are six picks that can help you find a more precise paint color, pronto.

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It always seems easy enough. You want a simple gray, a navy blue or even white. You peruse piles of paint chips and make multiple trips to the store for samples. Then it goes up on your wall, and somehow the gray looks green, the navy pulls purple and the white is suspiciously yellow. Ugh. Matching already-existing paint can be an exercise in futility.

Apps to the rescue! Using phone cameras to analyze RBG, CMYK, Pantone or other color codes allows the app to match it to a branded paint color library, or give you the codes that may help your local hardware store find the right match. Keep in mind that light, texture and the variations on phone screens do make this an imperfect science. Still, it can help winnow your options and may even provide the perfect hue.

Here are six promising apps for matching paint:

Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Match

Platforms: Apple & Android

Cost: Free

The Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Match app features a bunch of tools to find your perfect color match. Use “Instant Paint” to try out Sherwin-Williams’ 1,500 paint colors on any of your walls without the commitment. Just snap a photo and choose a color.

The app also offers images in day and night lighting, and can help you estimate how much paint you’ll need for your project. Try it with ANY inspirational photo in nature, or a work of art. Choose a spot on the image, and the app will recommend colors close to it or help you choose a palette of colors to work with. Users say that it can take a while to master the bells and whistles. But once you get the hang of it, there are a wealth of tools to use for any painting project.

Paint My Place

Platforms: Apple & Android

Cost: Free or $2.99

The beauty of the Paint My Place app is that it’s a third party — no single paint brand owns the final color recommendations. On the free app, upload a photo of the room or space you want to paint, then choose from thousands of paint colors across 25 brands, from Benjamin Moore to Farrow & Ball to PPG to Sherwin-Williams.

The paid version offers even more deluxe and boutique brands, plus free updates to the color charts and brand roster. To better represent the final color on your walls, you can also use the tech tools within the app for better results. Instead of only an auto-fill option, which can be buggy, you can also control the size of the paintbrush for neatness and clarity. And you can modify the opacity — that is, adjust the color intensity as you would with multiple coats of paint or a primer.

Project Color by The Home Depot

Platforms: Apple & Android

Cost: Free

The Home Depot Project Color app works much like the others. Upload a photo and paint your space in multiple colors with a tap of the screen, using the brands The Home Depot carries. Take or upload an inspiration photo and get color recommendations, as well as complementary or coordinating colors. You can also find the store nearest you and order paint.

Color Muse

Platforms: Apple & Android

Cost: Free

Color Muse is a sophisticated app that allows you to scan and store inspiration paint colors, create color palettes, cross-reference and match to color libraries from many leading paint companies, and browse full-color libraries of paint manufacturers. Here’s the kicker — a review says they successfully matched 30-year-old paint from a defunct company to one sold at their hardware store.

Valspar Pinterest Analyzer

Platforms: Website

Cost: Free

The Valspar Pinterest Analyzer is an app, but not one you use on your phone. It helps solve this longtime Pinterest problem: You’ve found the perfect color in an image of an obscure European apartment, but what could the color possibly be? Log in to your Pinterest account through Valspar, and the app will analyze a single image or an entire board. It can fine-tune which part of the image you want analyzed, giving the closest color matches to the Valspar paint library.

Nix Paint with the Nix Mini Color Sensor

Platform: Apple and Android

Cost: $100 tool; app is free

For color die-hards and design pros, an investment in the Nix Mini Color Sensor with the Nix Paint app may pay dividends. The Nix Mini Color Sensor tool is a spectrometer that can read the values of a color, then match those values to paint colors. This sensor blocks out ambient light to give the truest color reading every time. The Nix app can then match the values of the color with more than 40,000 paint colors, offer palette suggestions and create custom swatches of your saved color choices.

Katie Dohman
Katie Dohman is an award-winning freelance writer who has written about home, design, and lifestyle topics for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured in Artful Living, Midwest Home, Star Tribune, and Teen Vogue, among many others. She is currently living her own how-to story as she and her husband work through a complete gut remodel on their 1921 home—while parenting three tiny tots and dodging their dog and cat, who always seem to be underfoot.