Choosing paint colors, or decorating color schemes in general, can be difficult. It doesn’t matter how often you’ve done it — the possibilities are endless, so it’s just plain hard to make a choice with confidence.

If you’re like me, you’ve played with a lot of color theory planning tools online — and I’ve got to say that the Digital Color Wheel is “above and beyond” anything else I’ve seen so far. (Find it at the Paint Quality Institute’s DIY Design Center.)

From the main menu you can choose to explore Color Combinations, Color Schemes, or the Glossary that defines some of the terms that are most important to discussing color theory — the difference between hue and tone, for example.

The Color Combinations section defines various commmon ways of grouping colors — aggressive, receding, primary, etc., or by hue, intensity (chroma), or value (lightness or darkness) — and shows what to expect for a result if you mix one color with another.

The Color Schemes section is where you’re likely to have the most fun — plenty of options to play with here!

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diy design color scheme planning wheel - screenshotRotate the color wheel to highlight a starting colour, then choose the type of scheme you want to explore — analogous, complementary, split complementary, tetrad or triad.

Simply move your cursor over the appropriate words on your screen to highlight the difference between each reference color (the pure hue or color) and its tints, tones, and shades (the color as diluted with white, gray or black, respectively).

And don’t worry, even if you’re totally new to color theory, all these terms will become perfectly clear as you play around with the planning tool.

Highly recommended for trying out ideas on a new paint scheme, before you invest the time and money in redecorating!

Let’s tag this, oh, Decorating | Painting | Colours/Colors.

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