How to figure out wall paint color from hex code

Digital colors and real-world paint colors don’t play well together. There are lots of reasons for that. Mostly, though, the computer industry just has a different set of color coding standards (think CMYK or hex codes) than the paint industry (think Pantone). That makes it tough to match the color on your screen with a can of paint at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Thankfully, there’s a way to match digital colors with real-world color if you have Photoshop.

Note: If you don’t have Photoshop, Pantone.com has a color-picker if you’d like to match your color by hand. If you DO have Photoshop, please read on.

1) If you don’t already have the color in an image file (like a JPG or PNG), take a screenshot of the color you’d like to match (by pressing CTRL+Alt+Print Screen).

2) Launch Photoshop.

3) If you already have the image file saved, open it in Photoshop (by pressing CTRL+O). Alternatively, Create a new image (by pressing CTRL+N) and paste your screenshot onto the blank canvas.

4) Select the color picker from your tools palette:

5) Using the color picker, click on the color that’s on your canvas that you’d like to match.

6) Double-click the color that you just picked (it will be set as your “foreground color”):

7) In the dialog box that appears, click “color libraries”:

8) Select “Pantone Solid Coated” from the drop-down menu. Now, your pantone color will be highlighted in a black box. Write down the number that appears, and you should be able to take it to any paint shop (or Lowe’s) and have them match the color you selected:

After you’ve got your Pantone code, you can visit Pantone.com’s color search page to type in your new code and make sure it matches the color you picked out:

Alternate titles for this post: CMYK to paint color, Hex code to paint color, CMYK to Pantone, Hex code to pantone, screenshot paint color

6 thoughts on “How to figure out wall paint color from hex code

  1. Pingback: Picking up Colors From The Internet For Interior Design

  2. Paint Guy on

    Neither Lowe’s or Home Depot (or the other paint stores) that I’ve spoken to can prepare a paint color based on a Pantone number.

  3. jon buice on

    I’ve called Home Depot and Lowes and even Porter Paints and Sherwin Williams…Nobody can match a Pantone color. It seems like Pantone colros are license controlled, and the retailer must purchase a physical color wheel, which is really expensive. Then they just do a color match.

    I still have not found a good way of matching a pantone/hex/cmy color to a paint color from a retailer. The retailer either wants a specific paint name, or they want a color chip to match.

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