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This article was published on: 02/01/2006

Colorful creations
Paint With the Click of a Mouse

When you or your customers are pondering which color of paint would look best, head to one of these free Web sites.


Virtual painting roundup:
When your clients are preparing their home for sale or settling into their new abode, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in sprucing up any room. But when it comes to choosing which color to use, the options can seem endless. Help your customers avoid spending hours at the paint store or taking a chance with the wrong color by recommending these fun and helpful Web sites. Run by major paint companies, these sites offer interactive tools that allow visitors to virtually paint a room that resembles one in their home:
  • Sherwin-Williams Paint Visualizer. To access this online tool, click on the “Launch Color Visualizer” button on the left side of the page. Once the new window opens, you can choose to paint an interior, paint an exterior, or find a color by browsing through dozens of color palettes. Among the interior room options, there are six bathrooms, six bedrooms, three dining rooms, and nine living rooms.
  • Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer. This site lets you choose whether you want to virtually paint one of many sample rooms, or fork over $10 for software that will allow you to upload your own digital photos to “paint.” For the purpose of this review, let’s assume that you take the free route and use a sample photo. Start by clicking the “Let’s Paint” button to launch the Personal Color Viewer. Choose from an array of sample bathrooms, kitchens, offices, bedrooms, exteriors, and more. Then pick the body color, trim color, and ceiling color, and watch as the photo automatically reflects your color choices. But the Personal Color Viewer isn’t the only handy tool at this site. Before you leave, check out the Homeowner: How-To’s section for detailed instructions on glazing techniques, painting a “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” theme in a nursery, creating diamond patterns, and more. Or visit the Color Inspiration section for Color Scheme Ideas and Starting Points to Decorating a Room.
  • Behr ColorSmart. This tool works differently from the others, requiring you to choose your colors before you see what they look like in a sample room. It’s also a bit trickier to navigate the site and takes longer to load. Launch the tool by clicking the “Start ColorSmart” logo on the right of the screen. In the new window that opens, select the middle option, “Browse Colors.” You’re prompted to select a color family, and ultimately one color. To coordinate that color with others that you will use in the room, select the “Coordinate” button on the right side of the page. Or, you can click the “Preview/Print” button to see what the color looks like in a room. Only then do you get to select the room. However, once you’re “in” the room, it’s easy to add colors and modify them. The end result is nice, but you need patience to get there.

Recommend a Web Site for Review

Editors at REALTORŪ Magazine Online surf the Web to find useful sites that can help you achieve greater success in your business and career. If you would like to recommend a Web site offering free, practical tools and resources to real estate professionals, please send your suggestion to
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSŪ and REALTORŪ Magazine Online are not responsible for any Web site, its content, products and services, or its provider. Nothing in the Web Reviews shall constitute NAR's or REALTORŪ Magazine Online's endorsement of the Web sites or their content. NAR and REALTORŪ Magazine Online believe the information contained in the Web Reviews were correct and accurate as of the time they were prepared, but do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of that information and are not responsible for changes in the Web sites after the review. Members should conduct their own independent review of the Web sites prior to any use of the Web sites, their content, products, or services to determine their suitability for the members’ intended purposes.

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