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Paint it black? 6 online tools that help you visualize, choose your new wall color

Why it matters to you

It can be hard to picture your walls in a completely new color. Fortunately, paint companies' tools can show you how they'll look in every hue.

Morning Mist or Misty Morning? Ah, the joy of picking out paint colors. Once upon a time, you had to hold up little colorful squares and try to envision your walls going from white to taupe with just the power of your imagination. Now, however, paint makers all have online tools that will do most of the work for you. And while you’ll still want to hold up squares because the color won’t translate 100 percent from your computer to the wall, it’s a decent starting point that can help narrow down your choice.

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The tools are all pretty similar in how they work, but while some of them turned my kitchen into an impressionist painting, others gave me a pretty good idea of how my walls would look, whether they were blood red or soft gray. After you upload a picture of your room, you’ll get various Photoshop-eque tools that allow you to select different areas of your room. You can then start switching between different hues and see how each wall or section of cabinet will look with each color. Since I’m in the market for paint, I decided to put them to the test.

Behr Color Smart

Unfortunately, Behr has one of the clunkier set of tools to work with. It’s paint bucket fills in giant globs instead of sticking to just the wall. The paintbrush has several sizes to choose from, which is nice, but it didn’t let any of the woodgrain on my cabinets show through. It turned everything into a smudgy mess. I also couldn’t figure out the point of the tape, as I could easily paint over it and ended up getting Venus Teal on the virtual countertops.

It’s too bad, because the Color Smart has a really nice palette tool at the bottom. If you find a color you love, they have several suggestions for trim and accent paints to help if you’re not color-coordinated.

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