Free Tools to Help You Choose House Paint Colors

See your house in many colors using easy software and online tools

Wouldn't it be great to preview color combinations on your house before spending a lot of money on paint? You can, with digital painting tools. The house paint colors software, online tools, and apps listed here are inexpensive, and most are FREE! Use these digital painting tools to explore possibilities.

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Open Paint Tins
Open Paint Tins. Photo by Justin Allfree/E+ Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

 Remember the color of that incredible sunset, when the light bounced off the clouds and the sky became an amazing shade of blue with swirls of cayenne? Wouldn't that look amazing in the kids' bedroom? Now, with this app and a smart phone you can point to the heavens and capture that color in digital code. And it's a free download.

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CBN Selector
CBN Selector

CBN Selector™ is a complex and powerful software program that lets you visualize thousands of colors on a variety of surfaces, including stucco and concrete. Once you've selected your colors, you'll have a precise "Color By Numbers" (CBN) Code that allows you to order the precise color mix from your local paint dealer. The software includes a calibration tool to display true digital colors on your own monitor. Download a free trial, because even if you're President of the United States, you have to know your colors.

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Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer
Screenshot from Benjamin Moore

The free paint color visualizer tool from the Benjamin Moore paint company lets you sample the look of interior or exterior color in your home. "See how paint colors will look before you pick up a paint brush," says the company. You have to register to use it, but the software application can be worked online or downloaded to your own computer. The Benjamin Moore Factory has you covered.

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A cat sits at a window of a colorful clapboard creole cottage in Faubourg Marigny historic district of New Orleans
A cat sits at a window of a colorful clapboard creole cottage in Faubourg Marigny historic district of New Orleans. Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images News Collection/Getty Images

Martin Senour Paint Company has an old fashioned approach to choosing paint colors—free samples. Their interactive website will help get you started Understanding Color and How to Use Color.

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Resene EzyPaint
Screenshot from Resene

"'See' the finish before you start!" Use the easy, free version on EzyPaint online, or pay to download the more sophisticated version which includes a drawing and mapping tool that lets you fine tune the areas you want to color. The Ezypaint software programs are available for PC or Mac, and will let you view thousands of colors manufactured by the New Zealand paint company, Resene Paints Limited.

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Colorjive
Colorjinn BV

This Dutch company makes the applications used by many of the major paint companies, like McCormick Paints.  Upload a photo of your house, inside or out, and experiment with thousands of colors, before you even touch a brush or roller. You might not be able to render small details, but this online tool is so easy, you'll be able to "paint" your house in a matter of minutes.

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Ashley Hebert And J.P. Rosenbaum Join Valspar Paint To Launch The Valspar Color Project Video Series Benefitting Habitat For Humanity
Valspar Color Project. Neilson Barnard / Getty Images Entertainment Collection / Getty Images for Valspar

Upload a photo and use the easy online tools to try out Valspar paint colors, which are available at Lowe's home improvement stories. Free.

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President Obama paints a wall at a Middle School in 2010
President Obama paints a wall at a Middle School in 2010. Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

The Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® tool is now available for Smart Phones and iPads along with the Web version. Select from an array of rooms and house styles, then choose the Sherwin-William palette to experiment with color combinations. It's free and fun. Then try to enlist the services of a retired ex-President to help you paint. He just might do it.

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Better Homes & Gardens color my home

Better Homes & Gardens has always had a lot of ideas about what you can do with your home—so many suggestions that their website has become a sea of confusing options and advertisements. Nevertheless, the dedicated BH&G fan can spend hours in virtual coloring.

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OpenTINT
Logicol

Keep in mind that your monitor cannot render colors precisely. Here's the fix for that. Since 1994, Logicol S.r.l. has been developing software applications to help us translate our computer's colors into tints used by the paint store. Logicol has developed two free Windows-based applications to help us get through the housekeeping of all these color combinations: 

  • OpenTINT, helps manage a professional's paint formula books and tinting recipes.
  • OpenRGB, to help you translate the colors you see on your computer to commercial tints. Other companies, like EasyRGB, do similar tasks.

Logicol is located in the Ancient Roman city of Triest, near Slovenia in northeast Italy.

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SwatchMate Cube by Palette

White cube being held near a Smart Phone on a yellow wall
SwatchMate Cube. Photo from Amazon

We've offered up ten free tools, so now come the gizmos you can get from Amazon.com. Enter this Cube technology from Australia. For less than $150, buy a Cube camera, download the companion app onto your mobile device, and you're ready to scan any color you see. Information about what you scan is relayed to your Smart phone—sRGB, L*a*b* and CMYK color spaces. It's a neat device designed by SwatchMate, but isn't there a free app for that? Compare this to the Loomatix Color Grab. Buy from Amazon »

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Nix Pro Color Sensor

NIX Color Sensor
Loomatix Color Grab. Photo by Amazon

Not to be outdone by the Australian Cube, the Canadian-made Nix works like the Cube, only better. At about $250, the factory-calibrated, built to last little scanner "is the most reliable and user-friendly color measurement solution in the world, and is ideal for industry use due to its speed, simplicity, and digital data storage." Buy from Amazon »