12+ Paint Apps and Color Tools

Visualize Color Combos With Mobile Apps and Online Tools

viewing 7 open paint cans from the top, in a circle, white in the middle surrounded by yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, and green
Open Paint Tins. Justin Allfree/Getty Images (cropped)

Wouldn't it be great to preview color combinations on your house before spending a lot of money on paint? You can, with the many tools offered by the paint companies. The house paint colors software, online tools, and paint color match apps listed here are inexpensive, and most are free. Use these digital painting tools to explore possibilities — with or without your smartphone.

A man taking an image on his mobile phone, of a wall covered in lush foliage.
Matching Nature's Colors. Mint Images-Tim Robbins/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? Or what about capturing that shade of green you saw along the walls on that cottage in Notting Hill? Now, with this app and a smartphone you can point to the natural world and capture that color in digital code. And it's a free download. More »

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 it works with one of their photos — bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, exterior siding — they're all there. Then, if you register to use it,  upload your own photo to see different colors on the walls of your own space. With this application, the Benjamin Moore Factory has you covered. More »

A window cleaner attends to a freshly washed window of a terraced house in Liverpool, England while the neighbour's favourite colour is obviously red - the colour of his home and his car
Expand Your Color Scheme. Richard Baker In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Martin-Senour Paint Company has an old fashioned approach to choosing paint colors — buy samples. The Martin-Senour Paints Sample Your StyleTM is one of the tools in their Idea Center. If you want to know the theory before the practice, explore their Understanding Color and then How to Use Color. The Idea Center could use some updating, but the company is also busy with marketing their automobile paint. NAPA and Martin-Senour have teamed up to provide color tools and selectors for automotive finishes — but why not try these tools on home uses? And why don't they combine the two websites? On another front, why not paint your house the color of your car? It's all your stuff. More »

of 12

Free House Paint Apps

Man in colorful cap holding up a smartphone
Mobile Device Applications are Becoming Common for Smart Phones. Artur Debat/Getty Images (cropped)

You've got your smartphone. You've got your tablet. Now download some of the ever-growing numbers of free apps to help with your next house painting project — available from the iTunes Store or Google Play:

PaintRemedy. Everything you need to know about solving paint problems, with tips on how to fix them, is part of the Paint Quality Institute at Dow Chemical Company. Their free download in iTunes is but one of their tools.

Palettes. Blend and mix complicated color palettes to create just the right shades for your painting and decorating projects. Developer Rick Maddy offer three versions: Free, Basic, and Pro. Beware, though, because the free version runs like a Pro at first, then reverts back. For more complex tasks, get the advanced version for dollars more.

Paint Tester. Take a picture of your room that needs painting, then virtually try out different color schemes. This Luminant Software is available for iOS and Android devices.

Project Color™ by The Home Depot. Works like the Paint Tester app above, but with an orange Home Depot apron. The Google Play download may be updated before the iTunes.

Never Paint Again. British housepainter Guy Alexander Bell is the man behind this Android app. The software may be basic and dated, but the enthusiasm behind neverpaintagain.co.uk/ is contagious.

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 older PCs and Macs, and will let you view thousands of colors manufactured by the New Zealand paint company, Resene Paints Limited. More »

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. More »

man and woman on couch looking at paint chips in front of an open laptop -- 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 for Valspar (cropped)

Upload a photo and use the easy online tools to try out Valspar paint colors, which are available at Lowe's home improvement stories. You may find this free tool to be one huge ad for Valspar, but alternative paint color match apps sometimes are filled with unrelated pop-up ads — so what's the difference? More »

open paint cans, brushes, and rollers -- A general view of atmosphere at the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams and Lowe's NYC Press Event on May 13, 2015 in New York City.
Colors in Waiting. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams & Lowe's

The Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® tool is now available for smartphones and tablets 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. The match might not be perfect, but this app can help you zero in on the look you want. It's free and fun. More »

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. More »


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 in northeastern Italy. More »

The Canadian-made Nixwas one of the first dedicated color matching systems that really worked well. The factory-calibrated, built-to-last little scanner cube claims to be "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."  The Nix Pro Color Sensor app is only compatible with Nix Pro Color Sensor devices. To use a Nix Mini device, download the Nix Paints and Nix Digital apps available for iOS and Android devices. Professionals should go straight to the Nix Pro.

Some people want tools that are "brand agnositc."  This means they don't want to sell a bill of goods — or any specific brand of paint. The folks at colormuse.io/ seem to have the answer with their dedicated scanning device and color matching app available from the iTunes Store or Google Play: After you've captured the color, the muse compares the scan to an inventory of colors produced by the major paint companies like Sherwin-Williams, Behr, Benjamin Moore and Valspar. Both scanner and apps have received good reviews. The Cube by Palette works similarly. So does the Nix.