I am ‘visual’ – by that I mean I like to SEE what something is going to look like before I do it. I create sample boards so I can see the finishes that are dancing around in my head. A client that wants cabinets refinished, but is unsure what color they should choose, or an old hutch that needs a facelift, but what color would best compliment the piece and the space around it – these are all situations that could benefit by SEEING options – visuals.
I wish I had Photoshop, one of the best photo editing programs on the market, but a) its not cheap and b) its not a load and go program – it would require time and effort learning how to use it, and I don’t have that to give.
Instead I’ve found myself using easy, free, online programs. Sherwin Williams has a Color Visualizer tool online
I recently use the Color Visualizer to show a client 2 options for refinishing their fireplace mantel-
Using the visualizer, I grabbed the shape of the mantel, and ‘painted’ it-
then repeated the process only this time included that run of trim above the mantel
Here is a better angle of that trim
The client wants the white mantel refinished in rich tones, but the question is, do we include the trim around the columns? Before the visual, the client thought all of it should be re-finished. After the photo tweeking? I think I prefer leaving the top column trim white. To me a traditional fireplace mantel has clean linear lines that top the fireplace, and those extra trim pieces are throwing me… they remind me of my kids old duplo blocks. But that’s me, in the end it will be up to the client, and sending visual photos like these, before the job, can only help them decide which look they want.
Another software tool a friend just turned me on to is the Virtual Painter over at the Valspar site –
I’ve not used it yet, but it looks even easier than the Sherwin Williams site. Give one of them a try, and if you like them, bookmark them!