My Color is Too Dark, Why Can’t the Paint Store Lighten it?
We get this question all the time. And unfortunately there is not much a paint store can do when a color is too dark or too deep. Here’s why:
Once colorants are added to a paint base, they cannot be removed. The colorants are quite strong and most colors don’t require more than a few ounces. Most of the color in a paint can is white, so if you wanted to make your color a little lighter, you’d have to add 1/2-gallon to a full gallon of additional base. So you can imagine, a paint store would have to add a huge amount of white colorant to lighten the color. These colorants are really expensive ($40 to $160 per gallon) and adding more than a few ounces would ruin the paint anyway, so when the paint store clerk says they can’t lighten the paint, they are telling the truth. And even if they could, just adding white colorant would “gray out” or “mute” the color and probably wouldn’t give you the desired results anyway.
You can always add more colorant (to a point), so if you think your color may be too dark or deep, start with a lighter shade or with 50% formula. Then you can try the color and if you want it darker the paint store can always add more color. Of course, you can test any color with Myperfectcolor’s Anycolor Paint Sample Minicans – and you can even test any colors in lighter or darker variations (e.g. 50% lighter or 50% darker).