Painting your walls is one of the most transformative things you can do with your home. It sets the mood for the room and gives the decor a direction. However, choosing the right paint color, whilst fun at first, comes with a set of challenges that are often overlooked.
After sampling colors on our walls, we’re left behind with small pots of unused paint which usually get thrown away, creating toxic waste. Imagine tons of these paint samples being discarded on a daily basis! Also, now your painter has an additional job of covering patches of rejected color from the wall. I was keen to find an alternative to this waste of paint and time, and I think this could be it.
Amber Thomas, an interior designer from Nashville, wanted to resolve this paint sampling issue, for herself and all of us. She teamed up with her son Taylor Thomas in this initiative, and together they came up with Samplize – a brilliant and eco-friendly way to sample paint by using decals.
I got in touch with Taylor to find out more about why their Samplize decals could help to save time and money.
What inspired you to create Samplize?
I recently graduated from Belmont University and ran a web design and online marketing company for a few years. The initial idea for Samplize came from my mother, who is a prominent interior designer. She was frustrated with the amount of time she had to spend painting blank sample boards for clients and wanted a pre-painted solution. I thought the sampling project sounded fun, so I dove in headfirst. We talked with thousands of other designers to come up with Samplize.
How does Samplize work?
Samplize produces pre-painted color decal samples. We want to offer 24-hour (and same day) shipping times, so we have to keep a stock of every color that we carry. For now, we will start with Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Dunn Edwards, but hope to offer more lines as we grow. We specifically plan on adding Farrow and Ball and PPG in the near future.
What is so bad about painting directly on the wall?
The problem with painting directly on the wall is that it later needs to be covered up. If the color is correct the first time, great! But that is rarely the case. A cover-up job is then required to get an even color on the wall. Directly painted samples create problems for the contractor, which in turn creates additional expenses for the designer and client.
What sets Samplize apart from traditional methods of using sample boards or testing paint directly on walls?
The differences between this and the free swatches provided by the manufacturers are the size options, flexible material, adhesive backing, and finish. You can order the colors of any manufacturer we carry and they will be painted with the actual wall paint of that company (two coats). The free swatches designers get from manufacturers however are merely dyed to look like paint, and are always slightly different from the final result. This is why so many opt to paint sample boards or the wall surface directly. We have tested our decals alongside painted drywall and they are identical. You can even see and feel the underlying texture of the wall surface through the decal. It’s pretty cool!
Are the decals recyclable?
Our decals can be recycled after use. The user needs to check with their local recycling center to see if they accept painted plastic materials (some do not). We are looking into the possibility of partnering with a recycling center to make the process easier for those who do not have access to a facility. In the case that we find such a center, we will pay for the shipping to that location for recycling. In our minds, it’s worth the cost.
You are also aiming to eliminate environmental waste created by surplus sample paint. Could you tell us a bit more about this?
Our paint sample decals should help to eliminate the waste caused by leftover sample paint. It is much better to use our decals than buy a sample quart and only use a partial amount. The traditional route is to do just that, but many fail to correctly dispose of the leftovers. Improper disposal leads to toxic waste drainage into our rivers and oceans. At the very least, we hope to help eliminate that. Our door is always open to recycling centers who may wish to partner with us in the future. It not only makes environmental sense, but economical sense, too.
Lighter colored walls and darker colored walls will make the same paint color come out differently; how does Samplize deal with that discrepancy?
Unlike clear film solutions like SwatchRight, our decals are 100% opaque before they are painted to prevent the existing wall color from ‘leaking’ through. When it is time to actually paint the wall, it is important to consider the differences between the existing wall color and the color you wish to paint it. If you are painting a dark color on a light wall, one coat can usually cover it well. If you are painting a light color on a dark wall, two or more coats will be necessary. There are also colors known as “low-hide” colors due to their weakness in covering existing paint. If you are painting with a low-hide color, you can save yourself a lot of time by first using a tinted primer.
What do you think of Samplize’s unique pre-painted decals? Will you be using them the next time you decorate your home?