Matching real-life interior paint colors for use in Google Sketchup

Picture of Matching real-life interior paint colors for use in Google Sketchup
Painting the interior of a house can not only be a physical hassle, but a monetary and mental nuisance as well. Coordinating colors throughout a home can be very hard to visualize and if done improperly can cost you quite a bit of money in the end. I have been using Google Sketchup recently to help my Wife and I remodel our house however I wanted the paint colors to match as best as possible. In order to do so, I came up with the following solution.
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Step 1: Prep

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Google Sketchup installed.
  2. You will also need some sort of paint program. MS paint might work for this, but why would you? For the examples below I will be using The Gimp.
  3. You may also wish to head down to your local home improvement store and grab some paint samples that you like to start with. We will be using “Behr’s Virtual Color Center” so this may only work for Behr colors however I have noticed many colors with the same names from different manufactures.

Step 2: Get a digital sample

Picture of Get a digital sample

  1. Go to Behr’s Virtual Color Center, and type in the name of your paint in the search box in the bottom right. For our color we chose “Swiss Coffee”.

  2. Next you should see a results screen listing your color in various finishes. Click on the one that you would like and then click “Preview with ColorSmart” in the bottom right. In our case we choose the flat enamel.

  3. Now you should be presented with a new window with a virtual sample of your color. We will need a screen-shot of this window. If you are using windows you will have to press Alt+PrtScr to capture the window and then paste it into your paint program. If you are using Linux, press Alt+PrtScr and you will most likely be presented with the option to save the image as a file.
mwarren_us5 years ago
Programs like Pixeur or Color Mania ( ) can save a couple of steps by allowing you to mouse over any screen pixel and directly read its RGB color.