Gone are the days where you could breeze into your local DIY store and pick up a pot of paint labelled orange, green or blue. Weird and wacky paint colour names seem almost compulsory nowadays, with brands competing against each other to come up with the most striking names for their ranges.
Paint names are as much about creating an image as they are about telling you what colour is actually in the pot. Brands such as Living Etc which have paint shades named Pavement, Rush Hour, Serpentine and St Paul’s are trying to tap into the sophisticated, urban living trends and the London vibe which is so prevalent at the moment. Brands such as Laura Ashley, which have a more conservative and traditional brand image, choose names for their paint shades such as Creamware, Willow or Old Rose which reflects their brand values. Food names are popular too, for example the use of toast, biscuit or cookie to describe shades of beige and brown. These words make us feel warm and comforted, so the idea is that the paint colours will have the same effect.
Despite the trend towards weird and wacky names, most paint names do actually tell you a bit about the shade of paint inside the can. Lost Lake couldn’t be anything else but a shade of blue, and Pillar Box is closely linked to a particular shade of red. Sometimes though you have to delve a little deeper to come up with the link between the colour and the name. Satin Bow is actually a shade of greyish-pink according to Dulux, but given that a satin bow can be any colour you want, the link is rather tenuous.
Paint ranges aimed specifically at parents and kids run riot with the names for their shades. Olive loves Alfie eco paint has shades named around a circus theme, so you can buy blue interior eco paint called Trapeze, or grey eco floor paint called Ghost Train. These shades are designed to appeal to children as they are bright and colourful, and the interesting names inject a bit of fun into the product. The eco paint UK market is growing rapidly, and anything which marks a brand out as different and innovative is an important marketing tool.
When looking for a new paint shade it can be hard not to be seduced by the marketing and the fancy names, but the most important thing is to consider how the paint will look on your wall. Tester pots are invaluable for this, and it is worth buying a few in your preferred shades and paint patches on the wall to help decide on the best colour. Using a tester pot can also help you to match different colours together, or choose the best fabric for curtains or soft furnishings based on the main colours in your room. If you cannot find the perfect shade on the shelves of even the largest DIY stores, many paint brands offer a special mixing service where they will create the exact shade you are looking for.