Colour Rendition | Edward Bulmer Paint

Colour Rendition

When choosing a colour for a project, the most important thing is that you then achieve the colour you want! There are quite a few variables at play to ensure this. How the colour is made and how it reacts with the light are the most significant of these.

Colour is simply the result of light hitting a surface and reflecting into our eye, sending signals to the brain allowing us to determine what shade we see.

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Making Colour

We make colours by mixing earth and mineral pigments into a white base. These pigments are very finely ground and mixed with water to allow us to use a conventional dispensing machine. However, this is already different to conventional paints, from Dulux to Farrow & Ball, who use an array of chemically synthesised shades along with the cheapest (earth) pigments. We do not use dangerous heavy metals as they can have adverse health effects – this is why we do not offer bright red. Even the ability to make these colours with chemical preparations for mainstream paints requires Azo dyes which have now been linked to liver and bladder cancer.

We believe that you can see the difference in colours made this way. When you use powdered pigment, the light is reflected in many directions; this gives a very much more subtle effect than the reflection from single wavelength colourants.

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Colour and Light

Light varies a great deal, particularly inside buildings where it is often a combination of daylight from the windows and artificial light from the lamps. We recognise this and understand that your colour will look different according to the light source – a phenomenon known as metamerism. This is physics and cannot be counteracted, but we do see that colours made with a wider range of pigments retain a truer hue as the light changes. We test our colours in a Lightbox before they leave the factory but rather than use daylight, we combine modern and incandescent light, as in pure form Daylight has a ‘blue’ cast. Light sources can be expressed as measurements and daylight is 6000 Kelvin, whereas fluorescent is 4000 Kelvin and lamplight is 2700 Kelvin.

We maintain colour rendition and consistency by testing our colours at 3,350 Kelvin – an average between fluorescent and lamplight.

Posted: September 2019