How color readers save time, money and frustration

by Amanda Haar

Matching colors on commercial and residential projects can be tricky and time-consuming. But thanks to the technology packed into today’s color-matching devices, you can save yourself time, valuable resources, and some extra trips to the paint store by avoiding costly mis-matches—all for a few hundred dollars or so.

Small enough to fit in your pocket and Bluetooth-connected, some color-matching technology offers up to 95% accuracy when matching a flat substrate. Technologies from companies like Datacolor, PANTONE, Color Muse and others allow you to place the device on the surface, and in seconds, you’ve got the closest match to every major paint brand, plus complementary color and palette options. Saved to your mobile device, this color information can then be shared with your customers, crew or even your paint retailer, and it’ll be available for reference later.


Often, customers don’t have a record of an original color. That’s the primary reason color-matching can be tricky, explains Susan Bunting, director of marketing, consumer solutions at Datacolor, a developer of color-measurement tools. The company’s ColorReader technology can measure color on a wall or any flat surface, in seconds.

Bunting notes that in situations such as an interior wall surface, it’s not uncommon for pros to have to actually cut out a piece of drywall and take it to their local paint store for a color match.

“But with a color-matching device, you save yourself the time of the cutout, the trip to the store, the time it takes to wade through paint chips, patching the cutout—and the possibility of purchasing a color that, despite the effort, still isn’t quite right,” she said.

And having an accurate device on hand can also impress customers.

“With the right color-matching device, you nail the match in seconds, gain customer confidence, avoid costly repaints, and elevate your color record keeping to a whole new level,” Bunting added.

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