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Color explained: everything you need to know about pink paint

Kitchen painted in Lick Pink 02 paint

WordsFrankie Marqueé

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This color theory guide comes with a warning: pink is one of the most loved-up colors out there, so, expect yourself to fall hard for at least one of our four shades. But how to know if you’re more of a Pink 01 or Pink 03 person? And what makes Pink 02 such a winner for pretty much every room in your home? Here’s the lowdown to help you find ‘the one’.

Let’s talk undertones

People into their colors love ushering statements like: ‘this pink? Oh it’s got a grey undertone don’t you know.’ Or: tell you what this room needs? A yellow-based pink.’ It sounds a bit fancy-pants but truth be told, they’ll have a point, because undertones are a huge part of what makes a color, a color.

Undertones contribute to what gives a color its temperature – whether it’s a warm pink like Pink 02 or a slightly cooler character like Pink 04. Undertones are what’ll help you figure out which pink will best suit your north- facing room (answer: Pink 02, but more on that in a few paragraphs’ time). And undertones will help you build you entire palette, pointing to which other shades will get along like a house on fire (an odd expression if ever there was one).

Undertones vary from greens and reds to yellows and blues, but when it comes to the four pinks in our collection, you’ll principally find one of two types of undertone:

  • Grey: in the ‘industry’, adding grey is actually called, adding tone darling. It’s going to make your room feel a bit more contemporary and a bit more crisp (depending on how much you add). But there are different shades of grey (don’t we know it), and so it doesn’t mean grey always results in a pink that’s as cool as a cucumber. Look at Pink 03 which is still a bit of a softy even with grey bubbling away beneath the surface.
  • Yellow: get ready, things are about to get cosy and creamy. But, mix a yellow base note with a dash of grey (like we do in Pink 02) and you won’t head into custard cream territory. Think of our yellow base tones as serving things sunny side up.

Drop a tint. Throw some shade

If you’ve dabbled in color theory at any point, you’ll have come across the terms tint and shade. They’re next up in your paint’s recipe and can change its course completely.

Adding white to a color is called adding tint, whereas black is a case of shade. A pink with a yellow base which then has some ‘shade’ added to it will bring about more depth and will result in a totally different character to if it had a pint of white ‘tint’ stirred in.

Color theory is complex stuff, but know that in our pink palette we’ve played with tints and we’ve spent time in the shade to come up with an edit of colors that tick off pale pinks, mid-pinks, warm pinks, cool pink, sweet pinks and dusky pinks. All you need to do is decide which sets your heart aflutter most.

Color compatibility and room direction

Being totally honest, all of our pinks will suit every point of the compass. So, if you don’t want to get in too deep, just trust your gut and go for the pink that you love the most. But the direction in which your room points really does affect paint color, and if you’re in the game of perfection, we’ve broken down all four compass points and paired them with their very best pink. Match-making just got easy peasy...

North-facing rooms: warm, yellow-based pink paint

Northern light is the coolest of the lot. It casts a blue hue. So if you go for one of our coolest characters like Pink 01, expect its under-the-radar frosty side to come to the fore. To keep things balanced, stick to something a notch warmer – Pink 02, we’re looking at you.

East-facing rooms: mid-tone pink paint

See a lot of change. Whatever pink you choose will look very different whether it’s sunset or sunrise. So, think about what time of day you'll be using that room most.

If it’s AM, you’ll be getting lots of the morning natural light, so pick out a cooler color to balance out the warmth of the sun (à la our light Pink 01 paint – don’t fret about how grey bases can look flat in an easterly room as the amount in Pink 01 won’t let that happen).

If it’s PM, and the light is low, you might want to go a bit warmer with our dusky Pink 02 paint. Or if you’re in there all day long, the safest bet is to go for a middle ground pink like Pink 04 that’s muted with just a dash of light grey.

West-facing rooms: comforting dusty pink paint

Just like rooms that look to the east, westerly rooms are the most changeable, so you’d better pay some thought to what time of day you’ll be hanging out in there. On the whole, they tend to look all the better with a warmer hue for company. Pink 02 you’re up again.

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