5 Paint Matching Apps to Help You Find the Perfect Color

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It always seems easy enough. You want a simple gray, a navy blue or even white. You peruse piles of paint chips and make multiple trips to the store for samples. Then, you paint a room, and somehow the gray looks green, the navy pulls purple and the white is suspiciously yellow. Ugh. Matching already-existing paint can be an exercise in futility.

If that’s not enough pressure, Color Expert and creator of the Color911 app, Amy Wax notes that finding a color match isn’t a simple matter. “What’s interesting about matching colors is that it’s largely dependent on the lighting in the space,” she notes. Different light bulbs give off different color temperatures, which ultimately affects the way we perceive a shade. She notes that when looking for a color match, it’s best to lead by look vs. feel.

Sound complicated? No worries—apps to the rescue! Using phone cameras to analyze RBG, CMYK, Pantone or other color codes allows the app to match it to a branded paint color library, or give you the codes that may help your local hardware store find the right match. Keep in mind that light, texture and the variations on phone screens do make this an imperfect science. Still, it can help winnow your options and may even provide the perfect hue.

The Best Paint Matching Apps

Best Overall Paint Matching App

Color Muse

Color Muse is a sophisticated app that allows you to scan and store inspiration paint colors using the Colorimeter. Create color palettes, cross-reference and match to color libraries from many leading paint companies, and browse full-color libraries of paint manufacturers.

One review says they successfully matched 30-year-old paint from a defunct company to one sold at their hardware store—that’s a solid endorsement!

Platforms: Apple & Android | Cost: App offers paid subscriptions and free version; device is around $70


  • Works natively in CIELAB, RGB, and HSB
  • Compact size fits in a pocket
  • Bluetooth pairing capability
  • Suggests coordinating colors
  • Create and save color palettes


  • Database incomplete, so some paint brands may be missing

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