Paint color fan decks are important tools that architects, interior designers, contractors, and professional painters use to choose the colors for the painting of interiors and exteriors of homes or buildings. However, DIYers may not know how to use fan decks, so we made this tutorial for you.
What are Paint Color Fan Decks
Fan decks are strips of paper printed using the the actual paint colors. These paper strips (or sheets) are held together by a metal pin at one end. A strip usually has seven colors belonging to a color family. This makes it easier for the user to choose the preferred tint, tone, or shade of a certain hue because colors are easy to compare when other hues of a color family are seen together. What’s more, if you are looking for a white color, you will find several strips of white colors that may have tones such as yellow, brown, and red. This would make it easier for you to compare the different color tones and pick out the one you want.
What are the Available Boysen Paint Color Fan Decks
Boysen has four fan decks.
1. Boysen Color Palette Fan Deck
This Boysen Color Palette fan deck is my favorite and the most popular to date for the following reasons:
- It has 1,320 colors, with 7 colors to a strip (or 4 colors for the off-whites). The fan deck offers more flexibility if you are undecided about whether you want a color which is a little bit lighter or a little bit darker. Looking at a strip of seven colors makes it so much easier to choose. If you are into monochromatic color schemes, this fan deck is your friend. We used the fan deck to pick out the colors for the pastel, bright, and intense colors in the rainbow colors post.
- If you are a fan of neutral colors, this fan deck has 32 delicate off-whites that you can choose from.
- It is the fan deck for Boysen Permacoat (good to use in interiors and exteriors) and Virtuoso, two of my favorite paints because of the excellent hiding (you need only 2 coats so you spend less time, money, and effort to do the job), dirt pick-up resistance (easy to clean), and durability (the paint looks good longer than most paints).
- If colors are best to use only in interiors, then this is indicated on the swatches.
- If colors get optimal results with multiple coats, or if using a tinted primer is recommended, then these are indicated on the color swatches too.
- What I also find very helpful is the alphabetical list of paint names at the back of the fan deck, with the paint code and page number. This is important if you just got a recommendation of the paint name and code. With just this, you can look at the paint swatch quite easily.
- Last but not least is the LRV for each paint color. LRV stands for light reflectance value which would show if the paint color reflects light or absorbs it. The scale goes from 0% to 100%, with the latter having the most light reflectance. This helps when you are choosing paint colors for different rooms with different sources of light. Designers usually pick a paint color with an LRV of at least 50%. For darker rooms, they suggest to choose an LRV of 65% or higher.
2. Virtuoso Fan Deck
The fan deck, dedicated to the Virtuoso paint, has 123 colors, and has a handy alphabetical color index. These come on top of the colors in the Boysen Color Palette and the Boysen Color Trends. Because it is fairly thin and light compared to the first fan deck, and the color swatches are wider and bigger, it is easier to check the color that you like on a wall, and much easier to carry too. Each strip has three colors in different saturations. In other words, its fewer colors and its size makes this fan deck more convenient to use. Also, some people prefer to have less choices because it makes their decision much easier to make.
3. Boysen Colorizer Series G Fan Deck
This fan deck has 135 colors, which belong to our timeless classics and the most commonly used colors. At the back, you will find the alphabetical color index. There is only one color swatch per strip so when it comes to seeing the color on a much bigger surface, this fan deck provides that convenience. If you want to give a sample to your painter or your DIY partner, you can easily cut a piece because the paint code is printed at the back of the swatch five times.
4. Boysen Medley Fan Deck
This fan deck has 125 color pairings and 250 colors, which are written in alphabetical order at the back of the deck. Each strip has two color swatches. The main feature for this fan deck are the color pairings. This fan deck is for DIYers who want to have two colors in a room but don’t know how to choose two colors that go together. The paint names and codes are printed three times on the color swatches so you can cut a strip into three.
How to Get Your Own Boysen Paint Color Fan Deck
The Boysen fan decks can be ordered online. Go to this link to order your very own deck. Here is a guide for you to know what kind of paints are available for each fan deck. The Boysen Color Series is our popular Boysen Permacoat premium line. It can be used for concrete, brick, plaster, and drywall in interiors and exteriors.
Read about the different paint products –
Boysen Permacoat (Color Series)
Boysen Healthy Home
Virtuoso Silk Touch
Titan Elastomeric Paint
However, if you’re on a budget or your painting needs are minimal, you don’t have to get your own fan deck. Instead, you can always go to any of our Mix and Match Stations in any major hardware or depot and borrow the fan decks there. Click on this link to find a station that is closest to you. Do call first to see if the place is open.
A digital way to choose colors is available in our Boysen app.