Any interior designer, painter, architect, or even avid DIYer can tell you that paint swatches are a useful tool to have. They’re an essential reference companion when you want to choose and visualize colors to be added to your space. And, to be quite honest, they’re just a joy to have! Tens, hundreds, and even thousands of colors at your fingertips to peruse and marvel at? Yes, please!

If you’re looking to get your hands on some paint swatches, thanks to technology, you now have the option of having either the actual, physical paint swatches or digital renditions of them. Here’s a quick introduction and guide to both types from Boysen:

Physical Paint Swatches

Physical and Digital Paint Swatches: Pros and Cons | MyBoysen

Physical paint swatches collated together typically come as a fan deck. Fan decks are strips of paper printed using the actual paint color and held together by a metal pin for easier browsing.

Boysen has four fan decks and these are the Boysen Color Palette (1,320 colors), Boysen Colorizer Series G (135 colors), Boysen Medley (250 colors), and Virtuoso Fan Deck (123 colors). You can find details on each in this blog post: How to Use the Boysen Paint Color Fan Decks.

As fan decks are printed using the actual paint color, the colors represented are almost always accurate. The color you see is what you will get when you decide to get the paint for your home.

You’ll find fan decks at every Boysen Mix and Match station. Pick from there and have your own paint can of your chosen paint color mixed for you on the spot.

The downside to fan decks is that when you want to own them, they need to be purchased from the paint manufacturer. Hence, they can be costly if you’re planning to buy several. However, if you plan to use them for different projects and for a long while, they definitely make for a good investment.

Digital Paint Swatches

Physical and Digital Paint Swatches: Pros and Cons | MyBoysen

Digital paint swatches are, as is obvious in the name, digital renditions of actual paint swatches. So, instead of on paper, you’ll be looking at these via a screen like your phone, tablet, or laptop.

If you frequent, you would have already seen many digital paint swatches as we regularly include them in articles to serve as your color inspiration. However, we usually only give them a few at a time and as palettes (a.k.a. six colors in a set that all pair well together). For a collection of digital paint swatches that you can use as a master reference tool, turn to the Boysen app.

Among the Boysen app’s many useful features is Color Collection. It lets you browse through many Boysen paint color fan decks (including the ones mentioned above) and Boysen Color Trend paint colors through your device. Convenient, right? It’s like having several fan decks with you wherever you go. Plus, downloading the app is free too. Find it on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

But there is a drawback that’s important to remember. The color accuracy of digital paint color swatches cannot match its physical counterpart. Because tech specs vary per device, the colors can look different depending on the screen you’re viewing it from (see an example of what we mean here).

This is why it’s recommended that, if you used a digital swatch as a reference, you should always view the actual paint swatch in person at a Boysen Mix and Match station before you have a batch mixed.

Bonus: Where to Get Paint Samples

Test Out a Paint Color: Where to Find Boysen Paint in 200 mL Sizes | MyBoysen

If you want to take it a step further and get samples of your chosen paint colors to test out, the Boysen 200 mL pots are now available. This way you don’t have to commit yet to a big bucket of paint if you’re still undecided about the color.

A 200 mL paint container can cover approximately 1.25 to 1.50 square meters in one coat. This allows you enough coverage to visualize colors in different lighting conditions and how they will respond with other elements in the space. You can find and purchase them at The Color Library by Boysen or via the Boysen website.

Whether through actual paint swatches and samples or digital renditions, we hope you find joy in picking colors that are right for you! If you found this blog post helpful, consider subscribing to the Let It B newsletter (via the sidebar) to stay up-to-date with all the exciting things going on at


Jill is a writer on a continuous journey to learn about paint and share them with you, the reader. She has an interest in the technical side of things but also thoroughly enjoys playing with colors. She likes calm greens, quiet blues, and mellow yellows best.

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