Shades, Tints and Tones, Oh My!

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Whether you’re trying to find the perfect paint color for your home or you’re just interested in understanding how colors work together, consider this your crash course in color theory.

hue is simply a color on the color wheel. The color wheel is made up of three primary colors: red, blue and yellow. The secondary colors are a combination of two of the primary colors mixed together: green, purple and orange.

A hue that is lighter and less saturated is a tint. Tints are created when mixing a color with white only, creating a paler version of the original color. A tint can make a color lighter, but it does not mean the color will be brighter as well.

While tints are lightened colors, shades are darkened colors made when black is mixed with any color. The effect is a darker, richer color than the original.

Tints and shades are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but a tone results from the addition of both white and black, or simply gray, to a color. Gray will lessen a color’s intensity, and tones are considered more refined and pleasing to the eye.

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