Low VOC paints take the lead in 2014 color forecast

| by Gary Wollenhaupt
Low VOC paints take the lead in 2014 color forecast

Drawing influence from fashion, nature, pop culture and global traditions, Sherwin-Williams introduces Color Forecast 2014. The forecast, represented by four colorful paint palettes, provides consumers with inspiration for upcoming painting and home design projects.

Color Confidence

Using Sherwin-Williams suite of interactive color tools, people can explore Color Forecast 2014 and more than 1,500 Sherwin-Williams colors.

The new ColorSnap Studio iPad® app offers all the ease-of-use of a tablet including high definition, as well as pinch, zoom and swipe features to “finger-paint” an image of your own room, or one in the app.

Simply touch a color and use your finger or connect the dots to “paint” walls without picking up a paintbrush – no edge-masking required.

Other interactive color tools include the ColorSnap® smartphone app, the powerful online Color Visualizer, and Sherwin-Williams Chip It!. Each color tool is designed to help people select and explore color.

Find all of Sherwin-Williams color resources at http://www.sherwin-williams.com/color.

“The state of color is constantly changing and gathers influence from the world around us,” said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing, Sherwin-Williams. “From our interest in math and science to feminine-charged colors and fabrics of the runway, Color Forecast 2014 palettes are a colorful representation of these influences and the moods they create.”

Behind those beautiful colors is the drive toward eco-friendly paints that reduce health risks and improve comfort for people while painting and living in the home.

Today, the majority of residential paint options are low or zero-VOC, according to Karl Schmitt, Sherwin Williams vice president of marketing and merchandising. After more than a decade of development, today's low-VOC paints don't require a sacrifice in term of quality compared to oil-based paints of the past.

"We have made tremendous improvements in technology so that low-VOC water-borne products perform extremely well and in many cases better than their solvent-borne counterparts," Schmitt said.

The key is to develop paints that deliver usability first, and then refine with formulas that are environmentally responsible.

"Whether it's durability for exteriors or washability for interiors, we want to continue to provide that performance that's most important to the customer as we are having less impact on the environment," Schmitt said.

Jordan, along with Sherwin-Williams color experts, researched and selected 38 key colors for the forecast, which are grouped into four palettes: Reasoned, Diaphanous, Curiosity and Intrinsic.


There's a global race to acquire knowledge, especially in the fields of math and science. Mathematics, especially geometry, play a significant role in our world today and helped to define this palette.

 "The hues of Reasoned, which include black, gray and whites, represent shadows, negative space and tone-on-tone layering," said Jordan. "Gray is the new black. We see this as a perfect palette for a home office, study or modern kitchens by layering colors such as Crushed Ice (SW 7647) and Classic French Gray (SW 0077).”


The delicate nature of this palette embodies the very essence of balance, simplicity and elegance. The colors of Diaphanous are light, delicate and translucent. Society’s need for overconsumption has given way to minimalism and a quiet reality. This palette evokes tranquility, sensuality, serenity and escape.

"We are experiencing this blurred duality all around us, from menswear influences on feminine clothes to the soft-touch material on electronics," said Jordan. "Incorporate Diaphanous colors such as Steamed Milk (SW 7554) and Sandbank (SW 6052) in a bedroom, nursery, living room or bathroom." 


It has been said that what one may see as strange and unique, another may see as beautiful. This is the wonder of the Curiosity palette, which is largely driven by science and geology. Nature at the most molecular level is becoming a resource for patterns, textures and colors. Mined minerals, metals and raw gems also fuel the color story.

"The Curiosity palette is mad science meeting fantasy; it's avant-garde, experiential, dark and exotic, " said Jordan. "Alluring colors such as Exclusive Plum (SW 6263) and Antiquarian Brown (SW 0045) make perfect choices for a den or romantic bedroom."


A little bohemian and plenty of color make up the Intrinsic palette. Its focus is around embracing and preserving tradition, culture and design, while bringing in new influences.

"World events like the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia are driving new appreciation of folkloric costumes, patterns and design," said Jordan. "Choose hues from the Intrinsic palette like Capri (SW 6788) and Sawdust (SW 6158) for a celebratory family room, kitchen or kid's room." 

Read more about low-VOC paints.

Topics: Indoor Air Quality, Living Room, Maintenance & Repair, Remodeling

Companies: Sherwin-Williams

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.

wwwView Gary Wollenhaupt's profile on LinkedIn

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