clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
a couple looking at an iPad in a room thats about to be painted iStock

Choosing a paint color for your home can be nerve-racking. You can spend hours in the paint section comparing swatches and trying to find the perfect match.

Thankfully, a wave of house paint color apps is making the task easier by letting you paint your wall virtually or match a paint color to a photo. Even better, these room painting apps are free and Android- and Apple-compatible. Here are our top picks for the best paint apps available.

Color Connect

By Valspar

The app allows you to explore Valspar paint colors available at Lowe's, ACE, or independent retailers. The paint calculator helps you estimate how much paint you'll need for your project.

Users can upload photos and get advice from a color consultant via live video, audio, or e-mail. The app also provides how-to videos to help get your project off the ground.

What's missing? Two major complaints about this room painting app: You can't save your paint colors, and there's no search, so navigation can be tricky.

ColorSmart by BEHR® Mobile Courtesy BEHR

ColorSmart

By Behr Mobile

Behr's paint app comes with an explore-color function that lets you search for a shade by name, number, or color family. The color-match function lets you take a picture or select an existing one from your library, and the app will match that color with an existing Behr color.

A notable detail is that you may get different color-match results for the same color sample. Mind you, these colors are extremely similar, but you should always put some on your wall first and look at the real paint color you are trying to match before making a purchase.

The app's preview function allows you to virtually paint a handful of rooms by simply clicking on a color and then the wall you'd like to see the color on. It's handy to see what the paint looks like in a room but tricky because it's not your house and the design elements will be very different.

The Behr app also lets you save projects, colors, pallets, and paint calculations so that you can come back to your work later. While it's great for exploring color and helping you to start color matching, it doesn't have the ability to personalize the look of the space where you're testing your colors.

Courtesy Benjamin Moore

Color Capture

By Benjamin Moore

The app will match the colors in any photo and also show the next four closest shades. Color Capture and Paint My Place were once tied as the highest-rated (four stars) of all the room painting apps we compared in iTunes.

As you are scanning through the various Benjamin Moore colors, you can save, e-mail, post to Facebook, or tweet out the color you find. Why not let your social media followers help you decide between two colors?

Many users noted that the colors look much different on the screen than they do in person. This is fairly universal with digital paint samples. The brightness and resolution of your screen can make the color's appearance vary from digital to physical.

Color Snap

By Sherwin-Williams

With Sherwin-Williams's Color Snap, you can create color palettes and match colors to a photo on your phone. The great thing about the app's color-match feature is that it will automatically pick out the colors in the photo that it can match and create a palette with those colors. The app also allows you to click on a certain color to match, and the palette will include a selection of complementary colors.

You can view each color in a room example. This feature, similar to those in other apps, is a plus because it lets you see what the paint looks like on a wall—but it's not your wall.