Secrets of a Color Counselor

Secrets of a Color Counselor

Helping homeowners choose paint colors is good for business, says California contractor Don Easton.

Color can be a tricky subject for some professional painting contractors. But not Don Easton. Helping customers pick paint colors is one of the favorite parts of his job.

Listening is key

“There’s no wrong answer, and do not listen to your neighbors. That’s what I tell them,” says the owner of Easton Painting in Woodland, California.

“I listen and watch their body language when they’re looking at the color samples. I look at their clothing and accessories, their artwork and decorations, and the style of their home. I notice colors in their garden and the color of their car. These are all clues to the right color for them.”

In the end, he says, it’s all about building trust – and trusting your gut. “Customers are open and honest with us, relaxed and trusting, and we are empathic to them and understanding of their needs,” he says. “I study the customer to discover what they want in terms of the color and the psychology behind the decisions they’re making.”

Quality paint for long-lasting projects

A good paint supplier is a vital component of his business, Easton says.

“They must have a great deal of knowledge about their products and be able to match colors perfectly for my customers,” he says. For these reasons, he has selected Sherwin-Williams as his main supplier.

His preferred exterior paints are Emerald® Exterior Acrylic Latex and Duration® Exterior Acrylic Latex.

On interiors he likes Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex and ProClassic® Interior Waterborne Alkyd-Acrylic.

His go-to primer is Sherwin-Williams® Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer. He likes its mildew resistant qualities and how it penetrates and seals wood for a long-lasting topcoat finish.

“I’m not a penny-saving painter,” Easton says. “I’m focused first on quality, and I try to do my job at the very highest level. My focus is on how to make it last forever.”

This article was originally published on June 18, 2019. Story and photography by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Read more about what pro painters have discovered on the job in the PPC What I’ve Learned archive.