WHEELING, IL -- While the intent to purchase paint remains undaunted in the slow economy, consumers are paying increased attention to finding the right paint color, according to a new study of U.S. households released by The Valspar Corp. In fact, 26 percent of consumers are more concerned with choosing the best color over how the finished product will ultimately look.  

In 2008, selecting the right color choice is of particular concern among women. Nearly two in five female paint purchasers say their biggest worry when painting is choosing the appropriate color. 33 percent of consumers are likely to choose a bold color palette over neutral, and many female paint purchasers are as concerned about finding an exact color as they are finding a color match. Alternatively, men chose "making a mess" as their primary concern.  

Ann McGuire, founder of Beehive Studios and color consultant for Valspar, advises, "Have patience when choosing a color, and always keep an open mind. There are many exciting directions to take, and you should use colors that make you happy. If you choose a bold color, surround it with more subdued colors to give it balance."  

At any given time, 29 percent of American households report that they expect to purchase indoor paint in the coming 12 months. In difficult economic times, consumers see paint as one of the most economic ways to "remodel.” Whatever the color, nearly half (47 percent) of those planning to paint in the next 12 months are hoping for a big change as a result of their work, and are anxious about initiating the paint project.  

In addition to differences in their color choice concerns, further differences between how men and women view painting projects include:  

  •  Women continue to play a leading role on paint projects. This year, more than half of interior paint projects are exclusively initiated by women, and two-thirds of decisions on paint color are made solely by the female head of household.   
  •  Among male paint purchasers, the accomplishment of completing the painting project is the best outcome after painting, while for women, it's the satisfaction of a new and improved room.