Benjamin Moore Paint & the Distinction of Full Spectrum Colors


True colour expert

Recently, I attended Maria Killam’s workshop,  True Colour Expert in Atlanta ,Georgia.  As part of receiving my designee as a True Colour Expert, Maria shared the history of the Benjamin Moore paint company, and I was fascinated!

True Colour Expert class

Here is a photo I found on the blog site of a fellow True Colour Expert attendee. (I'm in the middle with the green skirt.)

I had been a believer in computer paint matching between the paint companies up until this point.  However, when I reviewed the paint mixes after they had been computer matched, I often found myself thinking, “It’s just not exactly right?!”  And lo and behold, Maria verified my revelation and agreed that computer matching is simply not the way to go.

With so many paint brands to choose from, I realized a long  time ago that I prefer Benjamin Moore paints over its competitors…. Although I was not entirely sure what made the difference.  Here’s what I learned…. paints can be mixed from as few or many pigments as desired. And why does that matter? Well, it matters because paints formulated with more pigments create broader, richer, and more complex colors. Benjamin Moore paints are often a blend of twelve different pigments versus other paints with only nine (or fewer).

However, I do want to make a distinction between MULTI-PIGMENTED paint versus FULL SPECTRUM paint. There is a difference.

FULL SPECTRUM paint means that there has been no black or gray added to create the color. Rather, complimentary colors are used to make these hues. In addition, full spectrum colors must include all 7 spectral colors (or more) in order to qualify. Multi-pigmented colors are just that…. created with multiple pigments. The difference is that those pigments may contain black or gray that full-spectrum paints never do.

benjamin moore

Color Stories is Benjamin Moore's new line of full spectrum paints. (Read more below)

The difference may not actually be visible from a paint chip, but once the light hits a full spectrum paint, there is a noticeable distinction… something that makes it “special” from other paints. That difference is actually the way the light reflects the color, since there is no black to “muddy” the hue.

Although I absolutely love Benjamin Moore paint, in general, it is not full spectrum. It IS, however, formulated with many more pigments than many other paint brands, which sets it apart in depth and vibrancy.

Some of my favorite colors in the Benjamin Moore Palette are:

Abingdon Putty

Abingdon Putty

Abingdon Putty HC-99 is an alluring color that is great on walls! I especially love it in a bedroom!

Rockport Gray

Rockport Gray


Rockport Gray HC-105 is a good go-to gray taupe. It is more interesting than just plain taupe and has a hint of green in it, as well!


Palladian Blue

Palladian Blue

Palladium Blue HC-144 is a lovely blue that has just the right amount of green to make is wispy but not wimpy!


Yarmouth Blue

Yarmouth Blue

Yarmouth Blue HC-150 is a restful blue.  Particularly great on a ceiling and fabulous in a bedroom!

Although it is only in its pilot program and available from a few limited retail locations right now, Benjamin Moore did launch its first  full spectrum line of paints this winter, called Color Stories, which includes 200 different color options!  These paints are also environmentally friendly! I have not yet had the opportunity t0 try one of these colors yet, but I look forward to doing so in the near future. How about you…. have you tried any full spectrum paints? Can you tell a difference?

Color stories

Now that you know all about paint, share some of YOUR upcoming painting projects! What challenges or questions can you think of with regard to choosing a paint color and brand?

NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” DAY!



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Stylish, sophisticated and dramatic, Kimberly Grigg brings her unique talents to client’s homes across the country and to her retail boutique, Knotting Hill Interiors. An award winning retail boutique and an award winning full service design firm, Knotting Hill offers luxury interior design, renovation and remodeling services, custom design, childrens rooms and nurseries and accessorizing. The retail boutique sells fabric, home furnishings, retail design, lamps, accessories, art, upscale furniture consignment, gifts, fashion and jewelry. Voted “Best on the Beach” in both retail and design, our customers say that this place and this process is truly “enchanted”! Knotting Hill Interiors is based in Myrtle Beach South Carolina and is located at 7751 North Kings Hwy.