Swatches by Waters & Brown

Less Waste. Less Mess. Less Hassle.

The Evolution of Waters & Brown and the Paint Sample

Helping Homeowners since 1895

Since our founding in 1895, Waters & Brown has been a nationwide top choice for the best paint and decorating supplies on the market. As an independent, family-owned retailer, we carry products we believe in and only suggest them if we think they’re ideal for your project. Today, we carry reputable brands such as Benjamin Moore, C2 Paint, and Farrow & Ball.

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Our problem with color chips

Like every other paint store in America, Waters & Brown’s design centers exhibit color displays given to us by our paint brands. While these displays offer up free color chips, most aren’t made with real paint. Instead, color chips are ink-printed reproductions of the color. This is why paint chips always look different than the final painted result.

The pint sample, our first attempt at color accuracy

In 1999, we were fed up with how our customers had to go about selecting a color. Customers either had to make their decision based on an inaccurate 1”x1” ink-printer color chip or shell out for a quart-size can of paint.

It was at this time one of our paint experts, John Grocki, had the idea of pouring a quart out into two smaller jars and dispensing fractions of the color formula into them.

This is how the first ever sample pint came to be sold at Waters & Brown. Now every paint brand in the world manufacturers and distributes them. 

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Our need to evolve the sample pint

While the sample pint is accurate, we’ve discovered only a small portion of it is ever brushed out on the wall. The rest sits in storage or is thrown out.

Unfortunately, we can’t just make a smaller sample size. The sample pint is the smallest quantity needed to accurately make a color. Anything smaller and tinting machines would be unable to dispense the precise level of colorant.

In an effort to reduce the waste, we needed to reengineer how an accurate paint sample can be made. 

Find the right color without the waste

Introducing W&B Samples. Our objective is to share the contents of a single sample pint with as many people as possible. The first time a customer orders a color, we make a sample pint and brush out some of it on our peel & stick adhesive. Then every time the color is ordered again, we reuse that same sample pint until every last drop is gone.

The result is the right color for you with less waste for the environment.

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Shop our paint brands

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is arguably the most popular paint line in North America. With over 3,500 colors to choose from, you are guaranteed to find the perfect color for your space.

C2 Paint

At its heart, C2 Paint makes the color selection process more intuitive and less stressful. Their smartly edited 496-color palette of luminous, full-spectrum colors is designed to mirror those in the natural world.

Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball's distinctive palette of eco-friendly paints is renowned for it's depth and complexity. They only use the finest ingredients and rich pigments to make their 132 signature colors.