Q & A with G

Get answers to your color questions from artist and Devine Color creator,
Gretchen Schauffler and experience paint, illuminated.

What makes every artist unique is the way they filter what inspires them through their own experiences. For me, a drastic change in colorful landscapes as I moved from Puerto Rico to the Pacific Northwest created an insatiable quench for the beloved colors of my childhood. The way I see it, any time I have my eyes open is an opportunity to connect what I’m seeing and sensing in nature, film, art and music with a potential color that captures the moment and makes it last.

First, every Devine Color was imagined by me, hand-mixed on a canvas and home-tested. There is no one pushing buttons on a machine to create new shades. I named every color to evoke a connection between nature, culture art — things we all have universally experienced as beautiful. These are colors you’ll know and love immediately; there are no meaningless numbers. Secondly, the paint texture is ultra-creamy, so you can coat the wall without dripping, spattering or making a mess. That’s why we call it Devine Color Creamy Wall Coating. Finally, Devine Color is made with high-quality pigments that embrace light and let radiant color shine through. When it dries, the walls have a soft, luminous quality that’s like chiffon fabric.

When I left my beloved home in Puerto Rico in the late 1970s, I also left behind an endless resource of lime greens and corals. When I arrived in Portland, Oregon, I was shocked to find only dusty blues, pink mauves, hunter greens and cranberry reds. (Remember, there was no internet to validate that lime or coral was alive and well in other parts of the world.) This influenced my philosophy that great color and great design is trend-proof, just like  art and nature. I see trends as pure entertainment.

In 1999, when I developed and named the original core of Devine Colors, existing paint had names that sounded complicated or irrelevant, or worse yet, they were named by numbers. So I created and named my colors in connection to what makes life abundant — what we eat, drink, love, and fight for.  I created boutique collections that curate the colors into stories that I discovered in landscapes, cultures, art, journeys and wonders of the wild. These colors are in harmony, not monotony, contrast or conflict. When you explore them, you’ll feel your own connection.

Like magic, if you let them! But you have to trust me on a couple things.  First, don’t look at your existing wall color with the Discovery Card. Look through the window at the natural surfaces in your home such as wood, stone, tile, fabrics and art. Then look for the Devine Colors on the frame that connect with these things, because they will be staying with you, not the paint that’s already on the wall. Second, don’t worry about colors being too light, dark, matching, belonging, being right or popular. Instead, look for colors that stand out to you as beautiful, gorgeous, lovely and amazing with what you see through the cutout. In other words, look for color chemistry to spark!

Write down the colors you like. If you are looking at multiple Discovery Cards or are choosing colors for multiple rooms, do this for each. Then narrow down your colors. Don’t be surprised if you end up with multiple colors that look beautiful. Check out the video here.

Don’t worry, you can still find a color you’ll love that works with other important and often more permanent features of your home, like wood, stone, tile, floors, countertops and cabinets. When you look through the Discovery Card, focus on these surfaces and other things you love like fabric, accessories and art to see what sparks color chemistry. After you paint, you may find you like your furniture better!

Because I create my paint colors to behave like perfect backgrounds, Devine Color allows you to build a blank slate like a painting — from the background up. Start by looking through the cutout of the Discovery Card at your natural surfaces such as wood, stone, tile, fabrics, art and then looking at the colors on the card to spark color chemistry. If you haven’t selected your furniture, fabrics, cabinets or hard surfaces like granite, wood or stone, shopping with the Discovery Cards will make other design selections effortless.

Yes. The Discovery Cards will reveal several colors you will see connect with your belongings and with each other. Because I create all the colors first on canvas as an artist palette and then distill them to individual colors, the colors retain their natural connection. Once you see a couple of Devine Colors that belong in your home, you will discover many that want to join along.

There are no limitations, only possibilities. See what the Discovery Cards reveal and bring on the colors you love. You will know.

No, but don’t use a neutral out of fear. This can make a neutral not only boring, but often impersonal. Use a neutral because when you looked at the Discovery Card, it made your room sing. It was beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, amazing with the things you love in your room.

I love light colors in well-lit rooms where you can see the lightness of the color and the brightness of the walls. Unfortunately, even a light color can’t fully brighten up a dark room with little or no direct light. Devine Colors can’t change your light, but they can work with the light you have to make the most of it. So add an extra lamp or two and pick a color you love.

When it comes to ceilings, I see a square room like a box with four vertical sides and two flat ends: your top end or ceiling, and your bottom end or floor. A flat ceiling is like a floor upside down. Ask yourself, would you have a white floor in the room? If not, paint the ceiling a Devine neutral or accent color that looks beautiful with everything in the room. Once you find the Devine Colors that choose you, you will see many ceiling possibilities besides white!

Color is light and light is color. So when light changes, color changes. South side walls mean an extra dose of light and, therefore, room for more variations. North side walls mean little light, so less room for variations — but shadows to deal with. Devine Colors change with light along with all the other colors in a room, like your sofa color, rug colors, and so on. They have a natural light flexibility because of the light-enhancing pigments and quality of the paint. The paint captures light and disperses it across a wall to naturally illuminate a room. Devine Color turns a room from still life into Life, Illuminated.

Reflection plays a key role in the color and light relationship. The sheen or finish of a color interprets light into a version of the color. Think of paint color as fabric. The same blue in a cotton shirt or a silk shirt will look different. Select a particular Devine Color paint sheen in order to give the color and your wall a specific look. Devine Delicate Sheen gives color life with luminosity like luxurious silk. Devine Powder Sheen gives color stillness with a buffed, matte look like suede, and Devine Luscious Sheen gives color glamorous lip-gloss shine like fine satin.

Gold or Silver — I say you can never have enough sparkle! Devine Dust gives you a lovely and amazing look, especially for ceilings. Bring on the smiles by creating patterns or stencils or popping an accent wall. And if you really want to dial up the dazzle — go for the whole room. One way to apply Devine Dust is to skim a light coat of your favorite Devine Color and then add a second coat loaded with Devine Dust. Remember the sparkle doesn’t appear until the paint is dry and the light is shining on it. Candlelight and incandescent lights really turn up the sparkle.

Yes. I recommend using Devine Luscious for wood and previously latex-painted surfaces (don’t use on previously oil-painted surfaces). For something truly special, mix in some Devine Dust and transform a dull piece of furniture into something spectacular. Color and sparkles, oh my!

Everyone is afraid of making a color mistake and with good reason: they have made many mistakes. I created Devine Color Creamy Wall Coatings, the Trend-Proof Palette and the Discovery Cards so you can choose color confidently. Devine Color is so confident that you’ll be delighted that we are willing to pay for a second chance at color bliss. We call it the Devine Color Promise. Check out the details here.

In most cases with previously painted or primed walls in good condition, you’ll find Devine Color goes on like a dream. But if your home recently underwent construction, you have surface problems such as cracks or uneven texture, or if you are painting two walls of different color with the same color, we recommend you prime with Devine Color Concealer first to ensure the best results.

It’s all in rhythm and flow. When you roll, soak up your roller in the paint and spread thickly on the wall, overlapping your strokes. When you cut in with a brush, load the brush with a good amount of paint, wipe the sides on the can and stroke confidently. Devine Color is ultra-creamy and smooth, so it stays where you put it on the wall without spattering and sagging.

Yes, Devine Color is low-odor, zero VOC (as calculated by EPA method 24). On top of that, the colors have a nurturing quality so you can create a colorful environment for kids.

Yes, check out our Designer Access pricing and programs here.