Tikkurila worldwide

Exterior colour cards

Exterior colour cards

Choosing a colour from the colour card

Colour forms an integral part of its environment and is inseparably related to it. This is why it is important to view the colour in the lighting conditions in which it will actually be used. Colour is always relative to something – lighting and other coloured surfaces, for example. Variation between light and shade constantly affects colour perception, just like the roughness or smoothness of the surface being viewed.

The colours in the colour card are made with colour card paints. Colour card samples are usually semi-matt. When making colour cards, the colours produced by the tinting system act as a standard. When the same tinting system is applied to producing both the colour standard and the colour card, such as for Symphony pastes, the colour card sample will be as close to the colour of the final painted surface as is technically possible at present. At the Tikkurila Paint Laboratory, colour approval is always subject to examination under a standard-compliant D65 natural light source.

Colour cards are available for both interior and exterior painting applications. In the exterior colour card collection, due consideration has been given to paint durability and resistance to climatic stress, cultural preferences, and the suitability of paste tinting systems for various types of binders. For this reason, we recommend that exterior colour cards are always used when selecting exterior colours. The range of interior colours is much wider than that of exterior colours. With no climatic stress to consider, the range of pigments available is also much wider. Nearly all the binders used in interior paints are generally of the same type, meaning that there are also fewer chemical-related restrictions.

Lighting considerations

When selecting exterior colours, the colour sample should be examined in an upright position in natural outdoor light. We recommend painting a test surface of one square metre. Often, the colour sample looks both lighter and bluer outdoors than indoors. Exterior paints, in particular, look much darker against the white background of the colour card than they would in their actual surroundings. Seasons and the time of the day also affect colour perception, so that that a façade may look completely different at dusk than in the bright light of early morning. Similarly, the black-and-white landscape of winter or the greenness of summer may affect the perception of colour to a considerable degree.

Read also Choosing colors for exterior walls


The colours displayed on the screen have been produced electronically. They are not an exact representation of real colour models, as the finish of the material, its gloss and lighting, as well as many other factors, affect our perception of colour. Always select the final colour with colour cards from your retailer in the surroundings and conditions for which you are making your choice.