SwatchDeck iphone and ipad app for paint and decorating contractors

With so many painting contractor apps that are solely built to help the paint and decorating contractor create estimates or match paint colors to pictures it only made sense to create an app that helps keep the product that we use on every project organized and reusable, the paint. With so many paint apps exclusive to only a single paint manufacturer, and their colors it became our mission to build an app that has all manufacturers colors, as well as the ability to create custom match colors.

Paint quality and the paint colors chosen by our customer is the single variable on every project that is always different. With no standard way of keeping track of the paint and products contractors are left looking at email chains, inputting info into CRM programs, or just relying on the paint store to remember our purchase. This is the way it’s been done for over 100 years, and I felt it was time to make a change. I asked myself “why has this not been done by the paint manufacturers yet?” Bottom line is that paint and the colors associated with each purchase are not of importance after the purchase has been made. Yes, transactions are kept in a computer system and if you only shop at one store it’s safe to say that the purchase should be able to be found. But if you make purchases from multiple stores (not just different manufacturers) it becomes a lot more work tracking down a past purchase. This is where the paint manufacturer apps fall short. After colors are decided on there is little to no interaction to help the consumer or the contractor. As a painting contractor that has a very diverse set of customers we are constantly using four to five different brands of paint and mixing and custom matching colors between each of them. Keeping track of these colors can become a big headache if not done methodically. Until now that is. SwatchDeck was created to assist with color selection, creating customer profiles, documenting color, quality, and quantity of paint, and the ability to share the information through multiple channels. With over 35,000 paint colors from over 25 paint manufacturers you can create complete schemes and schedules anywhere your iPhone or iPad goes.

Follow these steps with every customer and you will soon have more organization than you thought possible.

Step 1. Link your company iPhone’s and iPads to the email account you have designated as your SwatchDeck linking email account. You can link as many devices as you want to the same account. You probably have office staff, lead painters, project managers, superintendents, or foremen that will find the color information useful on the go. With all of your device linked to the same email account swatches, labels, and notes created are synced across all devices linked to the account. You may want to create a gmail or yahoo email account that you can use to go through your safari browser on each device to link the account. Once you link the device you never have to do it again. No password or social media credentials needed.
Here’s how you link your device to an email account (you will need to do this on each device):
Step 1: Download SwatchDeck on the App store.
Step 2: After the opening sequence “tap” on the swatches to show the user name and email screen. Enter a user name (name of your company) and an email address.
swatchdeck linking your account
Step 3: Within one to 15 minutes you will receive an email with a “blue” hyperlink. Click on the link and you should be directed back into the app. Sometimes this link does not work and you will need to manually link your device. This is done by copying the blue link and then pasting it in your Safari search bar. If it doesn’t work the first time please repeat and it should work.
email verification for SwatchDeck
Step 4: Your device is now linked forever. Simply remember the email address you used to sign-up and if you lose or add a new device all of your information will be recovered by repeating this process.

Step 2: As soon as you receive your customers color selections create a “house” in SwatchDeck and label the “house” with the customers name and address.
Keeping track of house paint colors
Here’s how to create a customer’s information into a new house:
Step 1: Tap on the icon of a House with a + symbol
Step 2: Type the customer name and address
Step 3: Hit “Done” and the info is saved.
Step 3: Create a room. Depending on what room or area you will be painting will determine what you type here. Here’s how to create a room:
Step 1: Tap on the “house” icon you just created
Step 2: Tap on the Add Swatch icon “+ and three squares”.
adding a room to be painted
Step 3: Enter the room name. If its an exterior, type “Exterior”, Living room, dining room, etc.
Step 4: Hit done on the keypad to save.

Step 4: Add the paint colors you will be using on this project.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Tap on the Add Swatch icon at bottom of the screen (+ and a square).
Step 2: Determine how you will be creating a swatch.

Below are the Six functions used to create swatches:
creating paint swatches for a project
Search-look up paint colors by name and number. Tap on the “search” icon and the search window appears. The default search is “All” “All”. To narrow down your search tap on either “All” and you can scroll the search type on the left and then the companies represented on the right side. Select paint colors on the left to see our list of over 25 paint manufacturers colors represented in the app. Then simply type the color name, number, or keyword to start the search. Once the swatches become animated simply tap on one and choose to “Cancel” or “Use Swatch”.
Image-the image swatch allows you to create a swatch of anything you can take a picture of, screen shot, or file you may have.
Match-matching a paint color in a picture. Use an existing photo or snap a new photo. Click on “Use Photo”, then tap anywhere on the screen to have a list of colors animated at the bottom of the screen. You can click on “Manufacturer” to narrow down you paint manufacturer selection. The result colors at the bottom of the screen can be scrolled from left to right to choose a close paint color.
Palette-use a photo to get a palette of 48 color to choose from. We use an average algorithm to give you a collection of colors found in the picture. Tap on any swatch to save it to the room you have created.
Label-the label function uses computer vision to scan a Sherwin-Williams paint can label to populate the color present. Snap a photo or use existing tap on the area where the number and color name is and watch the magic happen.
Manual-use this function to create swatches of custom matched colors you have made. For instance you might be matching a piece of baseboard. Once you have a custom matched paint formula made snap a photo of the paint color, use photo, tap anywhere on the photo that looks like a close representation of the custom color matched and tap on the bottom right “Use Color” and you have created a manual swatch. Tap on the “Swatch Name” to label the color, and repeat with the color code.

Step 5: Add quantity, quality, and sheen information to each paint color.
Tap on any of the swatches you just created. The “SwatchEditor” slides up and you see the Swatch Name, Swatch Code, Swatch, Label, and Notes.
SwatchEditor on swatchdeck
Tap on the “Notes” icon to use voice to text or type the quality, quantity, sheen, and any other details of the paint color that you would like to document and tap “Done” on the upper right corner.
Hit “Done” one more time and you will be back to the room view. Repeat this step for all of your swatches.

Step 6: Ordering your paint
Now that you have added the details of your order you need to place the order. You can click the share button on the upper right of a “House” or “Room” to share specified colors. Click the email icon to create a email listing out the color names, codes, and notes. Then email this order to your local paint store, dropbox, or any other place you want to see the details.

Step 7: Capturing the Label of the paint can
Now you have picked up or received your paint order it’s time to document the most important information…the paint recipe label or any other identifying information. Open a swatch, tap on “Label” snap a photo or use existing to save the label to the swatch.
Hit done on the upper right and you have completed the record.
Repeat for your entire project.

Step 8: Send the paint information to the customer
Now that you have captured the paint can label and you have completed the project you can send the customer and your CRM program the information. Just as you ordered your paint through email, you will do the same for your customer. We like to add a note about calling us for any touch-ups.
Very professional, you wont get the call asking what color or product you used and if you do, well its just a quick search in SwatchDeck away.

SwatchDeck is a simple, yet powerful tool for the paint and decorating contractor or any other specialty that manages numerous projects, with many different colors and products. The key to success is to enter the color or finish information as soon as you get it. Here are some other tips we have found to help along the way.
When a customer does not have the colors and would simply like to match the existing colors, create a “Manual swatch” stating that we will be matching all colors.
When you have a repeat paint customer, meaning you will be painting multiple areas over a long period of time create only one “House” for them. Create the new rooms as we have outlined above. When it comes time to ordering simply create a “Room” named Order and copy and paste the swatches you have created. Then simply email the order to the paint store and then delete the order swatch from the room.
When your customers (Houses) become quite a large list scrolling through them all becomes quite a hassle. Simply double click on the home button on your device and swipe the app up to close it. Open it back up and you will be at the top of your Houses. Now just use the Search function to find the client.
When ceiling paint color is the same throughout a project its easiest to just enter into one room and in the “Notes” section type all ceilings.
If you would like to provide data sheets and MSDS to your customers when providing color info, simply add the URL’s to the “Notes” area and when you email the colors the URL’s become clickable links.
Use the “Palette” function to help the indecisive customer choose colors from their brick, tile, flooring, or any other existing finish in their home, then email it to them.
When using the search function enter the entire code and number to get an exact match to your search. Because we have over 35,000 color in the database its very possible to have multiple results for the same word.
If you have a custom color that has been made for you by your local paint store and is used on many of your projects, email us at and we will put the color in our database so you can search and save it to your projects.

We currently have complete and updated color databases from the following paint manufacturers:

-Allison Smith Color Seasons

-Behr paint 

-Benjamin Moore Paint colors

-Clark + Kensington

-Diamond Vogel Paints

-Dulux Paints

-Dunn Edwards Paints including the new 300 colors

-Ecos Paints

-Farrow & Ball wallpapers and paint colors

-Fine Paints of Europe

-Glidden Paint Colors

-Little Greene Paint

-Miller Paint Company

-Murobond Paints

-Old Village Paints



-Pratt & Lambert

-Resene Paints

-Restoration Hardware paint colors

-Restoration Baby & Infant paint colors

-Rodda Paint

-Sanderson paint colors

-Sherwin Williams paint colors


For those unfamiliar with the color guild, they are a company that help independent paint manufacturers with color and marketing materials.  Many of the colors used for one manufacturer will be the same from another manufacturer.  For instance many colors from Miller paint and Rodda paint have the same color name and numbers. If you have a manufacturer that you don’t see represented on SwatchDeck please reach out to us and we will be happy to add them to the database.

You can email us at

Thanks for reading.