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Cheap color checker I just invented

In the generous spirit of this website, let me offer a very inexpensive and simple do-it-yourself color checker.

So earlier today with this idea in mind, I wandered up and down the aisles of Home Depot just looking for the right 'gizmos' to improvise. Suddenly I saw what might work. There is a 4 inch handy hook by Everbilt with a 25 lbs working load limit (that last part not needed :)) , This thing seemed ideal since it is already bent into the perfect U shape, has a flat smooth end where you can put your paint sample, is metallic for easy cleaning, and is also a neutral gray tone. The end is curved a bit, not flat, though I doubt that could be an issue for paint matching.

The other end is just a tip of a tube, covered with a rubber cap. Now for a viewer, I went over into plumbing and found a simple black, PVC pipe T connector. About 3 or 4 inches long, it has a nice 'viewing' tube, while the T part at a right angle can be attached to the tube end of the handy hook after I removed the rubber cap. I used some tape to make the actual connection to the tube angle matches the line of sight of the hook end, though I am sure with some refinement, other alternatives to hold it together can be improvised too.

So basically, two parts: the U hook with a flat end, metallic, already gray toned place to put your paint, and a black PVC T connector viewing tube. Total cost, only about $3. 


  • and another even cheaper color checker is to hold your loaded brush up  :).  You have a great idea though!   Welcome to the forum!
  • <The end is curved a bit, not flat, though I doubt that could be an issue for paint matching.>

    Not sure how to edit yet, but some clarification. The end of the hook is flattened where it would otherwise be attached to a wall. Yet the very end of this flat part is curved across the end and  in your line of sight, not straight. If that makes sense?
  • Of course Julianna! But I mean the tube works if you want to isolate all else that might confuse your perception of the specific color and value you are looking at. Thanks.
  • I did a painting once with using the hole of a cream colored notecard - I just matched the color I saw in the hole punch.  It was very interesting.  It's amazing what you see when all else is removed.  You have a wonderful invention and for super cheap!
  • Thank you!  I'll sell you my color checker for only $15.95 plus s&h :)

  • Where you put the paint should really be flat and 45degrees to your line of sight otherwise you will get interferences light/reflection/colors. if it is rounded you will find it impossible to light balance your shadow box. You should also cover the whole end of the color checker with a layer of paint that you are matching. If you are looking for an easier and cheaper alternative watch Mark's video on making you own for about 25cents worth of plywood and 10 cents worth of hardware. It's nothing like the one he sells and a 10 year-old could make it. This one you dreamed up could still be made to work and would definitely be easier to hold. Thanks for the ideas.
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