SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Choosing a paint color based on a small swatch can lead to an unhappy surprise after the paint dries on a larger surface. Just ask car owner, Susie Quaglia.

Back in April, the South Bay resident brought her 2010 Ford Focus to a local Maaco shop, to get it painted her favorite color, red. But not just any red. Quaglia said she wanted a bright shade, “like a fire engine red.”

So, Quaglia picked out a shade called “New Red,” which seemed promising.

“My heart jumped when I saw it,” Quaglia told ConsumerWatch. “I thought ‘oh, great. I finally have the true red car I want.”

That is, until she saw how it turned out. Quaglia said after the $500 paint job, her car looked more orange than red.

“I was shocked,” she recalled. And she blames a shop employee for not steering her towards a truer red.

“He should know what colors look like on cars. He should have helped me pick out the color,” Quaglia said. “My manicurist helps me pick out the color.”

But, as Quaglia found out, there’s a huge difference between a fingernail and a car. For one thing, the Maaco contract Quaglia signed says the shop is “not responsible for the outcome… of a color change.” And the owner of the Maaco franchise told ConsumerWatch the shop purposely doesn’t get involved in color selection, because customers know best what color they want.

“Color is very powerful thing,” according to San Francisco-based color consultant Yefim Skamoroffski. He said small paint samples can be misleading, because they offer such a limited view.

“You want to get the biggest sample you can possibly get,” Skamoroffski advises.

“The bigger the sample, the easier it’s going to be to visualize it,” he said. And many places that sell paint do provide large samples known as a “brush out,” or “spray out,” just for that reason. Skamoroffski said it’s also critical to view any color you’re considering in the light it’s going to be seen in.

For now, Quaglia’s hoping for rain. “In the shade, on cloudy days, it looks red.”

After ConsumerWatch contacted the owner of the shop, he offered to repaint Quaglia’s car for free – something, he’s not obligated to do. But he says he wants Quaglia to be happy. She’s now in the process of selecting a brighter shade of red.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)




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