Computer Testing Of Fabric Colors Before You Reupholster

by John Werry on April 28, 2008

To respond to Woodright’s comments on a recent post I tested out my theory that computer software for simulation of room colors could be applied to testing colors on furniture before upholstering. I used a tool I purchased in 2004 from Benjamin Moore, by ei Software to mock up the sofa that is being sold at the Flomaton auction.

The tool allows you to define several color areas. For demonstration purposes, I chose to keep the back a separate color from the seat so that you can see the versatility. The process requires defining the shape of the area that you want to color. You draw the area with your mouse and create a closed area that is capable of being filled with color by the software. Once all your color areas are created, you can choose a different color for each area.  The opaqueness setting (Paint Thickness) allows you to let some of the natural fabric texture show through the paint to let the creases, buttons and tufting show through and add to the realness of the simulation.

The drawback of the tool is that it is made to represent actual paint colors from Benjamin Moore. Obviously you’re not going to paint the furniture, but it allows you to select approximate hues from which you can narrow down the families of colors to match up with upholstery samples.

The tool is still in existence and can either be sampled online for free, or the professional version is available here for $10. You cannot upload your own [furniture/room] images with the free version.

Here’s the before:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

woodwright April 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Thanks Rare for the reply and the sample color mock up. It blurred the original picture a bit, but it is still helpful to see the effect of different colors. It would also be very helpful for it’s intended purpose – to see the effect of different colors on your home’s interior or exterior. Nice that you can use your own photo to play with (not just a stock template photo like the free version on the website). How can you go wrong for $10.00 (the price of about 2 1/2 gallons of gas) seems like a bargain to me, to have the ability to preview a color before going to the expense and work of painting (or upholstering). I’ll have to pick up a copy – I see it’s available in CD or download form. I still wonder though if there is something out there/ available to show/ mock up pictures or scans of fabrics with patterns or buttoning, etc. woodwright


RareVictorian April 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm

woodwright, I have an email into Nevin at Flomaton to see what they used for the set of pictures with the 1/2 upholstery. Will pass on any info I get.


RareVictorian May 1, 2008 at 9:08 am

Found this tutorial for using Photoshop to “reupholster” a couch. For those who have and know Photoshop:


RareVictorian May 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm

More good info thanks to Flomaton here


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