Paint shopping gets a modern makeover

Home decorating can be a hassle, with seemingly endless options to choose from and high costs that don’t fit Millennials’ budget or lifestyle as a characteristically nomadic cohort. Yet, new brands are emerging that better meet their needs, making it easier to buy everything from furniture to home décor to paint, while also reflecting their values of sustainability and transparency.


Startup Backdrop removes the pain points of shopping for paint, including the need to visit a hardware store, choose from hundreds of colors, and get color cards and paint samples. The one-stop online shop streamlines this process, offering 50 curated colors to ease one’s decision-making. After choosing potential options, shoppers are given adhesive color cards that they can stick on their wall, eliminating the cost for sample pots and excess mess. Backdrop also sells an Essentials Kit, including brushes, rollers, tape, and other supplies one needs to use its high quality, Greenwise-certified paint.


While Millennials aren’t buying homes at the same rate as their predecessors, they take much pride in decorating their space, even if it’s temporary. Paint startup Clare makes it easier and more affordable to do so. Shoppers can turn to the Clare Color Genius to get personalized recommendations on what shade will look best in their space; the size of the room, how much natural light it gets, and the primary direction of the light source, for instance, helps Clare’s algorithm choose three colors from its 55 offerings. Shoppers then get sticker samples and can purchase low-chemical paint and materials to have shipped to their door.


This past summer, paint company Behr created a pop-up in NYC, reimagining the in-store experience of buying paint and celebrating Blueprint, the blue shade it named the 2019 Color of the Year. The space was set up as showroom, where visitors could buy gallons of paint and purchase other products in the featured hue made by New York artists. Through a partnership with Home Depot, visitors could buy paint and other items via iPads. They could also pose in front of colorful installations and paint the signature white bear in Behr’s logo.