Timber shutters...colour matching advice. When is white, white?

Dilemma…and some input would be appreciated.

I was looking forward to the installation of timber window shutters in my house. I went with a more expensive quote, with a 25yo company, as they offered (and suggested) colour matching with Dulux Natural White paint colour. This entire process is not a cheap venture, leaving little change out of $10,000.

First fit…and I wasn’t happy with the colour. I had spent hours and hours repainting my window frames in Dulux Natural White, as obtained from the Dulux centre. The boss agreed straight away and they dutifully removed all the shutters to repaint. I showed them the cans of paint, they took photos of formula and I offered a sample…which they declined.

Refit today…and the colour is still not a match. We’re comparing whites with whites, but for the money, I expect a seamless finish with the colours…or am I expecting too much? These shutters have a cream tinge.

I rang Dulux direct and asked them about their “recipes” which have stayed constant for this colour since 2000.
I’ve found the whole process exhausting, stressful…I’ve yet to contact the shutter company again…and I haven’t paid the final 20% (having paid 80%).

So my question is…am I expecting too much, when on my quote they list the colour as “Natural White” (having discussed it and pointed to it in the Dulux brochure…so there was no confusion there) and they are a slightly creamier. Is it too much to expect them to be the same?? Maybe my vision doesn’t equal reality?

Any opinions/input would be appreciated. I’ve tried to overlook it, but I find when I sit down, I’m just staring at the colour difference, and I’m not getting my $10,000 worth of enjoyment!

I might add, the company has been very good, and professional to deal with…so far, but I’m worried I might be turning into one of “those” customers!



How long ago did you paint the windows?..white paint does change colour over time due to UV and light exposure.

Do you know that your original window paint was mixed properly to ‘Natural White’…did you check with a colour card (large ones not the ones in a brochure) for example as it could be your paint that is different to natural white. Also check the shutters as they might be natural white whereby your windows may be not.

Thirdly, did they use the same paint supplier/same batch if possible as base white can change from manufacturer to manufacturer…meaning the final tints can be slightly different.

If the shutters are natural white (and are very close to a large colour card colour), then they could argue that they have met the contract as they have supplied fhe shutters coloured as natural white as specified in the contract.


When you painted your window frames did you use a prep paint like Taubmans 3 in 1 before you top coated the window frames ? This paint seals, primes and undercoats previous layers of paints whether they be oil based or acrylic.

Oil based will always change the hue of any paint layered over it just in case the original coats were oil based unless you use a multi prime paint… I had the same problem as you and used the Taubmans and it alleviated it. I’m sure Dulux , Haymes and others make a multi prime paint . Hope this helps you .


Thanks for your reply…

I purchsed Natural White from two different outlets…both the Dulux shop and Bunnings…identical colour each time.

The painting is only recent (started about 6 weeks ago) and is ongoing!

I would hope the shutter company didn’t match to a colour card/brochure, as most of them have a disclaimer on them, claiming that due to the printing process, the colour may not be the true colour (as does the Dulux brochure).

The other difference can be the surface finish prepainting/underlying material.

If something is very smooth, like very smooth metal and something is textured (like wood or concrete), the final paint finish can be affected the smoothness of the underlying material. The reflected light in both situations would be different and could impact on colour perception.

Likewise the method of paint application…roller v brush v spray. Each has a different finish texture which can affect colour perception.

Also, have you asked another party (e.g. neighbour) to have a look what they think? Such may give you a better idea if there is a problem through someone else’s eyes.


That’s on the list for tomorrow…getting a neighbour’s perspective. It’s always disappointing though, when you are quite specific at ordering and have a vision of the final outcome and it doesn’t turn out that way. And then you add in your hours and hours of sanding, painting, sanding…more painting…for nothing!

Doesn’t help when companies enthusiastically instil confidence with their suggestions of colour matching. My expectations were maybe too high as a result of their sales pitch!

If I’d heard…“we might be able to sort of, almost match the same white, but no guarantees” I may have been more cautious and asked more questions or gone elsewhere.

@Suzique, you’ve already received some excellent advice here that I won’t repeat. I wanted to let you know, you do have rights under the Australian Consumer Law and the product should be delivered as promised. With that said, it’s hard to know how much difference we are talking about without a photo, so that may come into play - the tradespeople may argue that it does match to reasonable degree or something along those lines.


@BrendanMays, yes, it’s interesting when a specific paint colour is quoted…and is near enough good enough, especially when talking about so many different shades of whites you can obtain? If you can’t get the specific colour, then why state that you can, without a caveat.
Unfortunately, the boss gave me his personal assurance he would deal with it himself and make sure it was done properly…so my expectations were high, thus disappointment was higher!
I have since spoken with Dulux about their specific colours and they have been helpful and supportive. They claim the company should be able to match it and Dulux have asked to find out more details about the paint they actually used.


It really sounds like you’re unhappy with it, and seeing as though you have paid for the service and that the promise has been made, don’t be afraid to follow up. As has been suggested, maybe a few second will also help make the decision. I would be interested to hear how you go, so please feel free to keep us informed.