Have you heard of Colorcharts.org: An online database of manufacturer's standard colors? It has swatches of all your favorite paint makers, including Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Martha Stewart. It's a great tool to use to match colors if you don't have specific stores near you. For instance, if you don't have a Restoration Hardware near you, but love their color Silver Sage, just type in "Silver Sage" and their color formula will appear. Click on the link and you can match it with another manufacturer's paint. Of course, you could always ask your paint store if they have the formula for another manufacturer's color, but this helps you visualize the paint before it's on the wall.
Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware:
Benjamin Moore's Gray Wisp CC-670 by 95%:
Sherwin William's 6191 Contented by 85.8%:
Looking at these two samples, you can clearly see that BM's Gray Wisp matches the best...but I also think that Contented would look great too once it's on the wall (maybe just a bit more blue). I definitely think these would look lovely together in a home. I am thinking that Silver Sage or Gray Wisp will be our future dining room color, with a paint treatment, and board and baton, while Contented may be our new half bath color...still lots to think about and decisions to make.
I also used it to match paint online. For instance, in a recent post about my favorite painted furniture line from Somerset Bay here, I wanted to match their Cotton Candy finish/paint for an end table makeover. I didn't have a sample of their paint, so I split my computer screen into two viewing windows and looked at their paint sample, next to Colorchart's paint sample.
Lake Country by Valspar
When I found what looked to be a match on the screen, I thought it would be a decent match in real life. I thought Lake Country by Valspar looked like a pretty good match.
My table (Goodwill for $5)
Somerset Bay's End Table (price unknown, but pretty sure it's expensive)
Okay, I know it's not a perfect match...and I do realize Cotton Candy is a bit more green, but we aren't shooting for perfect here, and it's perfect enough for me!