Skip to main content
Colour lessonUnderstanding Undertones

Understanding Undertones Colour Wheel Now Available!

By 08/14/2019July 18th, 202090 Comments

Understanding Undertone Colour Wheel

**UPDATE: Due to popular demand, my Free Colour Wheels are SOLD OUT!**

If you didn’t snag one this time, stay tuned… I’ve got a little something up my sleeve for the next round. 

I am VERY EXCITED to announce that my Understanding Undertones colour wheel is finally available and READY TO SHIP.

While trying to match the colour wheel to one paint company, we learned that the printing process will NEVER be as accurate as a paint chip, so we came up with the best possible solution to still make it an amazing tool!

We will only be doing this for the first run, so get it TODAY, while supplies last!

Read all about how to use the wheel and customize it for you, using the paint company YOU prefer here.

And, I thought that this announcement was also a good time to answer this Ask Maria question that I recently received:

“Maria, I hear, read and see so many people talking about warm greys vs cool greys.  In your system, are they talking about green and violet grey as warm and blue grey as cool?  Or are they possibly mixing taupe from your system in there too?  I’m trying to figure out where warm grey and cool grey fit in your system?”

Yes you are absolutely right. In my System for Specifying Colour, blue is definitely ‘cooler’ than the green or violet greys.

When people talk about grey and they have no idea about undertones, they will often make vague statements like “I prefer warm greys over cool greys”, (then they cross their fingers and hope they don’t get any further questions).


“Stay away from cool greys, they will make your living room or bedroom feel sad”.

So here’s the thing. When you don’t know the steps you need to take in order to choose a colour for any given scenario, ie. A renovation, a new build or a decorating project, there are two obvious (but mostly wrong) ways you will choose colour (for anything, not just walls) instead:

Warmer or Cooler

You’ll have a bunch of paint samples up on the wall, and because you don’t know that your colour should actually relate to what is already there or what is coming, you’ll choose ‘The warmer one” because that just seems logical.

We all want to create a warm and inviting space right?

This is the same reason why taupe is such a popular neutral. It’s warmer than all the greys and cooler than all the beiges (above). However it is not grey.

Lighter or Darker

I have heard this statement many times in my career “We went with the lighter _____ because we thought it would make the space feel _____ with the darker one”.

That seems logical too right?

However, choosing colour like this will only give you the result you are looking for by accident.

For example, there’s nothing wrong with a cool blue grey, it depends on how the room is being decorated and most of all, if blue happens to be a colour that you like.

But if you chose a ‘grey’ without knowing the and didn’t realize it was in fact a ‘blue grey’ and you don’t like blue, and now your walls are blue, or your backsplash is blue, well you’re not going to be happy.

Real Home

The best way to learn how to choose the right neutral is to start with the right tools.

You may be surprised to learn that over and over again you will see one or several of these nine neutral colours in the majority of the hard and soft finishes available in the marketplace today. That’s why I’ve curated this list of neutrals and called them the most useful and most commonly seen neutral colours.

Once you use the colour wheel to identify the neutral or several neutrals in any given soft or hard finish, then, the way to find the perfect colour is to pull out the large samples in my system.

Whether you paint your own or purchase my large colour samples, you CANNOT navigate the minutia of the right neutral vs. the ‘close but not quite’ neutral without them. My large colour samples will include TWO FREE NEUTRAL COLOUR WHEELS.

Read all about how to use the wheel and customize it for you, using the paint company YOU prefer here.

Questions? Please post them below! I’m so excited to get this amazing tool in your hands, I can’t think of a better way to get this system out into the world!

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Get your FREE Understanding Undertones colour wheel TODAY (just pay shipping and handling). While supplies last!

Order it here.

PLEASE NOTE: This FREE offer is available for individual subscribers ONLY. Please contact our office for bulk orders.

CANADIANS and INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: These colour wheels were manufactured in America and will ship out of America. That means if you live outside of the US, you will still be paying American funds to have it shipped to you.  If you’re wondering why it’s being shipped out of America, it would cost too much money to import them back into Canada and ship again at Canadian rates. That’s the SHIPPING part. They are being shipping (with tracking, NOT general mail) out of a fulfillment house. This means, someone other than our office is physically picking up the wheel and labeling an envelope and sending it to you. That’s called HANDLING.

11 pins


  • Carolyn says:

    I just tried to order and the amount keeps coming zero not $19.99

    • Maria Killam says:

      Because both of them are free. You’re just paying for shipping and handling which will vary depending on where you live 🙂

  • Kendal says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you so much for this amazing and generous offer…I’ve been excited about this product since its first incarnation and congratulate you and your team for making it work!
    All the best,

  • Jill Laine says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    The cost is $0! You just pay shipping charges.:)

  • Becky says:

    Hooray! Thanks! I’m looking forward to finally seeing these!

  • Norma Fournier says:

    I don’t see how to order the color wheels. Where/how do we let you know we want it and pay our shipping and handling? Thanks! Norma

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Norma, there are two links on the page, check the bottom of the page or go to Or go to the shop page, it’s there too! Maria

  • irene says:

    Great Job Maria


  • Amy Sumner says:

    Maria, thank you for this AMAZING opportunity to get these wheels. You are beyond generous.

    Carolyn, the wheels are free and will be $0.00 in the cart. You only pay for shipping. Mine was $9.95. So incredible…

  • Roberta says:


  • Joanne Wagoner says:

    Is your ordering process having a problem? I input 2 different credit cards and they both came back invalid. I know they are correct. You may want to check this out.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Maybe there are too many orders happening at the same time? Sorry you’re having trouble, just try a little later? If not, email our customer service department at [email protected]. Thanks!

  • Kat says:

    My thoughts exactly – Huge thanks to Maria! I work with homeowners primarily specifying Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambert colours. This will help immensely in showing clients undertones.

  • Virleen says:

    My first go around, I was not successful, but I retraced my steps and arrived at checkout. Success, and thanks in advance. What a fun surprise to greet me today.

  • Glenda says:

    Ordered! I’m so excited. Thank you Maria and Co!

  • Kay says:

    Maria, I’m so excited! How long have I been waiting for this since you published your first stab at it—two years? I have already ordered and can hardly wait to receive them!

  • Liz in Oregon says:

    All set. Thanks so much Maria!

    For those ordering, you have to “calculate shipping charge” to get it to show up in your order. For example shipping to me in Oregon is $9.95. Then proceed with address and payment info.

  • Beverly White says:

    While I’ve ordered items in the past with no problem, including 2 sets of colour boards, this time I’m being asked for a password (that I don’t have), and when I try to register as a new customer, it says my credit card number is invalid. My goodness, I’m frustrated.

  • Gilda says:

    why do you give two instead of only one?

    • Maria Killam says:

      The cost was the same to ship one or two colour wheels so I decided to give TWO FREE WHEELS for the single cost of shipping just one! Hooray, happy days are here!

  • Sue says:

    Thanks, Maria! I have just ordered and am very excited to receive the colour wheel for future home renos! Your system is the easiest to understand – simply the best!

  • paula ryan says:

    I”m so excited these are finally ready!!!

  • Shara says:

    As someone who may never be able to attend one of your classes, I am so excited about this! THANK YOU.

  • Linda says:

    Thank you! I am so over the moon to receive this and try it. I have read your blog for a number of years and love your blog. I am giddy with excitement to receive this!

  • Alice Velthuizen says:

    Thank you, Maria!

  • I’m so happy to take advantage of your very generous offer, but the process was sure confusing. In the end, I’m still not sure if I”m getting one colour wheel (neutral, as indicated) or both that were in the ‘free’ offer for only shipping costs ($15 in US funds?). Just confused, but hopefully in the end, I will get both. Can’t wait! Thank-you so much, Maria..

  • Norma Fournier says:


  • Lucy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Maria! I just ordered mine and am so anxious to receive it. I can’t wait to see all of the new instructions with color chips and how to use it in many other ways. What I have learned from you is priceless and I am so appreciative. Thank you for your generosity! xoxoL

  • Gery S. says:

    Thank your generosity Maria. Thank you also for your heart warming homeland travel stories. Now I understand the roots of your happy color palette.

  • nancy says:

    genius! just ordered my set. woot woot! how weird is it that this makes me giddy? and if that’s wrong I don’t want to be right! Thanks Maria!

  • Danusia says:

    Hello Maria,
    Thank you! Now how do I place my order for this generous offer?

    • Maria Killam says: is the URL for the landing page which you should read carefully and there are my links to the shop page there! Thanks, Maria

  • Summer says:

    I want to chime in with “thanks” too! What an exciting offer!

    I also wanted to ask a perhaps dense undertones question: Is it possible that a green grey paint colour would look good with a taupe paint colour? — I have painted my own large boards of Smokey Taupe, Pale Oak, Cedar Key and Edgecomb Gray. I have your book, and know that three of those are classified as taupes, and that EG is classified as green grey. Our current sofa is a very light linen colour, but definitely leans taupe (Smokey Taupe looks great with it and Edgecomb looks terrible; yellow and/or pink beiges are alright, but not as perfect as the taupe). BUT, when I hold up Smokey Taupe with Pale Oak, vs. Smokey Taupe with Edgecomb, I like the second combination better. I am wanting to have Smokey Taupe in my living room to relate to my sofa, and to transition to a lighter neutral for the kitchen which is visible from the living room. Is it possible that switching neutral undertones could actually work / be the right call? (I know the ideal thing is picking one colour that flows between both rooms, but I really want a light colour next to my white kitchen cabinets, and Pale Oak goes too pink in my living room (we get a lot of pink light in there reflecting off a neighbour’s brick).)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Maria Killam says:

      It’s hard to say without a photo but it sounds like it could work. They are both close in in appearance! Thanks for your note! Maria

  • martha schaub says:

    I wanted to order and couldn’t.

  • Is there a step by step on how to use this?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes it is on the landing page which is linked several times in this post: . . the URL is also on the colour wheel so when you receive it you can read it again! Thanks for your comment, Maria

  • Michelle Cook says:

    Maria – thank you so much for making the color wheel available and being so generous as to offer them for free! I used what I had learned from your site when we built our new home and am thrilled with how harmoniously the paint, flooring, and cabinetry work together. I was thinking a color wheel would make it so much easier when I shop for soft furnishings (I already carry the relevant paint cards in my purse).

  • Lynn Wilhelm says:

    Thank you for creating these! Ordered and only $9.95 shipping!

  • Tina says:

    I just ordered so hopefully it all works out . I just don’t understand why I’m paying US dollars for shipping within Canada.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Because the boards were manufactured in the US and being shipped from the US. We would have had to pay to import them into Canada and when you add the shipping from here it would have cost more to ship them from here. Maria

  • fivesisters says:

    The ultimate cheat sheet included with directions for using paint chips from our chosen paint company is very useful, Maria. I love that we will have something to take with us as we shop to more quickly and easily correctly identify the undertones of products. I am looking forward to seeing how others use the tool. When I asked about a travel/shopping set of your color boards I wanted something to take with me to stores and showrooms. This will be certainly be in my bag. Thank you, Maria. I’m glad you enthusiastically went for it with this project, and when it didn’t turn out as you wanted found a way to bless your followers with it. Thank you, Maria.

  • Claire says:

    Congratulations Maria!! So excited for you!! xo

  • Susan Dahlstrom says:

    Thank you Maria! Wonderful that you are offering this to your readership. I will tuck this in my purse when I go shopping and I know it will be a great resource when viewing pillows, rugs, flooring, accessories, wallpaper, furniture…endless list of uses!

  • etpatrick says:

    Thank you, thank you! 2 one for home and one for condo shopping. It silly how excited I am.

  • Summer says:

    Thank you! 🙂 It’s amazing to me how much time you take to answer readers’ questions, on top of all the other fabulous information you share for free on this blog. Really appreciate it!

    I just read the instructions on the colour wheel page, and can’t wait to receive mine! I think it will clarify quite a number of the questions I still had after reading your book… even just reading the instructions for the wheel really cemented a bunch of the things I had only vaguely understood.

    Another question: Will the list of neutrals to glue to the wheels be included with the wheels? And, sorry if I’m missing something you already clarified, but will we be able to make our wheel using paint colours all from one company (ie. all from Benjamin Moore), or will we need to grab samples from all the paint brands to complete the wheel?

    Thanks again!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Summer, Thanks for your comment, no the colour chips are NOT included with the wheel (the wheel would no longer be free if that was the case) grab them from your nearest paint store next time your’e out! Maria

  • Joshua says:

    Wow! This is so generous. Thanks!

    Not sure if I missed something, but will there be another round of wheels produced that are painted on, or is that too expensive to produce?

    Thanks for offering these either way!!!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Well I don’t have the buying power that paint companies have so that would make the colour wheel expensive however I have not crossed that bridge yet. Never say never! Thanks for your comment, Maria

  • Michelle says:

    Maria, thank you, thank you! I just ordered my colour wheels and am thrilled. I can’t wait to get my hands on them and do a little cutting and pasting with my paint chips. Huge THANKS for making this available for free, another reflection of your generous heart. You’ve earned and deserve every success you are experiencing. It’s good to see good things happen to good people.

  • Mary Austin says:

    Having difficulty ordering it! Maybe you’ve sold out? Every time I hit Add to Cart….it tells me the cart is empty. Feeling quite sad about this – or is it because I’m overseas?

    • Heather says:

      I had issues too (from Australia) in trying to log into my account, saying my IP blocked or when I tried to reset my password, my account didn’t exist, so I checked out as a guest and paid by Paypal with success

  • Heather says:

    Thank you Maria. I have placed my order and I can’t wait to receive it. I have a wall I have recently tried to paint by looking at the undertone of the other features but its not right (yet).
    Reading through the ‘how to’ I recognised that the step of placing the chips on the wheel might present me with some problems in Australia as we don’t have any of those paint brands you have listed. I have used a website in the past to try to convert international colours that you have suggested to local brands. Do you think this is an appropriate way to adapt your wheel to my local brands?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Heather, we have a very old Australian Dulux fan deck that we are trying to determine if it is current. If it is, we will add it to the list of paint colours on the landing page. Dulux Australia will not send me a fan deck or even respond to inquiries by my office. A reader sent me the fan deck I currently have many years ago. Stay tuned. Maria

      • Heather says:

        Thank you so much Maria! You are so kind. Even if its not current, I am sure it will help a lot.

  • Susan Brady says:

    Maria, Thank you so much for this generous offer. I’ve downloaded your Whites Are Complicated ebook and refer to it often and can’t wait to get my color wheels. I’m not a decorator but I have followed your journey forever. Thank you for allowing us “color experts” to learn your techniques. Most of all, I love following your travels, appreciate all your photos, watching all your white flowers bloom and your family grow! Thanks again.

  • Cynthia says:

    Thank you Maria for your generosity!! May it come back to you 10 fold?
    I appreciate this offer. Ordered! $15.95 US to Langley BC

  • Ponti says:

    Thanks so much! This will be hugely useful to take with me on the go! I’m so excited to receive mine!

  • Summer says:

    Oh yes, I understand that. I’m just wondering if the list comes with the wheels, and if there is a complete list that’s all Benjamin Moore OR if the list on the landing page is all there is (and we need to get chips from all the different brands).

    Thanks again!

    • Maria Killam says:

      The paint chips that go with the wheels are on the landing page, if you want a more comprehensive list, they are available in either of my ebooks which are also available on the shop page! Maria

  • Sandy says:

    Congratulations Maria and thank you for the wonderful offer ! Can’t wait to receive it and start using it.


  • Rebecca Linehan says:

    Yes I would like 2 free color wheels. I purchased the large paint squares when I attended your Tampa Florida class, a few years ago. How do I get them?
    Rebecca Linehan
    FFP Florida First Properties

  • Just ordered them! Thanks so much, Maria! I was showing someone a photo of your color wheel on my phone the other day to help explain what I was thinking- an actual physical one will be even better. 🙂 ~ Jill

  • Paula Taylor says:

    Thanks for providing such a wonderful resource!

  • Ellen Hughen says:

    Thanks a BILLION! You have given me a whole new way of looking at color and this tool will be much appreciated.

    Ellen H.

  • Susan Cohen says:

    Thank you so much for your generosity!

  • Connie Tan says:

    Hey Maria. A big THANK YOU for your generous offer. May your generosity return to you and Terreeia three-fold. My parcel is on the way and I can’t wait to open it! It will take a few days to reach Oz so the waiting is exquisite curiosity.

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank You!

  • Tammara says:

    Maria, Thank you for this generous offer, I have placed my order and look forward to using it in conjunction with the ebooks previously purchased. This will come in handy since I will be repainting the house.

  • Leslie Testa says:

    I would like to order a color wheel!

  • Kathy Roach says:

    I would love it if you’d also customize this by providing the colors for the Pratt & Lambert line of paints.

  • I look forward to receiving my color wheels . I prefer Benjamin Moore paints

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes you are welcome to customize your wheel however it works for you when you receive it. Maria

  • Tina says:

    Thanks Maria, I was just curious.

  • Justine says:

    I tried multiple times and am unable to check out. It takes forever to process and then there is a red line and exclamation point at the top of the page with no explanation. If they are “sold out” you should take the page down.

    • Maria Killam says:

      They are not sold out yet but we do have a glitch on the site (probably with the volume of orders) that my web guy is working on! email [email protected] if you have any more issues! x Maria

  • Ann says:

    Just received mine and it’s lovely, thank you!

    Would you mind posting a photo of where exactly you glue the paint chips from the store? Is it just around the edge on the front? Or also on the back? Nothing on the inner rings on the front? It’s so pretty that I don’t want to mess it up! 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      You can see the adjusted wheel with colour chips in both my IGTV video on Instagram and on the video at the top of the landing page. Just cut the colour chip so it fits the small area on the edge of the front AND definitely the back too because they are the darker ones. . . I’ll figure out where I can post another photo. Maria

  • Alisa says:


    I received my color wheel and have been gluing my color chips as instructed! I see you’ve removed the lighter colors from the reference chart. (I understand why you did this as it was a bit confusing.) I’m wondering if you have those lighter colors listed somewhere else as they are useful for determining undertone and I was going to glue them to the front of my color wheel. (BTW, BM Maritime White is so useful for pairing with the pink beige stone found in many older bathrooms around my area.)

    Thank you for this great tool!

  • Kim says:

    I received my color wheel and just got back from my local Benjamin Moore store. Thought it might be helpful for folks to know that the U.S. equivalent of Dark Taupe, CC-500 Ranchwood, is 985 Indian River. Thanks again for offering these wheels to us, Maria.

  • I just got my new color wheel which confirmed my assessment. I bought my townhouse so I can age in place. It was the model home, I didn’t get to pick out any of the finishes. I knew it was a mess, but I can’t use the stairs anymore and needed an accessible place. Downsizing, and finding new construction at a price I could afford (since my husband had recently died) was the main priority. Here’s the report: green-grey walls, gold beige wood floor, dark taupe subway tiles in kitchen with yellow-beige granite, and a faux stone fireplace surround with a mix of blue and violet grey! This is all in an open-concept living, dining, kitchen, entry area in northern light. My wood cabinets are Shaker style in a medium brown like the floor. Most of my traditional wood furniture is mahogany or dark Craftsman oak. I have a few painted pieces and a small French table in pecan. SO, I’m spending $7K to have the horrible mantel torn out and replaced with a classic, traditional white painted wood one!!! Everyone thinks I’m insane, but I hope you, Maria, will understand. There is just too much going on, too many undertones. I can’t find any wall color that works, but getting rid of the “rustic” greyish mantel will help a lot.

  • Mandi says:

    So I just ordered a free color wheel and paid for the color book download. We are doing a new build and the paint color they offer for interior I am leaning toward is Repose Gray. But I want to make sure I know the undertone before we go picking cabinet and floor colors. It seems to be a greige type color to me between violet gray and taupe. Which do you think it is? The other color they offer is Accesible Beige but I am not a yellow or warm color person usually so thinking that won’t work for us.
    And here’s to hoping my wheel gets here before my design appointment next week! Thanks for your blog, I am hoping it makes our new house look coordinated and polished.

  • Sarah Bell says:

    Would love to buy the neutral colour wheel but see it’s out of stock. Will it be restocked? I can’t afford to buy the larger paint/design packages where it comes as free.

Leave a Reply