My Honest Review of Samplize Peel and Stick Paint Samples

It felt like as soon as I began to even think about repainting my main living area, Samplize’s ads were targeting me online. Still deep in the pandemic and not wanting to go anywhere beyond the grocery store, it made sense to try it out. 

My Samplize Experience

For the uninitiated, If you’re undecided on a paint color, Samplize can help you narrow in on the right color for your space.  Samplize sends you hand-painted, peel-and-stick paint samples directly to your home. Just peel the backing off of the sample and stick it to your wall. Bam! Now you’re able to make a smart paint color decision. Well, that’s the idea, at least.

There are legit perks that can’t be ignored:

  • Quick delivery
  • Accurate paint colors
  • Reusable and repositionable
  • No mess of dealing with actual paint
  • Samplize stickers are cheaper than BM and SW paint pots
  • Free shipping for orders over $15 (about three samples worth)

But what is it actually like? Read on for both the good and bad details.

Purchasing Online

At the time, my paint company options were limited to Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Farrow and Ball. I nixed Farrow and Ball because it’s not available where I live. Plus, it was before F&B started shipping paint directly. Since my purchase, Samplize has included another paint manufacturer, PPG paint.

I would LOVE to tell you that I quickly selected a few paint colors and added them to my cart without a second thought. 

Here’s what really happened: My overthinking went into hyperdrive. I pondered and Googled and overanalyzed, and more than a day later, I made an experimental decision. Between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams’ paint lines, I picked five paint samples: 

I also scored $5 off my purchase with an offer on their Samplize’s home page (scroll all the way down and enter your email address)! All in, I spent $24.75 on my Samplize order.

Home Delivery 

The samples came quick – only a few days –  from Samplize’s headquarters in Tennessee (I live in New York State). 

While their quick arrival was exciting, their first impression wasn’t.

The paper envelope they came in was bent and beat up. Opening the package up, the samples themselves were mainly okay. However, they weren’t the perfect 12”x12” squares that you see on Pinterest. They looked haphazardly cut with a home paper cutter. And the protective top layer of parchment wasn’t lined up on the samples themselves. It almost looked like some of them had been used before or maybe returned from another customer.

Peel and Stickability

Is stickability a real word? Let’s just agree that it is and move on.

Check out those tricky air bubbles

It was tricky sticking them to the wall without getting air bubbles—lots of pulling up the corner and smoothing down. And getting them to line up with each other was a challenge. I found the sloppiness to be a personal distraction, but to be fair, they don’t need to be lined up. 

But after some finagling, I finally got them positioned so they looked somewhat straight. 

As promised, when I narrowed the selection down, I was able to peel them off and reapply them on different walls that catch the light differently throughout the day.

Where Samplize Falls Short

So now all I have to do is step back and figure out which one was the right color, right? Wrong. After I put the samples up, I’d stare at them at different times of the day. And none of them looked right. I felt I needed more choices. So, inspired by famed white paint designer Shea McGee, I bought actual Benjamin Moore paint pots of Simply White and Swiss Coffee at 75% strength and painted cardstock I had on hand. 

Lots of paint sample options: swatches, painted cardstock, and Samplize Peel and Stick

Motivated to just MAKE A FREAKIN DECISION, I choose Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It’s super popular, and it looked good on the samples. 

I’ll skip the drama for another post and just let you know my decision was wrong. So wrong. 

Samplize’s Sample Is Too Small

A 12” x 12” sample is just not big enough to get a good idea of how a color will look on an entire room’s wall—even stepping back and imagining how the whole room will look. You just can’t get an accurate idea with a little swatch.

The best success I’ve had choosing paint colors is painting BIG sturdy foam board from Michaels. At least 2’ x 3” foam board, and painted to the edges so no white or black shows. Move the foam board around your room to see the sample in different areas and different lighting throughout the day. 

Simply said: A foam board is the best in-person tool you can get to figuring out the best paint color selection.

Unable To Compare To Hard Fixtures

The lack of comparison is something I wasn’t able to discover until I tried the foam board. Here’s why: when you stick the samplize sticker to the middle of the wall, there’s nothing to immediately nearby to compare it to.

When you stare at the Samplize sticker, there’s no comparison of how it will look with your flooring, fireplace, tile, cabinets, or stairs. Those existing fixtures that aren’t going anywhere in your soon-to-be-painted room aren’t able to have any say in the color decision. But, I promise you, once you paint your entire wall, the comparisons to your hard fixtures will be hard to ignore.

This is where I went wrong with Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. My tile flooring has purpley-taupe undertones. I didn’t see those undertones compared to the yellow undertones of Simply White. However, once I painted the room, holy moly, the mismatch was unmistakable. The wall and the floor colors clashed terribly.

Samplize Left My Wall Damaged

I may have left the Samplize stickers on too long because they took some of the existing paint off of my wall when I removed them.

 From Samplize’s FAQ page:

We use a low tack, water-based adhesive that is specifically designed for interior wall surfaces. The decal is easily removed without any damage. However, if the wall has been recently painted and not allowed the time to properly cure, damage is possible. A general rule of thumb is that if masking tape won’t damage the wall, the decal won’t either.

My existing paint, by the way, was on the wall for five years. Either way, lesson learned: be careful sticking anything to your walls. 

Let’s Recap

While Samplize delivers on the promise of accurate paint samples, the peel and stick concept falls short on actually helping you find the best paint color for your space. You’re better off making a paint color decision the old school way: Buying a paint sample and painting on a foam board.

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2 Comments

  1. I didn’t even know these existed. Thanks for sharing your review.

  2. We’ve just moved and needed to do some upgrades. I also started seeing the Samplize ads everywhere and was wondering if these samples could be a better option than sample paint pots. Thank you for sharing this review and for the tip about using foam board!

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