Aalto sampling is available in various formats to assist selecting the right colour for your space

Discovering the Aalto Palette

Sampling plays a crucial role in selecting your perfect hue, and is often the first step in deciding a colour or scheme for your space.

Aalto colours are crafted in the same way an artist would, layering up to 10 pigments to create a depth of colour not found elsewhere. Beautiful individually but also collectively harmonious, with the repetition of pigments across different hues creating a golden thread to weave together a palette which may not conventionally sit together - Bernini, Detailed and Chevron are an example of this. For this reason, when it comes to colour we like to do things a little differently, colours aren’t grouped traditionally by neutrals, cools or warms. We are firm believers that colour evokes emotion, our emotional response to colour is individual and therefore spaces we create should make our hearts sing, so choose what makes you happy!

In saying this, finalising a colour scheme can be much easier when you look to sampling. Even the most confident of designers vary rarely paint straight on the walls. Why? The slightest shift in environment can change how a colour appears, especially multi-pigmented colour, what looks great in a studio or Aalto store will look very different in a central Auckland villa and different again in a space nestled within the southern alps.

So where to start?

There are various sampling options, but what's best for you?

Aalto Fandeck

An excellent starting point and great resource to give you an overview of the Aalto Master Palette. Housing the collection in one spot enables you to flick through identifying multiple potential options. 

Design tip: The fandeck is arranged in groupings of 3, each page designed to work as a standalone palette should you get stuck.

Brushouts (also called drawdowns)

Seldom can the fandeck alone satisfy colour curiosity, so the next step is getting your hands on a selection of A5 brushouts. These are screen-printed at Aalto HQ in Auckland, each brushout is made using Aalto low sheen paint to give you the truest representation of colour. Take these brushouts, pop them up in the space, look at them, check on them in the morning, the evening, move them around, observe how they shift across the day and with different light. Often a moment of clarity comes once the brushouts are hung, it becomes easy to disregard one or two colours, quickly refining your options.


While brushouts will often suffice for interior spaces, for exterior it’s always recommended to get a testpot. Often due to the scale of exterior spaces, shadowing created by architecture, the natural environment and direct lighting, colours can shift. Aalto testpots come in 250ml, the right size to paint comparable swatches on both the north and south sides.

Digital Downloads

Favoured by our industry friends but equally useful if you like creating digital moodboards. The key here is ensuring the colour settings on your PC are correct as not to distort the colour.

The best stop for sampling is aalto.co.nz which houses all sampling options, a simple select and add to cart will guarantee sampling at your doorstep within a couple of days. Both Aalto stores in Christchurch and Auckland house full sets of sampling along with our resellers. But if you need an expert eye, get in touch with us at design@aalto.co.nz and we can help with simple schemes or connect you with an interior designer.


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