Best way to match paint?

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z91
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Best way to match paint?

Post by z91 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:27 am

A while back I had some windows installed and they messed up a piece of sheetrock. They patched it up but I had no idea what color was used to paint it as I bought the place like this. I took a broken piece, cleaned it up and got the paint matched at a hardware store. It looked good there and they even painted it on my sample, put the heat gun on it to dry and it looked like a perfect match.

I painted it at home and it was slightly too dark. The sample was probably fine since it was so small, but when painting a wall it's easy to see the difference.

I just got another wall that needs to get painted (had some closets taken out). Now I'm wondering what to do as this will also not match if I get the same color again.

I grabbed a bunch of sample paint chips from the 3 paint shops in the area and a few of them come close but none match perfectly..

What should I do? The area that needs paint overlaps 3 walls (1 full, 10% on the other two).

I checked the outlet covers and no sign of paint codes anywhere.

msk
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by msk » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 am

Old paint is almost impossible to match, even if you have the color code. Just paint each wall that needs repair edge to edge and it should look great. That's the reason why you get full panels repainted at the repair shop when your car is dented. You need an existing edge to demarcate where the new paint has gone.

RetiredArtist
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by RetiredArtist » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:05 am

I assume you looked in garage/basement, to see if previous owner left any original paint. With the same paint, to touch up a small area, you could feather out the edges with a chip brush.
Besides the color formula, you need to know what base to use. The base will determine the sheen (matte, eggshell, etc) The same color formula will vary a bit from base to base, and from supplier to supplier. A new gallon the same base from the same store can vary- paint gets reformulated all the time.
This is why msk said to paint the entire wall.

Trism
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Trism » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:28 am

msk wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 am
Old paint is almost impossible to match, even if you have the color code. Just paint each wall that needs repair edge to edge and it should look great. That's the reason why you get full panels repainted at the repair shop when your car is dented. You need an existing edge to demarcate where the new paint has gone.
+1

If the wall in question is a focal wall you might also consider deliberately painting it the "same color" but a few shades darker (or even a different - tasteful - color entirely).

We had a designer help us choose interior paint for our home, and a couple of rooms are a lot more appealing after applying this simple visual enhancement.

[Done poorly it looks atrocious]
Last edited by Trism on Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

wilked
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by wilked » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:30 am

msk wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 am
Old paint is almost impossible to match, even if you have the color code. Just paint each wall that needs repair edge to edge and it should look great. That's the reason why you get full panels repainted at the repair shop when your car is dented. You need an existing edge to demarcate where the new paint has gone.
Exactly. You'll spend more time back and forth to the paint shop then you'll spend painting. A wall can go pretty quickly if you've got a little experience with painting, and it's rare that there's a wall that wouldn't benefit from a fresh coat!

stan1
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by stan1 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:34 am

With something like removing a closet I'd recommend repainting the entire room.

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Watty
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Watty » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:44 am

msk wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 am
Old paint is almost impossible to match, even if you have the color code. Just paint each wall that needs repair edge to edge and it should look great. That's the reason why you get full panels repainted at the repair shop when your car is dented. You need an existing edge to demarcate where the new paint has gone.
+1

Even if you still have leftover original paint that the room was painted with you will be able to see the difference because the original paint may be slightly faded or you may be using a roller with a slightly different texture.

JoeRetire
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:45 am

z91 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:27 am
A while back I had some windows installed and they messed up a piece of sheetrock. They patched it up but I had no idea what color was used to paint it as I bought the place like this. I took a broken piece, cleaned it up and got the paint matched at a hardware store. It looked good there and they even painted it on my sample, put the heat gun on it to dry and it looked like a perfect match.

I painted it at home and it was slightly too dark. The sample was probably fine since it was so small, but when painting a wall it's easy to see the difference.

I just got another wall that needs to get painted (had some closets taken out). Now I'm wondering what to do as this will also not match if I get the same color again.

I grabbed a bunch of sample paint chips from the 3 paint shops in the area and a few of them come close but none match perfectly..

What should I do? The area that needs paint overlaps 3 walls (1 full, 10% on the other two).
New paint is unlikely to ever match old, faded paint - even if it were exactly the same original color. Just this week I removed a wallpaper border exposing a strip of original paint that no longer matches the rest of the wall where the paint had faded over the years.

Since you have 3 walls that need paint your best bet is to simply paint all 4 walls. If you really want to minimize your cost, then just paint the 3 walls (although that seems silly).

Housedoc
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Housedoc » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:47 am

Each paint mixing machine is slightly different. You would have to know the exact store the paint was mixed at to get 100 pct match. Repaint at least the wall.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:59 am

The suggestions of re-painting the wall corner-to-corner or the entire room are good ones.

Paint can be closely matched but not nearly as accurately as paint retailers would have you believe. Most use computer matching which sounds precise but is not. The computer will get the color close but it will never match it exactly.

A professional paint store catering to painting contractors (like Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Dunn Edwards, etc.) usually has a person who can start with the computer match and then fine-tune it by eye, however it will likely still be noticeable once it's up against the existing paint. Even if the color match is nearly perfect the sheen may be a bit off.

Once you paint to a corner the difference in light and shadows typically make any slight differences unnoticeable so this is usually the minimum necessary especially if you're particular about the wall's appearance.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Smorgasbord » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:11 am

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:59 am
Even if the color match is nearly perfect the sheen may be a bit off.
This is so true. At my new house the walls in the living room had a few places that needed to be patched, and after two trips the home improvement store I got the color spot on, but the gloss level was off. By mixing two paints with the same color, but different levels of gloss you can get even closer to the right level of sheen. In the end, it probably would have taken the same amount of time just to repaint the walls than to try and color match, but it was a fun challenge.

barnaclebob
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:50 am

I've had a few really good matches from Sherwin Williams when bringing in a sample from the wall to be painted. The color has almost always been a dead match but sometimes the sheen is a little off. Like someone else said I think they put in a little less color than computer indicates then add a little more by eye to get a better match. The service in general is also really great at my local Sherwin Williams vs having to stand around at the paint counter of a big box store for 10 minutes before someone finally shows up and then they just scan the sample with a gun.

On my last match from SW, the only way to tell that patches were painted is to get to about a 5 degree angle with light reflecting in the right way to see a slight difference in sheen, the color itself was dead on. The wall had been painted before trim was installed so we cut a chunk of the drywall behind the trim for a match. A couple months later we needed to paint the basement that same color so just went back had them make the same color paint one notch towards matte in sheen and it is now we have a perfect match for the upstairs room. Who knows what fading could do for the future though.

Another time with our bathroom we did have to repaint whole walls because like the above example, the color was exact but the sheen was too noticeable of a difference without the whole thing painted.

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Kenkat
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:11 pm

Good information above on matching not only the color, but the sheen, etc. Almost impossible. Painting an entire wall is a good option, but one other thing I have had some success with is to “feather” the new paint into the old paint. Start with a mostly dry brush and put a partial / light coat onto the old paint radiating out from the new paint such that the new paint covers only part of the old paint. Do this progressively outward until you stop at a point. The idea here is that what makes the difference visible is the hard line between old and new. Sometimes you can blend that a bit and then the color difference is not noticeable. If you effort fails, then just paint the whole wall! :D

RetiredArtist
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by RetiredArtist » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:29 pm

PS- It will be faster to paint entire walls. Multiple trips to the paint store are time consuming.

JohnF
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by JohnF » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:01 pm

I’ve found even knowing the code new paint often does not match because the supplier has changed the base formulation.

Topic Author
z91
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by z91 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:54 pm

Thanks all.

The paint was done two years ago so aging hopefully isn't an issue there. No old cans of paint lying anywhere.

Given how difficult it is to get matching paint without any reference, I'm just going to paint the whole room using the closest chip match I can find. Bonus if it matches, and if it doesn't, no big deal as the whole room will match shortly ;)

Shallowpockets
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Just go to Lowes and have them match the paint in the computer. No brainer. Take a sample from the actual wall for a match. You need a piece about the size of a quarter. It will match the paint as is. If the paint faded over time, no matter because it matches what it sees now. The you can have them match that color in a small can for a few dollars and try it out.
You can buy the base paint in different sheens, flat, glossy, semi glossy, etc. All the base paint is white. The computer does all the mixing.

RetiredArtist
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by RetiredArtist » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:08 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm
Just go to Lowes and have them match the paint in the computer. No brainer. Take a sample from the actual wall for a match. You need a piece about the size of a quarter. It will match the paint as is. If the paint faded over time, no matter because it matches what it sees now. The you can have them match that color in a small can for a few dollars and try it out.
You can buy the base paint in different sheens, flat, glossy, semi glossy, etc. All the base paint is white. The computer does all the mixing.
House paint base variables--
1. How pale/deep is your color--pastel base (for whites, this base has a lot of white pigment) mid-tone base (some white pigment), deep-tone base (no white pigment--deep colors are somewhat transparent)
2. sheen (matte to gloss)
3. interior or exterior?
4. cost--cheap (often called "contractor's grade"--this won't cover as well) to expensive ("designer paint", no VOCs)
5. water base, water borne, oil or other base? (how to thin, how to clean up?)
Sorry if TMI, it is rare that a question bumps into my area of knowledge

texasdiver
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:18 pm

Seriously. With as much time as you'll spend messing around with techniques to get a pefect match you can have the whole wall painted. Then you will never notice any slight differences.

staythecourse
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by staythecourse » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:37 pm

Agree with above. It may not be an issue of the paint being a good match or not with the old paint. Paint sitting on the wall is exposed to the environment. The dust, dirt, oil, hand prints, fading from sunlight, etc.. can all affect the final paint color after some time.

Figure out if you can either repaint the whole wall/ room or change that one wall color to something different. Two colors that are "too close" is worse to the eye then colors that are meant to be totally different (darker or lighter shad on the same card or completely different color as an accent wall).

Good luck.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:13 pm

We recently had to patch some hole in the wall, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sherwin-Williams did NOT have them, but at one store they told me where to buy it. It’s best to call the builder for the exact type of paint. Luckily our house is new and the builder is still here, otherwise you might have to paint to the edge.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
z91
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by z91 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:59 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm
Just go to Lowes and have them match the paint in the computer. No brainer. Take a sample from the actual wall for a match. You need a piece about the size of a quarter. It will match the paint as is. If the paint faded over time, no matter because it matches what it sees now. The you can have them match that color in a small can for a few dollars and try it out.
You can buy the base paint in different sheens, flat, glossy, semi glossy, etc. All the base paint is white. The computer does all the mixing.
If it were that easy I wouldn't have posted this thread (it's not). I posted already that I tried getting a hardware store to match it, in the first paragraph.

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Kenkat
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Re: Best way to match paint?

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:11 pm

z91 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:59 pm
Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm
Just go to Lowes and have them match the paint in the computer. No brainer. Take a sample from the actual wall for a match. You need a piece about the size of a quarter. It will match the paint as is. If the paint faded over time, no matter because it matches what it sees now. The you can have them match that color in a small can for a few dollars and try it out.
You can buy the base paint in different sheens, flat, glossy, semi glossy, etc. All the base paint is white. The computer does all the mixing.
If it were that easy I wouldn't have posted this thread (it's not). I posted already that I tried getting a hardware store to match it, in the first paragraph.
You are right, it’s not. We once even tried the same exact color in the same exact base from Sherwin-Williams. Matched great - until the light hit it in a certain way. We ended up repainting the entire hallway with the new paint.

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