How to Match Old Paint Colors

This time of year offers a great opportunity to take care of all those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. One project you may have been meaning to tackle is touching up your wall’s coat of paint. Years of wear and tear can lead to any number scuffs, scrapes or holes left on your walls. However, sometimes we don’t know the exact color or brand of the old paint. How do you match a new can to what’s already on your walls?

Bring in an Accurate Sample

A big mistake many folks make when trying to match their current paint colors is taking a picture with their cell phone and bringing it into the store. Unfortunately, photos don’t always capture the exact color of the real thing. Shadows, angles and your camera’s flash can all lead to an inaccurate depiction of your paint color.

The most tried and true way to bring in an accurate sample is to actually scrape some of the paint off the walls. The best way to do this is with a utility knife. Cut a small piece out of your wall from an inconspicuous area. You can patch and repaint this after you’ve found the right color.  

Applying New Paint to Old Walls

If you’re worried about finding the exact match, ask for a small sample to try out at home. Keep in mind, your wall color may have faded over time, so apply the sample to another inconspicuous spot. This might be more important if you plan on painting a larger surface rather just touching up a few spots here and there.

Another trick you can try is requesting a shade that’s slightly darker than your sample. See how it dries, and if it’s still not right, try adding a little white paint (from the same brand) to lighten it up. This might be a trial and error process, but it could save you multiple trips to the store. If you just can’t seem to get it right, paint a swatch of the new color on a piece of paper and bring it along with the original sample to your paint store. This may help you find the right hue. Finally, it’s best to use a small roller to apply your new paint. It will look more natural than a brush.

Visit Ace Paints for All Your Touch-Up Needs

Whether you just want to hit a few spots on the wall, or you’re looking to redo the entire room, Ace Paints and Unfinished Furniture has the paint and other supplies you need. On top of that, we have a staff of experts ready to assist you in finding the perfect color and brand. Visit one of our two South Hills locations or shop online!

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