In my 16 years in the industry, I’ve helped many customers solve problems similar to this one: “I’m not ready to paint my whole house. I just have a few walls that need touching up. My previous painter did not leave us any touch-up paint and I have no idea what paint he used. Can you just take a sample and match it for me?”
My answer usually sounds something like: “Of course I can! I know the match will be very close. But…I can’t guarantee that the paint I return with will exactly match your wall.”
There are too many variables to guarantee a perfect match in many cases. Sunlight fades color over time. The “gloss” paint from one company is comparable to the semi-gloss from another. The “flat” paint from some manufacturers actually has a sheen. Some darker colors can’t even be touched up the day after the original application. When you are trying to exactly match a painted surface without knowing the original product that was applied, it can be a bit like throwing darts in the dark.
“What can I do to to remedy this frustrating situation?”, you might ask. Here’s a suggestion- Choose the walls that are bugging you the most and paint them entirely with the matching paint. Have the new paint meet the old paint in the corner with a clean line. The normal “shadow-play” of the room will help soften the discrepancies and you will no longer have those blemishes calling out your name every time you walk by!
Of course, nothing brightens up a house like a fresh coat of paint. But this solution can save you money and improve your surroundings until you are ready to invest in a full paint job.