how to match paint color already on wall

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Alston Boone
Alston Boone
I'm Alston Boone, an author who loves talking about paint colours. My words help you pick the right shades for your spaces. Let's dive into the world of colors and make your home come alive with vibrant hues. Join me in this colourful adventure!

Matching paint color already on a wall can be a bit challenging, but here are a few steps you can take to achieve a close match:

Gather information:

Start by collecting as much information as possible about the paint color. Look for any remaining paint cans, labels, or receipts from when the wall was painted. Note down the brand, color name or code, and finish (e.g., matte, satin, gloss) if available.

To gather information about the existing paint color on your wall, you can follow these steps:

  • Check for leftover paint cans: Look around your home or storage areas for any leftover paint cans from when the wall was originally painted. Check the labels on the cans for information about the color, brand, and finish.
  • Look for paint codes: If you can’t find the paint cans, examine the wall for any stickers, labels, or markings that indicate the paint color or code. Builders or previous homeowners sometimes leave behind such information.
  • Contact the previous owner or painter: If you recently moved into the property, try reaching out to the previous owner or the painter who worked on the wall. They may have records or information about the paint color used.
  • Take photographs: Take clear and well-lit photographs of the wall, ensuring that you capture the color accurately. Make sure to include close-ups of the wall as well as wider shots to show the color in different lighting conditions.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re having difficulty identifying the paint color yourself, consider consulting with a professional paint contractor or an interior designer. They may have experience in color matching and can provide guidance based on their expertise.
  • Use a color matching app or website: There are various color matching apps and websites available that can help identify paint colors. You can upload a photograph of your wall, and these tools will try to suggest the closest matching paint colors available.
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Remember, even with the gathered information, it may be challenging to find an exact match due to factors such as fading, sheen differences, or variations in lighting. However, by following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding a close match for the existing paint color on your wall.

  • Paint swatch or chip: If you don’t have any information about the existing paint, you can try to remove a small paint chip from an inconspicuous area of the wall. Take the chip to a paint store to get it matched. They can use a color-matching machine to provide you with the closest possible match.
  • Take photographs: Capture clear, well-lit photographs of the wall you want to match. Take pictures from different angles and distances to capture the color accurately. This can be helpful when consulting with professionals or comparing paint samples.
  • Visit a paint store: Take your gathered information, paint chips, or photographs to a reputable paint store or home improvement center. Talk to a paint specialist and explain your situation, providing all the details you have. They can help you find a paint color that closely matches the existing one. Some stores have color-matching technology that can scan your samples and suggest a suitable color.
  • Test the color: Once you have a potential match, purchase a small sample of the paint color and test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the wall. Allow it to dry completely and observe it under different lighting conditions to ensure it matches well. If needed, make adjustments by adding small amounts of tint to the base paint to achieve a closer match.
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Repaint the wall:

If the test patch matches satisfactorily, you can proceed to repaint the entire wall using the matched color. Be sure to prepare the surface properly, apply primer if necessary, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the paint you are using.

If you’ve decided to repaint the wall, here are the steps to follow:

  • Prepare the room: Clear the area around the wall and remove any furniture, decorations, or fixtures that could obstruct your painting process. Cover the floor and any remaining furniture with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect them from paint splatters.
  • Clean the wall: Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the wall surface, especially if it’s dirty or greasy. Remove any dust, dirt, or grime by gently scrubbing the wall with a sponge or soft cloth. Allow the wall to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Repair any damage: Inspect the wall for any cracks, holes, or imperfections. Fill in these areas with spackling compound or putty, using a putty knife. Smooth out the filler and let it dry according to the product instructions. Sand the repaired areas gently to create a smooth surface.
  • Prime the wall (if necessary): If you’re painting over a dark or highly contrasting color, or if the wall has stains or uneven patches, it’s recommended to apply a coat of primer. Priming helps create a uniform surface and improves the adhesion of the new paint. Follow the primer manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.
  • Choose the paint: Select a paint color that matches your desired outcome. Take into account the existing decor, lighting conditions, and the mood you want to create in the room. Consider purchasing paint in the finish (e.g., matte, satin, semi-gloss) that suits your preference and the functionality of the space.
  • Paint the wall: Start by cutting in the edges of the wall using a brush. Paint a border around the perimeter of the wall, including corners, edges, and areas near the ceiling, baseboards, and trim. Then, use a roller to apply the paint to the larger sections of the wall. Work in small sections, rolling the paint in a “W” or “M” pattern for even coverage. Apply additional coats as necessary, allowing each coat to dry fully before applying the next.
  • Clean up: Once you’ve finished painting, clean your brushes, rollers, and other painting tools with soap and water or according to the paint manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the drop cloths or plastic sheets, and return the furniture and decorations to their original places once the paint has dried completely.
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Always follow safety precautions, such as ensuring proper ventilation in the room and using protective equipment like gloves and goggles, as needed.

Remember that matching an exact color can be challenging, especially if the existing paint has faded or if there are variations due to lighting conditions. In some cases, it may be necessary to repaint the entire wall or consider repainting adjacent walls to achieve a consistent look.

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