• How To Successfully Perform Touch Painting To Your Home

    You did the right thing. When the painting crew left, you asked them to leave left-over paint, properly labelled. You even made sure to find out where the crew bought the paint, too. Now, several years later, you need to do some touch-up. You dust off your label, open the can after a few vigorous shakes and proudly get to work. Unfortunately, you find that all that effort and attention to detail has resulted in a disheartening splotchy mess.

    “It’s hard to explain to people that unless the job was done recently, touching up paint can still look mismatched, even if you’re using the exact same paint,” said Joe Campbell, co-owner of Arizona Painting Company, the state’s largest painting contractor. All that said, here are a few tips and workarounds that could help your touch-up efforts.

    Start with the original paint

    First off, Campbell explains, keeping left-over paint and properly labelling it is not a waste. If touch-ups are needed after the job is done, the paint should match well. He also advises homeowners to make sure to take the can back to the paint store and have it properly mixed before opening it.


    “The water, resins and binders will all separate a short time after the paint is stored. You want that mixer at the store to blend the ingredients back together, otherwise, you’ll have a color mismatch problem,” Campbell said.

    Dealing with formula changes

    If you are in a situation where you’re touching up after a few years and need more paint, take the can back to the store and make sure you get the exact color. First, don’t settle on a match at a store with different brand names. Each paint manufacturer uses their own specific types of resins and binders, and no matter how well a paint matching machine gets the formula right, the actual ingredients themselves are different. In addition, the same color, three years later, may have a slight change to the formula. Ask about that and if there has been a change, see if you can get the old formulation. If not, plan on painting an entire wall with the new formula.

    Less is more

    Even if you know the paint is a few years old and there’s a possibility of a very subtle mismatch, you can minimize it by using a feathering painting technique. Don’t overload the brush and use very fine strokes to eliminate a lip or edge where you painted.


    “You also want to make sure you wipe down the area you are painting, as well as surrounding sections, with a damp rag,” Campbell said. “Dust and grime can collect and that affects adhesion and the color itself.”

    Think about application

    Knowing if your touch-up area was brushed or rolled is important. Whichever application method was used. Even with a perfect color match, brush marks on an otherwise smooth, rolled wall will stand out and contribute to a mismatched look, Campbell added.

    When in doubt, go corner to corner

    If you need more paint and are heading to the store, get more paint and count on painting the entire wall. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to repaint the whole room. If you create crisp edges at the corners, no one will notice the subtle difference between the color on the two surfaces.

    Let your contractor help

    Reputable painting contractors will offer free touch up services for a period of time after they’ve completed your project. If the option is available to you, reach out to the contractor who originally painted the room, Campbell said.

    “We do offer free touch-ups under our warranty packages,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a good idea to let the pros handle it, if you can. A lot of people get to know our painters, who are also happy to provide some touch-up tips, too, while they’re on the job.”

    For more painting tips, visit K&L Precision Painting Blog. For an estimate, call (913) 938-4420.