How to Colour Match Paint

Spring is in the air! While this means the return of barbecues and hockey playoffs, it also means Spring cleaning. And while you’re moving around furniture and getting rid of old junk, it’s the perfect time to spruce up some of the walls or rooms that could use a bit of TLC. Even if you don’t want to change colours, it’s easy to make an area look fresh and new by doing a colour match.

 When you match paint colours to an existing one – or maybe to furnishings, like the colour of your couch or coffee table – there are a few different ways to go about it. For any of them, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean the wall to get rid of dark grime and dirt. No need to pay a painting company for that! Then, if you like to roll the old-fashioned way, you can go pick up a colour wheel and a paint swatch or two (or three, or four) from a hardware store or paint company – we would recommend getting some from several places in order to get as close to the original colour as possible. Even with dozens of options, it’s possible that you won’t find one that exactly matches the one you’re after, though!

If that’s the case, or if you’re tech-savvy from the start, you can look into painting apps for your smartphone. There are plenty to choose from, and they’re an excellent colour matching tool that uses your phone’s camera to snap a photo of the hue in question and cross-references it to a paint colour chart. You can also buy specific colour matching devices that sync up with your phone and use dedicated cameras with optimal lighting to get reference photos – it’s best to try it in different lighting, at different times of day, etc. so that shadows and brightness do not interfere too much. There are plenty of different choices from different companies, so feel free to shop around. If there’s a match to your colour, perfect! If not, that’s not perfect, but don’t worry – there’s one more trick to use.

Find an inconspicuous area, like a hidden corner for exterior painting or behind some large furniture for interior painting projects, and cut a square with a razor blade that’s at least 1” x 1” (the bigger it is, the more easily the matcher can work with it). Carefully pry it away from the wall – don’t worry if you have to resort to this indoors; with some drywall patching and a bit of sanding, that square will fill right in – and put it in a baggie or other container to keep it clean and unbroken. Head out to your nearest Calgary paint store and let them take a look at it – they’ll be able to whip up a formula and dab a bit of it on the sample to make sure it blends properly.

Now remember, different paints and products have different sheens, finishes, adhesive properties, etc. It’s important to get a small test batch made – professional painters usually get quart cans – and put some on the wall you’re painting, also in an inconspicuous area. Wait for it to dry fully before making your final judgment: it might be so close that you can’t even tell, or it might have a different sheen altogether and stick out like a sore thumb. Generally, the best idea is to repaint a whole section when you can, as opposed to a single patch somewhere on the wall. Corners are excellent for colour transitions, so use them to your advantage!

If that all sounds like a lot of trouble – well, that’s why you can hire a painter (or painters) to do it for you! Most people don’t know how to paint a house, and that’s okay. At The Urban Painter, our paint service is designed with the customer first, and it shows. From fixing some minor nicks and scratches to full home repaints, you can trust us to get your home looking its best, inside and out!

;