Matching Ceiling White (paint)

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Little brick bungalow in the midwest US. I painted the interior maybe 25 years ago, still looks OK except for ...
Every 5 years or so, some roof sealant will crack or flashing will separate, I notice wet spot on ceiling, proceed to fix roof and Kilz the spot. After I was sure a couple spots were water-tight, I got some standard-tint ceiling white paint from HD and covered the Kilz spots. It was -much- lighter in color than the old paint, which is faded and maybe has a little coat of nearly invisible dirt.
I can take a sample of a painted surface to a Big Box and have 'em mix a matching tint. I haven't done it in recent years, but it's reasonable to expect it to match pretty well? This is question 1.
Question 2: How well might I expect it to work for ceiling white? I'm tired of looking at the extra-light spots on the ceiling where I applied the Kilz.
Question 3: If mix-to-match is practical in Q2, how can I get a sample for them to analyze? Anyone had a successful mix-to-match from, say, a digital photo?
Other ideas welcome.
TIA, Will
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-snip-
I'm torn. 1. If a 25 yr old paint job still looks good to you- sure, it will probably be ok.
2. OTOH- it is a "little bungalow" that you haven't had to paint in 25 yrs---- splurge for a weekend and paint the whole thing. -snip-

Not in a million years.

In the time you mess around with matching paint & moving furniture & masking corners you could probably paint the whole ceiling--- and the next weekend put a coat on the walls, too.
Jim
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and -snip- again ...

Well, I guess that was an easy answer.
Lots of folks are drawn to easy answers.
The area that requires re-painting comprises about 8 square feet. And I am functionally disabled with lo-back and other pain: I'd cheerfully, cheerfully repaint the entire 2 ceilings if it wouldn't put me in the hospital (or worse). Wish it were otherwise.
Cheers, Will
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

The simplest fix for your situation would be to get paint chips for "ceiling white" and compare them to your ceiling under daylight and artificial lighting (daylight should be most accurate). Get the color made - or, if you are lucky, the box stores and some paint stores have sample size containers - then apply with foam roller on an extension pole. Of course, reaching overhead with a pole might be more of a strain than getting on a sturdy ladder so that you are close to the ceiling without an extension. If the match is close and the new coat of paint feathered out thinly at the borders, it might make a reasonably close match. I would take pains to apply the new paint thinly so that the difference in texture doesn't stand out.
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On Mon, 01 Feb 2010 16:07:40 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Good point about natural lighting.
There's 1 spot in each of 2 rooms, and the tint is different. So I need 2 matches. No problem with the feathering.
I think I will hafta mix myself. Maybe some grey with the ceiling white I've already got. Play with it until I get close enough in each of the 2 rooms.
Thanks, Will
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

If you have a good eye, you can get some dead-white latex (actually acryllic) paint, get a couple of small tubes of artist acryllic paint at a craft store and mix the color yourself. You would have to mix enough to cover the spots or end up not having sufficient quantity of the right color. Need black, burnt umber, blue, yellow, probably....if you do one small spot with the plain white, you should be able to see which way the original color leans...warmer or cooler. I used the same colors to camouflage a concrete deck where a neighbor slopped dark brown wood stain in our atrium. It's amazing how many shades of "white" one can buy :o)
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On Mon, 01 Feb 2010 23:58:12 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

That stuff will mix OK? That'd be a help.

Shades of a color are not finite. Somebody said ya never get a perfect match, and he was right.
I will settle for "pretty close" and maybe the dust and years will eventually help. Just bothers me when it sticks out like the proverbial "sore thumb".
Thanks, Will
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wrote:
hlink.net> wrote:

Throw a handfull of mud on the ceiling at the other end of the room.
No one will notice the slight color differences in the white paint.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

I do it for craft projects and anything else that needs "paint". Have mixed varnish with artist oil colors to make paint for small items. Not a factory formula, but the same basic idea. I've made stain in color to suit me rather than spend money for a quart of unpredictable color. All it had to do was soak into the wood and tint it the way I wanted :o)

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On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 16:31:48 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Good enough. There weren't any shops with acrylics etc here in the 'hood, so ...

The guy at HD mixed 2 samples from chips I matched and donated a bit of black to mix with if necessary. One sample was -very- close: the other room had lousy lighting, chip was off. I tried mixing for it but couldn't improve on the $3 sample that HD mixed.
So it's done. Not perfect by any means, but, after a year or so of fading, collecting dirt, etc I doubt it will be readily noticable. The one room is almost unnoticable already.
Much thanks for various responses.
Will
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wrote:

If you can't afford to have someone paint the ceiling for you, then perhaps you have some skill that you can share with others.
Barter your way to a fresh coat of paint on both ceilings.
Read to an old person and have their adult child paint for you. They'll appreciate the break from taking care of mom. It'll be good for all three of you.
Impart some wisdom to a Boy Scout Troop based on your life experiences - talk about your disabilty and how it has impacted your life and how others treat you because of it. They'll learn a valuable life lesson and get community service credit for painting your ceilings.
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wrote:

Fix roof but unable to paint ceiling?
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Good Point!!!
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I can climb a ladder, hang off the top enough to smear some plastic roof cement. Both leaks were near the edge, little breaks in the old sealer. I'd stand no chance of fixing a serious leak up on top.
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On Mon, 01 Feb 2010 14:50:43 -0600, Wilfred Xavier Pickles
-snip-

No-- Easy would be to tell you "Yes" - and let you find out for yourself that it just ain't so. The only way to get a ceiling to look like new is to paint the whole thing. Same for a wall-- ceiling to floor- corner to corner. Unless the paint is a week old [and then it is iffy] you *can't* match paint, IMO. BTDT

I don't know you- so maybe you are understating your disability and you *really* can't do this job right. But if you can't do it right, then you might as well save yourself for something you can do.
I suppose I could call myself 'functionally disabled'. What should take me 2 hours to do might stretch into an entire week-- or more if I'm having a bad week. But when it is done I can be proud of the job. and if somebody could warn me before I start that I'd be wasting my time, I'd find something else to do.
Life is full of choices.
Jim
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"look like new" wasn't requested. Just a "match" of some reasonable degree.

Yes, a perfect match is not practical.

This part is key ...

Obviously not for you to decide, dictate, etc.

Same here.

Same here, on some kinds of jobs.

Big difference between pointing something out and dictating what a stranger in unknown circumstances should/should-not do.

Sho 'nuff. Having done it myself a few times in years past, I'd say it's often unwise to project one's abilities, values, etc onto someone you are not familiar with, knowledgable about, etc.
Simply put, in this circumstance, if I undertook to repaint as little as 2 rooms entirely, I would very likely render my poor self unable to do more important but less strenuous jobs for a week or longer (or worse). Wouldn't make sense. I have to ration what resources are available to me. Is part of getting seriously older for many folks.
Will
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

You won't get anything even resembling a match from a digital photo.
About the only way to get a sample is to cut it out. Assuming a drywall ceiling, that shouldn't be too hard. You need about one square inch...score through paint and paper of drywall, work an edge up with knife point and peel off paper. Yes, it will leave an area that needs to be spackled and primed, no big deal.
My experiences with stores matching samples is less than stellar. Close, yes; not noticeably different, no. However, if it is pretty good you can cheat a bit by painting the bad area then feathering out 2,3,4 feet all around it. By "feathering" I mean painting the feathered area with increasingly less paint either by thinning the paint a bit and/or by incompletely covering the area. Keep the brush pretty dry and just skip it along the surface.
Even if you still had some original paint left that was unused it wouldn't match what is on your ceiling now after 25 years of aging, accumulation of whatever, ultra violet, etc.
If it were me and I couldn't paint the whole ceiling I'd cut out a piece, get a match as close as possible and feather.
--

dadiOH
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I probably shoulda mentioned, it's old-style plaster on steel lath. No way to cut a sample.
Several good points in your response i.e. feathering. Much thanks.
I think I will hafta mix myself. Maybe some grey with the ceiling white I've already got. Play with it until I get close enough in each of the 2 rooms.
Will

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wrote:

Your chance of getting a box store to mix it right is?? you need someone who does it regularly, a paint store is a better bet to spend time to get it close, if you have an eye have them dry a large sample to compare, a trick for them is drying to small a sample for anyone to see, it can be done , it can be a headache arguing with an employee.
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wrote:

IF part of the problem is that its dirty you are not going to get a good match. Whenever I paint I keep a record of the paint I used that way I can go back to the store and get the same paint. This doesnt even work well if the ceiling is dirty.
Jimmie
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