Mixing paint to match the existing paint...

Hi everyone ~
I am doing a scrape and paint on my garage, and I do not have enough house paint left to do the job. I brought a fresh chip of the color I need to Lowe's (charcoal gray). They matched it up using Olympic flat exterior 25 year paint, but I notice now that it is slightly darker than the original.
Can I mix in a bit of flat white a little at a time, mix it up and match it to the existing, or is that too difficult to do?
I am going to fully cover the siding, I just don't want the garage to be a shade darker than the house if I can help it.
Thoughts are appreciated.
Bluesman
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the original paint has oxidised you will never get a exact match.....
if a miss match troubles you it might be better to paint garage a contrasting color
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There are many factors which are important when matching new paint to old. The size of the "chip" that you bring in to Lowe's is important. So is the texture of the sample. So is the type of new paint that you are purchasing (satin, semi- gloss, gloss, latex, oil, etc.)
Exactly matching paint can sometimes be very difficult. Still, Lowe's, Home Depot and others will generally guarantee the match, within reason. Take back a good sample of the old paint, a sample of a surface painted with the new paint, and the can of new paint. Be polite, go there when they aren't likely to be super busy, and ask if they can attempt a better match.
You may need to skim off a bit of paint from the new can to make room for the additional tint that they will add. It is also useful if you can have a sample material which has been painted with both the old and new paints so that the differences are obvious when viewed side-by-side.
Don't attempt to tint the paint yourself unless you have no other option. Even so, be advised that sometimes (uncured) paints are incompatible. It is possible that you may add a bit of flat white latex to some tinted latex paint and the paint is ruined. That doesn't happen every time, but it does happen. Two different latex (or oil) paints can have incompatible solvents, emulsifiers and/or binders.
If Lowe's won't help you, you may be lucky as I am. I have a very, very good relationship with my local True Value hardware store. Several times I have gone in (at a non-busy time) and the manager has retinted some paint I own. Often it is paint which I didn't purchase at his store. Why is he so considerate? Because I am a consistent & loyal customer, I am a friendly customer, and I send in a lot of referral business. I have worked out similar good & consistent customer relations with NAPA, Harbor Freight, Benjamin Moore Paints, the corner grocery, etc. It really helps when you walk into a store and the manager immediately smiles and greets you by name.
I like the approach of one of our local Benjamin Moore retailers. After they custom match new paint, they put a dab of the new paint on my sample of the old paint. Nobody in our family can identify the spot which contains the new paint! That is one method of letting the customer leave the store with a rather high confidence that the paint will match. If it doesn't, they'll work their butts off to make it match.
Good luck, Gideon
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

Typical procedure at a good paint store is to mix the color, put a dab on a stick (with first color), dry with hair dryer, adjust color as needed.
Yes, you can add white paint of the same type. Let a sample dry before you proceed. Usual advice is to mix remains of one can with part of the next to blend any color differences.
If you have some of the original house paint left, the color formula should be on the can.
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The problem is that paint, especially exterior but interior also, will rarely match the original formula after a year or more after being painted.
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Considered the possibility that the store didn't perform the match properly, or the metering pumps didn't work right, or the kid behind the counter counted the wrong number of pumps? These guys are not as careful as anesthesiologists injecting curare.
Colors have at *least* 4 degrees of freedom, and you thus need at least 4 ingredients (tint and proportion) to adjust color. So, no, just adding some white won't fix a general problem in paint matching. You can't assume you're just missing some white.
Analyzing tints for components is not really something humans can do, although they are very good at a simple "this differs from that".
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

I could challenge that, but we don't want to go there :o)

His paint is too dark (charcoal gray). Adding white would help correct that problem. After that, if it is too cool or too warm there are ways to correct that, too.

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I'd try the advice to go back to Lowes when they aren't busy and see what they can do. If that doesn't work, you could try lightening it with some white of the same paint, however anyone that has tried to tint paint can tell you that it is far from simple. Adding some white will make it lighter, but that may not be all that is required.
If that doesn't work, then I'd go to a local real paint store, where they hopefully can do a better job.
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I am the OP, thanks to everyone for the replies.
The sample I brought to Lowe's was the top of the BM can and a freshly painted piece of fiberboard from that can, not a 30 year old chip.
I dabbed a small amount of the new Olympic right on top of the fiberboard, and it is a slight bit darker, but, to be honest, I think I am just going to go with it. I am not going to spot paint, I am going to cover the whole thing, and the garage is not attached to the house...I think a fresh paint job with a very slightly darker shade will look better than the peeling fading mess that is on there now.
Besides, I don't want to ruin the paint trying to mix it like Doctor Jekyl. It would probably be blue by the time I finished screwing around with it.
Thanks again.
Bluesman
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On 20 Sep 2006 13:23:44 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

You bring up a good point. I know someone who mixed paint himself, and that night while sleeping, his whole family contracted a terrible skin disease.

When I was in college, the landlord was willing to paint two rooms every so often, and my room was the two that needed it most. I wanted "cream** colored" or light tan. The painter started with base and added some o this and some o that, and painted the room. When he was done it was light violet. Being a college guy, I really didn't want people to think I had a violet or pink room.
It was Friday and I got him to leave his stuff there over the weekend, and I painted it again myself with his brush and his paint. It turned out the "base" he started with was just the color I wanted to begin with!!!!!
**Have you all ever noticed that there are two meanings of cream color. One is *white*, like cream, and the other is far from that, more a light tan or something.
P&M

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