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
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.