Good points. The phenomenon of different appearing color in different
light is called metamerism (sic.)
I trust the machine's eye but exact match is impossible with the
I recommend, and have done myself, painting the whole wall in the room
that needs it, then any color mismatch with the other walls will not
be as evident.
Matching off of something like a grill would be a pain. The paint guys
should have told you it may not work out. Whenever I paint something
that may have to be matched later I always save the info in my house
Here is another reason. Sometimes the paint manufacturers change the
I recently had the following experience. I went to my favorite local
paint store to get another gallon of the paint that the old-timer had
meticulously matched for me several years ago. At that time, he spent
about an hour with me using repeated rounds of adding slight amounts
of color, shaking the can, painting a swatch, drying it with a hair
dryer, waiting, then seeing how it matched and continuing until the
match was perfect. All for a gallon of paint.
Well, the other day when he made a new gallon using the old formula,
the match was way off -- even against a test swab made from the
original paint and kept in a dark area.
It turns out that Benjamin Moore changed the formulation of its bases
to reduce the VOC content and that messed up all the formulas.
Luckily, my guys is skilled and he was able to save the gallon by
using his magic to adjust the color by eye over several iterations.
This guy is worth his weight in gold and he doesn't seem to charge any
more than the other non big box paint stores.
I will add one more comment. Often you can do a single plane
(one wall) stopping at a physical edge and not have any problems. We
are accustumed to seeing slight differences on different walls as the
light will not be the same on two different walls.
Define matched. If good enough is good enough, then yeah, matching is
no big deal. If you have a paint and try to match if to a color chip,
computer match it from a sample, use the exact same formula from the
exact same store using the exact same equipment, you're likely to get
three different colors and it's anyone's guess which one will be the
The whole trick to matching paint is knowing where to hide the
transition and how to hide the transition. With some paints it is
To the OP, unless you're made out of money, and have a thing for the
paint store clerk, you may want to try tweaking the paint yourself
with some universal colorant. If you're not good with colors, this
too can be almost impossible.
I have done color matching in my past. It requires a good eye and good
judgement on what colour is in the original so that it can be put in the new
paint. Too much credit is given to computer color matching. To do it you
have to use expensive equipment that needs calibrating on a regular basis.
The equipment used in the BORG is cheap and most likely NEVER calibrated
once it is installed. Sometimes it will work, sometimes not, usually only a
I've had the same chip scanned multiple times, one right after another,
and it came up with a different formula. I'm not talking about colorant X
of 5.5 vs 5.6. I mean different colorant combos.
If you're not going to mix all your paint together before starting at
least when one gallon is half empty add a half gallon from a new can and
continue. And always shake the can before using. Lately even when I open
cans that were mixed a couple of hours ago you can see separation of
colorants. Must be more new and improved shit.
A large sample has to be dried out on at least a 4" piece of paper,
you cant tell anything looking in a can and should not accept that nor
should you accept the trick of the employee drying out a 1/4" spot on
paper, after its dried look at it a bit, even under different
I agree with you about the larger sample being better, but any paint
sample can/will lie to you. Do you do two coats on the sample? Prime
it first? The color and absorption of the surface to be painted has a
lot to do with the outcome of the final color.
The lighting in a paint store is not the same lighting as in your
house. Do you have the guy mix the paint, do a sample, take it home
match the sample, then bring it back to be tweaked? If not, you're
just saying, good enough is good enough and you've already made that
Red's tip about rolling out the patch with a dry roller is an old
trick, and an excellent one. First time I heard it was ~30 years ago
from an old timer painting commercial construction. Basically the
idea is to prevent any hard paint edges in the patch so any difference
in color/sheen is spread out over a larger area to minimize how
noticeable it is. With certain lighting conditions, and certain paint
sheens, it is almost impossible to make it disappear.
I would guess, from experience, that matching two separate mixtures for
color is almost impossible, even with a good deal of experience with
color formulas. That said, I bought paint for exterior trim on my
daughter's house and had not bought enough. When I returned to purchase
more paint, the store clerk (color master supreme) mixed a new batch,
took samples of each and dried them with a hair dryer. Not my request
... just his attention to detail. He nudged the color a bit, took
another sample, dried it, done. I was satisfied with the color before
he was :o)
Matching colors "EXACTLY" is impossible....All the painters I know that buy
a few gallons of color tinted paint , dump the 1 gallon cans into a clean 5
gallon bucket and mix them to eliminate any possibility of differences
between the 1 gallon cans...Even paint mixed at the exact same place and
time will have "slight " differences , let alone trying to match old paint
which is nearly impossible...Close is as good as it gets with trying to
touch up old paint with new paint...It will ALWAYS be noticable......HTH...
I've run out of the other paint, plus the tint of that is off, it is
muddier than the color on the walls
to whoever mentioned it, yes, I managed to figure out that a dry
roller is the ticket. In fact, for small patches I've been wiping the
paint on the wall with a brush and then rolling over it with a dry
foam roller to knock the texture down.
I have used paint from the original mix to touch up and even that did
not match the older paint coat ... more or less gloss. If one mix is
pretty close, you might paint one entire wall with it...the contrast
might be less noticeable at a corner.
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