bad paint job

Paint Color Matching?

Lets pretend that you found a sweater that you coveted. The color was what grabbed you but the price was out of range. Not totally, but more than you wanted to pay for a sweater. So you started hunting and found one almost exactly the same color but for a whole lot less money — and you bought it. 

Two wearings later you notice the pilling on the underside of the sleeves. And then you washed it and it didn’t go back into shape as well as you’d hoped —  but what the heck, it was a bargain. Four washings later you notice that the color has dulled, it’s not that wonderful blue anymore.  Long story short, after a few months it’s in the bin and you wish you had bought the real thing all along.

Paint is like that. I hear —  a lot —  about how paint companies can color match each other’s paints. Well, they can’t match color exactly. Just can’t happen because of the colorants, bases, chemicals, yada yada yada. But they can get close.  

“Be advised that a paint company designs its bases and tint systems to produce its own color system—not that of a competitor. Trying to match another company’s colors may require adding excessive tint base, leading to a host of problems, a drop in sheen, delayed dry times, weak hiding power, and reduced resistance to burnishing and marking.” (Dave Lick; “Best Practices: When the Color Makes the Paint Fail;” 2014 )

So, to put a stop to all the palaver, this is it: Unless the matching paint is made from exactly the same ingredients as the matched paint it WILL NOT be the exact same color. It will NOT have the identical durability, clean-ability, scuff resistance, fade resistance,  depth of color or coverage capability. BUT it can get close. So, if color is your only consideration when choosing paint, go ahead and color match. But if you mess with a companies paint formula by color matching, you are also messing with the paint properties and what you end up with will not necessarily be up to the standard that the un-matched product would be. 

And really, why take all these chances for a $10.00 or so difference per gallon? Or even a $20.00 difference?  — That is less than 5 cents a square foot. How much will re-painting in two years cost? Or repainting now because the color is off just enough that it is plain old wrong?

You don’t always get a bargain with a smaller price tag. We all know this. Paint is a big deal in your home. It’s like panty-hose, the good stuff is so much better than the cheap stuff.  

Written by