Matching Paint

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patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
The home we bought recently needs some touch-up painting. Some of the trim is off-white, but much of it in the newer part is pure white. I need to match the white paint so that I don't have to paint the trim in the whole room. We can't find a paint can with the paint that was used.

How do you match white paint? The smallest removable surface that I can find is a door. Do I have to remove the door and take it to Sherwin Williams? Has anyone used their iPhone app to match colors?
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
They have color cards at the paint store, get all that are close, bring them home and match to your paint.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I find their color matching app works quite well on medium to dark colors, not so good on white. Match it to some color chips
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Color chips should work. I was thinking so much about technology that I forgot about the old tried-and-true method.
 

danw

dan
Senior User
As a professional painter, a paint chip can get you close. Find a small piece of baseboard or other trim to remove and have matched. Something easy to get off and reinstall. Maybe from a closet or somewhere hidden just in case the removal is a little tedious and needs some repair. much easier than carrying a door.
 

bluedawg76

New User
Sam
paint chip for sure. Sherwin Williams is usually very good at this. White paint can be hard to match b/c it doesn't take much to yellow a tinge (oil, dirt, etc.) which can vary a lot within the same room. I'd plan on painting the trim along the whole wall rather than a spot or two which may be very obvious.
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
Been there tried that and gave up.

I switched to SW ProClassic Extra White quite a few years ago. Each "opportunity" to repaint the walls in each room, I just reached for the same SW trim paint that I started with and carried on. Eventually after all rooms were ready for a change I just stick with the tried and true SW Extra White.

(As an example when I replaced all 14 interior doors, I already new what shade of white would match the rest of the trim.)

Wayne
 
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Ed D

Ed
Senior User
I recently went through the same thing, and I took the door. Typical interior raised panel hollow core door. I just put the door in the back of my Honda Pilot, drove 10 minutes to SWP. My neighbor laughed at me, but the paint store manager didn't; said it was the best way to get a perfect match, and it was that. Took less than 45 minutes round trip, and I was good to go. Your mileage may vary, however, depending on the weight of your doors, distance to store, and vehicle.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Problem somewhat solved. Since I was unable to find anything to take other than a door, I took a door. They scanned it to get the color. The salesperson then mixed the paint with a little less coloration than the color scanner suggested. When we painted some on the door, it didn't totally disappear, but it was close enough. (The scanned formula was probably the right one, and I didn't want to wait longer to do trial and error for a single gallon of paint.)

What was neat is that I had the labels from about five cans of paint that had been used at the house previously. The salesperson got the job numbers off of each can and was able to pull of the orders. There was a can of white on one of the orders for which I didn't have the can. Our guess is that it was the missing white paint. It threw us a little bit of a curve because it had some gold and black in the formula. In retrospect, I should have gotten that formula as I now believe it to be the exact one.

After all that, it turns out that it didn't really matter. When I started prepping the door, I saw a few spots where the paint was flaking off. After using a paint scraper and sandpaper for an hour, most of the original paint was removed. It had not adhered well to the pre-primed door. If the original paint did not come off with the beating I gave it, I assumed it was sufficiently adhered to paint covering it, so I painted over it.

I painted the door in the driveway, and I wasn't done until the temperature started dropping. A couple of hours later, the paint was still wet in a number of places. I brought it inside the house and stood it up to dry. When I checked it this morning, it has fully dried. It looks great. It doesn't look like it needs a second coat, so I'm not sure if I will add one. The slow drying time may have allowed the paint to level more than it normally would. The brush strokes in the inside of the panels are not really obvious.

Being a perfectionist, I'll probably paint the other side. That remains to be seen. The other side looks fine, but I'll have to examine it in better light. The side I worked over was in much worse shape than I thought it would be.

My next dilemma is that the paint is peeling off of the molding in several places in the house. That says to me that the wood was not properly primed to allow the paint to adhere properly. If that turns out the be the case, I could have a major operation on my hands. One thing is clear. Whoever owns this house next will be able to say, "The previous owners took really good care of this property."
 
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