Experience with paint chips

6 Replies


I need some input on some experiences everyone has had. I need to do some touchup paint on a bathroom, but do not have the paint that the bathroom was painted with. I am not sure the exact color either; however, I wanted to see if anyone has taken a paint chip from the wall of the exact color they wanted to a local hardware store to match the paint.

If any of you have, I am curious if it was close, or spot on to the color that you brought into the store.



This makes a good case for why I standardize and use the same two or three colors that I always match perfectly.

You'll need to take note of the sheen (flat, eggshell, semigloss or glossy) of the paint too. It can be tough. You'll need a "chip" about the size of a quarter.

You might want to try the color match but expect to at least have to paint the one entire wall to make your "close match" less conspicuous?

And always prep the surface with TSP (or a substitute) cleaner to remove anything from the existing painted surface.

I have tried it, and have never been able to get an exact match. You are most likely going to have to repaint. If the touchups are all on one wall, you may get a close enough match to get away with just painting one wall. If not, you may have to repaint the entire bathroom.

If the area that is getting touched up is above your knee level, and the bathroom has decent lighting, trying to touch it up without the exact color is just going to look tacky/terrible. If it is below the knee and not well lit, you could get away with just being in the color family.

Buy one gallon of paint which is close to the color family of what is currently on the walls and spend the couple hours painting to make it right. All hardware stores/paint stores sell cheap roller setup/brush kits to get you through it.

I was a painting contractor for 4 years and also managed flipping renovations for 2 years and I have almost never been able to match paint that way. Sometimes you get lucky and you can't notice unless you look for it but most of the time you have to paint the whole wall or even the whole room. It's worth a shot but odds are youll have to repaint.

Helpful Tip: Bathrooms (as well as kitchens) should be eggshell or semigloss due to the moisture in those areas.

I've had good luck with this a time or two but it's tricky.  Since you're not sure what the name of the color of the original paint was, you're also not certain of the brand of paint and there can be variations amongst the brands even with the same "names" of colors.

Most bathrooms aren't very large.  Best to repaint the whole thing....or at least the one wall.

When I first started out, I used to use "oopsie" paint purchased through our local Habitat store.  Problem was I typically used up all the paint the first time around so had to start from scratch again if repainting was needed.  Now all rental units get the same neutral "Navaho White" paint since I'm the painter and, frankly, I'm sick of it.


I have tried it multiple times. I think it has matched perfect two times. The times I got a good match was from Sherwin Willams. Home depot can't match their own colors when I give them the original can of paint with the paint code on it. Its worth a shot but I bet you could repaint in the same amount of time. Oh one thing is that some places will be able to match if you have something the size of a quarter, I have been to paint stores that want a 2" sample. That means hole saw and drywall patch after the match.

I agree with @Robert Leonard  100%. Have a couple paint colors and thats it. Makes life a breeze. You have less waste and its gonna save headaches in the long run.

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