Dont buy paint from Home depot.

99 Replies

I NEVER paint a area on a wall .If I have to do a touch up , I will paint that entire wall . Sure it might not match the other 3 walls exactly , but its close enough . 

Are you saying you went all the way to HD,  waited in line trying to match a small area with a $3 sample, didn't like it (did you wash your nasty wall?) then went back, had a fit in the cereal aisle then came on here and blasted the whole company?  

Says a lot about you, Tom.  You should have enough for touch-ups or a stash of mistints stored to paint it as an accent wall.  Would've saved you a lot of time and aggravation. This reminds me why I will never be in retail. Whiners you can never satisfy.

What sample were you matching and where in the house?

I used HD on two matches recently. One was my grey cabinets, I needed a match for the back panel and an accent wall. I bought two gallons and the color came out awesome. Is it perfect, no way to tell, but it works great for my application.

The second was my white cabinets. Needed a match for the crown and some trim I used on the edges. Once again the match is impossible to notice. This time I bought a quart of paint and have 95% of it left. I will most likely use the same cabinets next and have the paint ready to go.

Truth is, if I was matching something that wasn't on a different plane I might not have gone to HD. If you asked about matching a wall color and the plan was to only paint part of it, would the sample even be the same sheen? Seems you need to look into higher end paint only stores for this, paint the entire wall/room/item or some other "fix".

What was the refund amount? Aren't samples under $3? I hope you planned to return while buying more stuff verse a seperate trip. Gas to and from the store is probably north of $3.

Home Depot does poor at paint matching

If it was that far off I would take a picture of it and bring it in and not ask for a refund but ask to get it right

I use Dunn Edwards used to use Frazze but they lost my account and discounts when they moved to Sherman Williams and did not feel like arguing and took my business elsewhere. You should establish a relationship with a local paint store tell them what you do and you want discounts on some specific paints such as a go to flat semi gloss etc that way you get a deeper discount as they can pick paints they have more room on and a general discount on the rest.

Home Depot is a great store but many items if you know in advance can be purchased from supply houses for less. I think it foolish to never used Home Depot based on convenience and price  

I would urge you to purchase through the prodesk and establish a relationship with them and they can help and provide better service than the returns counter

for large remodel projects get a quote from the bid room

Listen to @Irina Belkofer .  Her advice is solid.  Keep in mind that most HD and Lowes employees can do fine setting up the machine to make a pre-programmed color selection.  But matching a color is much more than just having the computer read your sample.  The person needs to be trained how to manually over-ride the computer if it does not look right, and how to manually add tints until it does. That is why you need to go to a professional paint store like Sherwin Williams.  I was even shocked the other day when I asked the Lowe's guy to drop a little black tint into my Kilz to make it a little "grey-ish" ..... he refused, and insisted he could only do that if I picked a color swatch.  Not sure if he just didn't know how to work the machine, or if he didn't understand why I wanted to do that.... either way I was still polite because this IS the closest place to get something quickly.

Originally posted by @Tom R. :

I made the mistake of trusting the salesman who told me I could get a refund if it didn't match. Their match wasn't even close. The primer was a closer match than the one he made for me.

 Know what we do if we can’t match?  Use a totally different color and “accent wall” 

@Tom R. - Home Depot failed at matching my wall paint so I had to paint the whole wall. I may have repainted the whole room. Initially it sucked. But then my whole wall / room looked nice. The quality of paint is fair for what I pay for it. With the REIA, I get 20% off every day.

Matching paint is not as easy as you think. Too many variables. Sheen, dust, age, sample, etc. I go to professional paint stores and it's hard for them to match as well. 

Home Depot is by far the best and cheapest place to buy paint. They also return EVERYTHING except sewer related products. 

Doing flips and rentals I've done a lot of paint matching. Here is what I have found. 

If your paint has been on the wall for a while the match often won't be perfect even if you have an original sample. Over time, the paint on a wall changes color due to fading, dust, and contaminants in the air. Paint also changes unevenly throughout a house, so if you are doing multiple touch-ups, a perfect match on one wall may not match another.

Even if you match the color perfectly matching the sheen is nearly impossible. Like color, the sheen also changes over time. Computers can match a color but they cannot match sheens. The best you can do is eye it, and this is when you want an experienced paint shop like Sherwin Williams or Dunn Edwards. I find SW to be the best at matching, but it really depends on the skill of the employee. Matching requires experience and a keen eye. When you find someone that's good, get their name. To get the best match I use a hole saw to take a two-inch wall sample to the store, then patch it back in. 

Trying to match color and sheen can be maddening, and sometimes I find it easier just to paint a wall corner to corner where a slight difference won't be noticed instead of just a spot touch up. 

I sold paint for quite a few years, and I feel your pain. Buying paint can be tricky business, because it actually takes at least a year to become proficient at providing quality information to paint customers. Home Depot and Lowes don't usually have the time and money to invest in good paint salespeople. I emphasize "usually" because I have seen good, knowledgeable people behind the paint counter, but it's not the norm. These companies know that if they open the refund door in the paint department, they will suffer huge losses. It's just the way it is, and I wish you hadn't experienced the downside. I love painting!

@Tom R.   I have worked in paint sales for 10+ years and spent 3 years in residential painting.  I don't work for Home Depot, but I can certainly speak on the behalf of "the other side of the counter" on this one.   Matching paint is an art, not a science.  Some matches turn out perfect, some don't.  I have seen countless matches look dead on in the store and not match in the field.  Often times a small sample brought to the counter won't tell the whole story of sheen/gloss, color loss due to UV exposure, lighting at the jobsite, etc.  The more comprehensive the sample, the better the match tends to be. 

I have matched thousands of gallons to every type of sample imaginable (bags of dirt, fabrics, photos, descriptions, food items, etc) and I would never place a "money back guarantee" on my skill set.   I would however, always be happy to make changes to the match to satisfy the purchase.  A little light?  Great, I will add a small measurement of black pigment at no charge and continue to do so based on your feedback/photos/additional info.

The folks at your paint store can be a great asset to you if you treat them like members of your team.  They can connect you with other investors, subcontractors from many trades, and even provide creative leads (build a relationship with your local field sales reps here).  

Feel free to reach out if you have any paint related questions!  

I recently had my house painted inside and out.  My painter goes to Dunn Edwards for all his paint and supplies but I typically go to Lowes.  The professionals get a huge discount but I'm doubt if occasional painters do.  

Anyway, Lowes changed paint companies a few times now.  Even though they have the formulas and colors on record, the paint has changed (Valspar, Sherwin Williams, Etc).  I trust the color matching machine and mixer, but if they stock a different company then there's not much you can do... except paint the entire wall over again.

@Tom R. Get a contractors account at sherwin Williams, I own a painting company and they have the most competitive pricing on superior products because they own the majority of the market... plus they give refunds for mismatches

One thing to consider is that paint samples often have different sheens (because they are made from lower quality paint). So the different sheen could make it look darker/lighter depending on the lighting in the room

I made the mistake of painting the top part of my entire bathroom with paint samples, only to find it peeling later because paint samples have lower quality materials

Tom R you just dissed off 90 % of the BP community, some of who are VERY successfully, and who COULD  offer help, advice, and financial support down the line. I work in the medical field and every day have to work around problems and often Un cooperative people. It's all part of an experience in negotiating difficult waters. Hang in there, keep seeking help and so.utions. CHCK THOSE SPECIALTY PAIN/ STAIN COMPANIES . Good luck on finding your matches TomM

@Tom R. I run a restaurant. It is these kind of single visit attacks that kill me. People have one small bad experience and flip out telling people "DON'T GO HERE!!!" It is unreasonable and unnecessary. I do feel your pain but it sounds like HD generally has a no refund policy. Perhaps the person that helped you was a newer employee that misunderstood the refund policy when they told you it was possible to get a refund. Mistakes happen. Calling for pitchforks and torches over a mistake or misunderstanding seems way over the top.

Matches are never going to be exact, too many factors involved plus paint on walls gets dirty...fades with sun etc etc.  You color match and then get away with painting the whole wall / area which then your eye shouldnt be able to tell difference but to just try and paint a section in the middle of it.....

We use the same EXACT color for all the apartments we do and it doesnt even match when touching up because of fade, smoking etc so you paint the wall or section that is divided.  Also if you are using multiple gallons of the same color, you should mix them into a 5 gallon bucket to ensure uniformity, and also never stop or run out in the middle of a wall. 

Easiest way is to make sure your color is close is to have a large enough sample to match and then take their mixture and put a dot directly on the sample and dry it right in the store. 

Its not likely to get a 100% match, but maybe you can speak with the manager to see if they will redo the paint. And explain what your projects are. also maybe try the pro desk to start creating that relationship.

@Tom R. I can understand your frustration. I have experience in paint. Sometimes the color in the paint tinted might be lighter or darker, but it should pretty much match. Did they put a small amount on a paper or lid so you could compare it? In the future, I would recommend insisting on this and not checking out with any paint you are not happy with. Also, tips to getting a refund. 1st insist on talking to the store manager. If they are not responsive, ask for the district managers name and number or ask to have them call you. The higher you go up, the more likely they are going to refund your money, as they should, if for no other reason that is not worth having a person making 200k a year argue about a $15 refund.

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