A Guide to Matching Exterior Paint

It doesn’t matter if you hired a home painting company in Queen Creek, AZ, to repaint your entire house or you’re just making some small touch-ups — finding the right paint color is essential for a successful project. But if you last painted your home many years ago, it can be difficult to remember the exact shade and manufacturer of the paint you used. Luckily, paint stores and home improvement stores can mix paint for you with an almost-perfect color match. All you need to bring is a reference. Keep reading below to learn more about matching the exterior paint.

Determine the Base

First, you will need to figure out if the exterior paint is latex or oil based. Begin by cleaning a discreet part of the wall with a wet cloth and some detergent. Rinse off the cleaning detergent and let the surface dry. Then, scrub the spot gently using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. If some of the paint comes off, it is latex-based paint. If it doesn’t remove the paint, it is oil-based. Remember this when you go to the paint store to mix your new paint.

Bring in a Color Sample

If you have a paint chip from your home’s exterior, bring it to the paint store with you so they can match it. If you don’t have a paint chip, you can try to scrape one off the house. Get the chip from the spot that will be repainted and be careful not to damage the material underneath. You can also use the paint can that once contained the exterior house paint. Another possible substitute is a piece of fabric or object that is the same exact color as the wall.

Take a Photo

If you can’t find a paint chip or an old paint can, you can take a photo of the exterior of your home instead. Get the pic developed or print it out using a photo printer. Then, hold the photo up to the wall to ensure the color printed accurately. If it is the same hue that is on your house, bring it to the paint store as a reference. If it’s not, try taking a new photo and adjusting the lighting, flash, distance from the wall, and print quality to get a better picture. Keep making changes until you get the match is accurate.

Use an App

Technology saves the day once again! If you are unable to get a paint chip, find a piece of matching fabric, or use a photo, you can try a paint matching app. Nearly every major paint brand has its own free app to help you determine a forgotten shade of paint’s name. Typically, you will take a picture of the paint with your phone and upload it in the app. The app will then analysis the color, identify it, and find the closest shade offered by the manufacturer. Just keep in mind that these apps only provide matching paints in their own brand.

Determine the Gloss

Exterior paints are available in a range of glosses, including flat, semi-gloss, glossy, and satin. Try to determine how lustrous the paint on your home is. Then, ask the associate at the paint store to mix a sample of the color-matched paint in the correct gloss.

Check and Make Adjustments

Once you receive the new paint from the paint store, test it out in a discreet spot on your exterior wall. Let it dry completely and assess how good of a match it is. If it’s not a good fit, take note of whether it needs to be darker, lighter, glossier, or flatter. Then, go back to the paint store and ask them to make the necessary adjustments, so the new paint color matches. Test out the new sample the same way you did the first one. Continue this process until you have the perfect paint match.

To learn more about painting the exterior of your home, contact Life in Color Painting Services at 480-229-7615 today!

Service Areas

East Valley of Arizona Including:

Ahwatukee, AZ | Chandler, AZ | Gilbert, AZ | Mesa, AZ | Phoenix, AZ | Queen Creek, AZ | Scottsdale, AZ | Tempe, AZ