Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Laundry Room Update: Color Matching Paint

Phase Four:  Color Matching Paint for Touch Ups
This post discusses phase four of our laundry room update:  Color Matching Paint.  Previously, we completed the following updates to the laundry room:
When we started on this odyssey, we simply wanted to replace a shallow sink with a deeper laundry tub.  Of course, it quickly became much more involved.  We replaced the countertop and window molding and realized we at least needed to touch up the paint on the walls and around the backsplash.  Then, we installed wall-mounted cabinets and realized we had even more touch ups to complete.  
New countertop profile does not match old countertop profile. 
We peeled a small bit of paint when removing window molding
We need to touch up spots left from shelving brackets
There was only one problem - we had no paint remnants for the laundry room and no idea what color of paint the previous homeowners used.  As most sellers do, the previous owners left us several remnant cans of leftover paint in the garage.  We looked through the cans several times, but did not find the color used in this room.  Because we did not intend to paint the entire room, a little color matching was now on the agenda!

How to Color Match Paint
We were hardly scientific in our paint matching methods - and ended up being very successful.  We were able to quickly figure out the specific paint color used in the laundry room and then purchase and use the paint to touch up the laundry room walls.  As it turns out, this color is used all over our house - it's the main neutral wall cover for the laundry room, hallways, master bedroom, and stairwell.  We really needed to have some paint on hand for touch ups!  Following are some of the steps we took to match the color:
  • Context Color Clues:  While looking through paint remnants in the garage, we noted that the majority of the paint cans were from the same manufacturer, Sherwin Williams.  This was good to know.  The previous owners seemed to have selected colors for the interior around the same time, and the colors selected seemed to be within the same color collection.  We concluded that, if we found the collection name, we would find the color for the laundry room walls within that collection.
Interior Paint Colors used by Previous Owners
  • Mobile Technology Tools:  Many paint manufacturers have released apps that will help homeowners match paint colors.  The mobile app developed by Sherwin Williams is called ColorSnap.  We downloaded this app to our mobile devices and then snapped a picture of the wall.  The app came back with a color it felt would be the closest match.  Great idea in theory.  However, our wall color looks different in natural and artificial light.  The app advised me the color was in the gray family.  I knew this was not true.
Match paint color using  picture taken with cell phone camera.
  • Paint Samples:  This old school method involves taking a sample from the actual wall you need to paint.  Paint vendors, in both home improvement and brand-specific paint stores, do a fantastic job matching paint samples for customers.  Lucky for us, we had the piece of painted drywall face paper that peeled off when we removed the original countertop.  If we did not have that sample, we could have used one of the following methods to provide the paint store with a small (2" x 2") sample of the paint color:
    *  Cut a small piece of drywall from behind a switchplate, phone jack plate or outlet cover
    *  Cut a small piece of face paper off the drywall or sheet rock from an inconspicuous area.
Drywall face paper with paint color
Armed with the paint color names used previously in the house, and my small paint color sample, I headed out to the paint store.  The clerk was very helpful and was able to make a pretty good color match using his computer system:
Color match sample with my paint chip - pretty close, eh?
He also was able to locate an older brochure, based on one of the color remnants in my garage. Sure enough, there was a color that seemed an almost sure bet for the laundry room color  It's called Wickerwork:
Color Matched!
I bought a quart of the color-matched paint and returned home to touch up the walls.  Well, actually, my husband did the touch-ups - I had to get dinner going!  He painted the wall behind the washer/dryer and the patch next to the countertop.  He also painted the backsplash, even though I intended to tile, because we wanted the wall color consistent behind the glass tile.  If we were not going to tile, we would want to sand the wall and really fix the line left from the previous countertop:
Touching up with color-matched paint.
Later, I labeled the container and added it to the collection of remnant paint in the garage:

Paint can labeled and ready for the next use.
Check back with me and my laundry room update.  I will share how I used glass and stone mosaic tile to really jazz up this room.

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