Matching ceiling paint

brussoApril 19, 2011

I have a small patch in a kitchen ceiling to repair. About 6" x 6". There are two patches to fix. I am fine with doing the drywall and the mud etc. but matching the paint might be a big concern. The kitchen hasn't been painted in 5 years and the kitchen ceiling runs into the dining room ceiling and along a hallway that is almost 30 feet long. If I have to repaint the entire thing, it willbe a lot of work. I haven't heard of getting ceiling paint matched to a chip but do paint stores do that? I would love to get a matching quart and call it a day. Else, I am in for a big paint job.

Thanks

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sdello

paint is paint so I don't see matching a "ceiling" paint chip as being any different from other paint chips. However, there are so many variations of white (assuming that yours is white) that it might be difficult to get an exact match, but I'd try it before I painted the whole thing. Chances are the only one that will notice is you because you're fixated on it.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:03PM
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brusso

The whole idea IS to get an exact match. If it does not match then I have to paint the whole thing. I just dont recall seeing if ceiling paint is tintable. Ceiling paint is not just another paint. My understanding is that ceiling paint, usually flat, is also designed to dry more quickly than wall paint in order to minimize runs and drips.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 5:43PM
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badgergrrl

It's going to be difficult to get an exact match no matter what, as paint has dyelots, just like yarns and fabrics. Even if you know that it was color 5234 from SW, and you get color 5234 from SW, the difference may be subtle enough to notice. Heck, even if you had the same paint can they used, the ceiling has been exposed to light and life, both of which cause fading. A darn good match will be possible, so it's a question of how close "good" is to "exact" for you.

However, back to your original question, go to an actual paint store, not a "paint department". They'll be able to match it for you. Many do it for free. Ceiling paint is basically a base paint like any other, I don't think it's designed to dry more quickly as much as it's just thicker, so it doesn't fly all over when you're painting with it. It does tend to be super flat, but depending on your lighting and texture, you might not notice. Most companies that offer it (which it is harder to find) usually have a greyer base, so depending on your color, it is only tintable to a certain extent.

If your ceiling is one of those colors, you can also just paint a ceiling with regular paint, especially such a small area. Obviously, someone painted it that color to start with. So, if it is a color that doesn't work in ceiling paint, perhaps ceiling paint wasn't used in the first place?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:09AM
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dave777_2009

Matching Paints can be done! The paint store machine possibly can do it.

If you also call around to some painting contractors - one of those might be able to help.

I know a guy (Mike Premo - lives in Seattle) who matches paint by eye - very, very well. Been doing it for years. If you ask around in your area - one of the Hardware or specialty Painting stores - will probably know someone (who lives in your area) who is an artist (Like Mike) at precisely this sort of thing. Very doable.

And badgergirl provided some good info and suggestions.

D.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 11:32AM
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sdello

First off, I'm not a paint expert nor do I play one on TV.

However, I'm not aware of any specific formulation differences between paints for plaster walls versus paints for plaster ceilings, etc.

That being said our local hardware store has a "scanner" that if you put a paint chip in it the scanner will create a special formulation to produce a dry paint with "identical" properties. Based on the formulation "recipe" from the scanner the hardware technician can mix a batch of the special formulation using a base and adding proportions of colors as specified by the "recipe". I used it for some exterior trim where I needed to replace some wood, and the match was pretty darn good both in color and final gloss.

I maintain if you go this route, your patch likely won't be "perfect" but it would go unnoticed by anyone who is not specificaaly looking for it. It will be detectable by anyone who has a habit of scrutinizing ceilings looking for spots or paint anomalies.

Just my 0.02

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 2:38PM
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karinl

Do you know what paint was originally used? You don't say whether you or a previous owner did the painting 5 years ago. If you don' t know the original colour, I can see a logistical problem getting a "chip" to the paint store - or do you have a piece from the repaired area that you can take? If so, yes, they can match it, as said.

If you don't have a piece to take, then just pick up every white paint chip you can get from your surrounding paint stores and tape them to the celing - one will certainly match better than others. Or get quarts of each candidate and sample them up there (I do it right on the wall as I'm going to paint anyway).

If you can't match it to your satisfaction (and we all have things we obsess about), then look for a natural transition point along your ceiling where a change won't be too noticeable, and paint to there. Feather the transition, perhaps. Somewhere maybe the light changes with the beginning of a wall, for instance. Or where the light level is lowest.

Also, I predict that matching sheen will be as important as matching colour.

KarinL

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:15PM
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pozitif-tercume

Sheen-Colour match is important, i agree...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pozitif Tercüme

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:04AM
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kudzu9

You've got to love these spammers! This one is posting a link to a web site that's totally in Turkish....

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 2:55PM
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graywings123

Your problem is that you are not matching a paint color, you are matching a paint color that has been on the ceiling for five years and has been subjected to kitchen grease and dirt. You do not want a quart of paint that matches that.

Bite the bullet and paint the kitchen, dining room and hall. Doing that will be less frustrating and more productive in the end.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:18PM
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PRO
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I agree with graywings 100%

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:07AM
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Patiosclotures

Bring a paint chip to a home improvement store or paint supply store. Many of these stores have special equipment that scans the paint and reads its formula of dye colors. Once the store knows the recipe of your current paint, it can create paint of the same color.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:32AM
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brickeyee

"Once the store knows the recipe of your current paint, it can create paint of the same color."

Including five years of crud.

By enough paint for the whole ceiling, mix the gallons before using any of them, cut in and get out the roller pole.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:43PM
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badgergrrl

Perhaps we scared the OP off - hasn't been back in a while. But, you may also want to pose this question in the Painting forum....

Here is a link that might be useful: Painting

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:56PM
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brusso

Job is done. First of all, ceiling paint is a bit different than regular wall paint. There are several differences. I wont go into that. You can check it on line, just Google it.
I went to several paint stores, avoiding big box to try to get a real pro. SW took my sample, told me to give him a half hour then come back. MY sample was a piece 6" x 6". When I returned he explained that he painted half of the piece and challengd me to tell him which half. It was quite dry, I couln't tell at all. I got a quart of the best matching paint ever. Customer can not tell, nor can I. I let it sit for two days checking it out several times per day(Iwas doing other projects at this home). It turned out to be a wall paint but SW guy said that the area was too small to make a difference from ceiling paint. the ceiling patch was not in the cooking area of the kitchen so it wasnt gummed up with grease etc. SW told me that if it were gummed and greased then I would need to repaint the whole thing,because he could not match grease. WHEW!! thanks for everyone's input. I know that I learned a lot from this experience.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:39PM
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sdello

"First of all, ceiling paint is a bit different than regular wall paint. There are several differences. I wont go into that. You can check it on line, just Google it."

Thanks, I did google it and it appears the vast majority of differences between official ceiling paint and other paints are formulations to assist with the application: high hiding for better coverage in one coat, fast drying/thiicker formulation with less dripping/spattering for overhead application, etc. There were some sites that talked about diffusing light/reflectivity but that's just finish, which is an option in all paints (gloss, flat, everything in between).

Hence the reasoning "It turned out to be a wall paint but SW guy said that the area was too small to make a difference from ceiling paint."

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 1:34PM
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brickeyee

It will match until more color shifts occur and the new paint no longer matches the old paint.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:18AM
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hilltop_gw

So I'm curious how you came up with a 6x6 sample? Did you have old paint that matched & if so why not just use it?
Surely you didn't scrape off a 6x6 section of the ceiling texture. Can you explain since my situation is similar to yours with kitchen, dining, hall & also living room.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 8:45AM
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brusso

There originally was a leak from the upstairs bathroom. The plumbers cut out several areas to get to the piece of pipe that needed to be repaired. The cutouts were 6 x 6. The pieces were already thrown out. I just made another cutout. I was moving a light fixture, so I cut out a round piece for the new light location and used that cutout as a match. Overall , I am totally satisfied and so is customer. Re-painting the whole ceiling would have been a lot of work. The kitchen had 10 canned lights that would need cutting in and two sets of pendant lights along with ceiling speakers in each room of the house. There was also a breakfast area and a desk area - a lot of cutting in. These tasks add up, and there was no good way to stop painting one area without doing all 585 SF of ceiling (two ceilings and a hallway). Perhaps Brickeye is right in that the color shifts will cause a problem down the road but, there probably are color shifts already over the cooking area of the kitchen ceiling with dust, grease, oils, etc. At some point the entire kitchen will need to be painted. This wasn't that point in time.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:45AM
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brickeyee

"the color shifts will cause a problem down the road but, there probably are color shifts already over the cooking area of the kitchen ceiling with dust, grease, oils, etc."

The 'matching' color is very unlikely to shift the same as the original paint has already shifted.

It is a different color to start with (tinted to match an already shifted paint).

The hardest part of ceiling is cutting in to the walls.

The actual painting goes very quickly with roller extension poles.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 10:02AM
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