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Switching from old builder grade paint

Posted by angiedfw (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 1, 12 at 10:40

Hi there!

I'm having a devil of a time getting the proper formula for an older builder color (Monarch paint, "Botany Beige") to a new, better quality paint. The Monarch paint is horrible, but I love the color; in fact, I have it in every wall of the house. So, I've tried to do the color matching thing, but SW, BM and Home Depot can't seem to find the formula in their data base or match the paint precisely. I've wasted a lot of $ buying cans of paint that just aren't a match.

What would you suggest? Do I have to bite the bullet and change colors to get a better quality paint?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Find a good paint store that will find a color that is close and then manually tweak it until they have a better match.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

You need to remember that if you are going from a cheap builder's flat to a paint with some sheen, the colors will not look the same even if they are an exact match.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

I was planning on keeping the flat finish. We have textured walls, so a sheen would really bug me. Do I go into the store and up front say that they might have to work on it? Am I expected to pay for a new gallon each time it doesn't work? Don't really know the protocol....

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Can you get a chip? If so, go get it color matched. If not, check out SW Maison Blanche or BM Muslin. They're close.

If you're playing around at the paint store, have them make the smallest amount possible. You shouldn't have to buy gallons for samples.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

I guess the protocol can vary from store to store, so you should ask, 'Can you match this?' It's not really about finding a formula. They will pick a color that is close and then add colorants until the match is acceptable. Some stores will stick a sample into the computer color eye too and match it that way. You will need to provide a sample though, unless the store has a Monarch color deck on hand. If you have some of the old paint, you can just bring in and they should make a sample for you. You should not have to pay for extra gallons. Sometimes, a clerk can ruin a gallon by going too far with the colorants, but that is not your fault usually and it's why you see stacks of mistinted paints in most stores on discount.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Thanks! Woodsy1, I'll check out those colors. Paintguy, I've done the sample thing through BM and SW, and the mix turns out either too gray or too peach. I'll start having them do quarts, although paint is getting so $$ these days, I'm sure quarts will be $20...:P

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Yea, it really sounds like the color matching clerks you are finding are just not that good. This is fairly common I suppose. I have my people I have been using for years and I am sure if they were gone, it would be a challenge to find replacements.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Find somewhere to scavenge a reasonably sized chunk of material with paint in it ... if you are that determined toi get THAT color, cutting out a chunk of drywall wouldn't be too much to do.

Take the sample in and have them color match it.

RE: Switching from old builder grade paint

Bring it to ME!
I'll nail it...I usually do.
Tweaking??!?! Yes, that's a given.
I'll scan a chip, back-off on some key colorants, etc.
(this is something only gained by knowing a particular scanners' habits!!)

Then I'll shoot the color, brush out a little bit, and dry it by using a cool-setting hair dryer.
Next comes the tweaking!

Depending on a stores' tinting/scanning capabilities, colorant lines, etc., Qts. may not be available for real light colors.
I've got a big COROB tinter with C2's 16 colorants available, so it's EASY to match colors!

What many people don't realize though, is that lots of colors CAN'T be duplicated exactly. A small retailer may only have a paint line with only 10-12 colorants. Many hues just CAN'T be duplicated!! It's optically impossible.

I've seen some of our C2 chips "matched" into other brands....usually NOT very well....AT ALL.
The customer wanted to "save some money" getting a C2 color matched into somethin' else. Well...they usually end buying the native brand as well!

So, from one standpoint, they LOST money by trying to SAVE $$.....

PG has a crucial point-
The higher the sheen, the darker A GIVEN formula will appear. There's NO WAY to compensate for it either!! That's a fools' game!


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