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Possible to "fix" paint?

I recently purchased some Behr paint at Home Depot to paint my bedroom. I painted a small area on my wall to see how the finish looked and I don't like the color at all. (It's way too bright.) I put the swatch up to wall and it's close, but there's definitely a difference. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with getting Home Depot to "fix" a paint color. If that's not really possible, I'd like to know about muting the color of a paint. In theory I'd like to add some gray and make the color "smokier." (Just in case the details help, the color I chose was Maharaja. It's sort of a smoky blueish purple. The color looks on wall looks very "Barney" purple. It's very bright. I've let it dry but really don't like it, I'd hate to waste the 3 gals I bought. )
Thanks in advance for any help!

Re: Possible to "fix" paint?

I don't know that they can 'fix' it, but they might let you return it. I'm sure someone here will know.
But if you end up stuck with it, there's a couple of different ways to go.
#1. PRIME- Ask HD about tinting the primer. Sometimes using a dark paint over a light wall will give you a much brighter color (and force you to paint multiple coats), whereas, if you use a tinted primer, your color should come out much truer.
#2. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS- There are many different types of bulbs, try one that says it will show true colors. A bit more spendy, but amazing the difference they make.
#3. GLAZE- If you get it all painted and still don't like the color, get some Faux Glaze (HD sells it), and add a touch of gold or copper or silver, or...well, whatever you want, really. HD sells metallic glazes, or you can add just a dab of different color to the Faux Glaze and rag/sponge/roll it on.

AND DON'T FORGET- It's ONLY paint. If you don't like it, paint over it!:D

Re: Possible to "fix" paint?

Can't answer the question concerning adjusting the paint color to something agreeable at this point because..... it depends. Maybe, maybe not.

But I will offer this.......

Holding a color swatch up to a painted surface is a poor way to determine if the colors actually match. That because the light from one bounces off the other and the blending can easily fool your eye.

A far better way to make the determination is to take a piece of white paper or the unlined side of an index card and cut two small rectangular holes in it (3/8" x 3/4" or so.....usually works well for average swatch cards).... which are separated by 1/4" - 3/8". Cut these holes near the center of the card so that you have lots of white border on all sides of the holes. Slide your color swatch under one opening and allow the dried paint to show thru the other.

(I use a utility knife to make the holes/windows. Takes all of 10 seconds each and can easily be done right there in the store if you didn't bring one with. Most any piece of white paper will serve.)

Paint store/department employees frequently cringe when I whip that index card out of my pocket. :D Those who know I'll be checking that way, now keep their own card handy and use it before they call to tell me my paint is ready to go.

This technique can also put a quick end to any argument/discussion from a client about the paint not matching whatever.

A. Spruce
Re: Possible to "fix" paint?

I have gotten paint retinted many times, though never at a big box. The problem you're going to have is that you've got a very dark pigmented paint which will be hard to add enough other pigments to to lighten it up. You will probably have to buy new paint. If you're up for experimenting, then purchase a gallon of white in the same sheen as your Maharaja (flat, semi-gloss, eggshell, gloss, ... ) and a clean 5 gallon bucket. Pour a measured amount of the white paint into the bucket, then SLOWLY add measured amounts of the Maharaja until you've reached the desired effect. If you need more paint in the future, you will have this formula to mix your own. You might also want to put a good dab of the final paint on an index card so that you can have it "matched" later, maybe save yourself the mixing on your own, but be advised that mixing two cans of paint is going to result in a different color than adding tints to a base tone as when your Maharaja was first mixed.

Re: Possible to "fix" paint?

The best bet is to go back to Home Depot and get them to compare the color with the sample. They do make mistakes often.

As others have suggested you could glaze over it to darken it or tint the primer. I would ask for a dark colors primer specifically for blacks. I think putting the "grey" undertones in the primer may be the way to go.

I looked it up, that's an awesome color. I'm so glad to see purples coming back into vogue. Especially the hues and tones they're using on television.

Re: Possible to "fix" paint?


The policy of my Home Depot is to take back a color that can be demonstrated to have been a mismatch. If, however, you get home and simply decide you have made a bad choice, that is your problem. That being said, it is also the policy to work with you in alterring the paint color within the ability to alter the color. Most colors can be "dulled". They cannot be brightened if too dull. They can be darkened within reason. It is more difficult to lighten a color as colorant cannot simply be added in great amounts without degrading the integrety of the paint. To lighten paint, more pure white paint should be added.

My experience is that the maschine generated paints match the color charts extremely well. Other posts above have alluded to things which may make a paint look different at home; lighting, reflected light off rugs or other large colorful items, etc. It is definitely a bad idea to put a sample in the middle of a colored wall. Your eye will blend those to colors. the post above had the right idea about looking at the swatch in the middle of bright white computer paper, blocking other neighboring colors.

All this being said, The Home Depot always amazes me at what they will take back. I have seen $500 of garrish colored paint in a high gloss returned ostensibly because it did not dry right. I knew darned well that the women got home and discovered that she indeed had chosen dark, bright, glossy colors and regretted it. She got HD to take it back! No bounds to some peoples' chutzpah!

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