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Steps for matching a paint color

  1. Start by checking the basement or the garage in case the previous homeowners left it behind. If you can locate a can, it should have the color noted on the lid.
  2. Try holding paint chips up to the wall to see if you can get a close match, though it’s unlikely you’ll be successful with this method. This is a ton of work and requires a back and forth between the paint store and the room being painted.
  3. Cut out a small sample of the wall in a low-visibility area, like behind a couch or near an outlet. With drywall, it’s easy to cut the paper on the face of the drywall and that can be patched later.
  4. Take the paint sample to the home center or a paint store. Most locations have a color-matching scanner that can closely reproduce the color of the chip.
  5. Patch and then paint over the chunk cut out for the color scanning.
  6. Paint the wall or areas requiring touchups as originally planned. The darker the color, the more likely it will be that you will have to paint the whole wall or even the whole room, since dark colors are nearly impossible to match.
  7. Once painting is complete, save the can or keep a good record of the paint used to paint the room so you don’t have to color match again.


To match a paint color, Mauro recommends cutting a small section of the paint away to create a chip to then bringing to a home center or paint store to be color matched. Utility knives can be found at home centers and almost every home center is capable of color matching a paint sample.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Mauro’s Painting.