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Will My Paint Color Be Exact? (For House Paint)


MyPerfectColor matches colors based on the colors provided in the original manufacturer's color swatch. For over 20 years, MyPerfectColor has been collecting color swatches from across the industry and carefully stores these to protect them from light. We are often asked if one of our color matches will exactly match the color on a customer's wall, as customers are looking to use our color test jar or quart or gallons for touching up their walls because it would be a very inexpensive solution. However, this is a much more complex issue than most people realize. First, if you are repainting or painting for the first time, then our color matches will work great for your needs. The typical color variation issue is mostly pertinent to a touch up situation where an exact match is critical.

What most people don't understand is that color falls on an infinitely continuous spectrum. We are presented with discrete choices in the form of color chips, and generally speaking these colors can be reproduced with no problem. But every time a color is reproduced, it is created in a batch process. This goes for the color chips themselves, the paint, the colorants, and the colors. They are all subject to some sort of variation. So when you buy paint at a paint store, you are getting a snapshot of a version of that color that falls within a range of acceptable variability. Most of the time that variation is not noticeable, but if you were to take the color swatch and make it as big as a wall, and then put a tiny spot of paint from your gallon onto the giant color chip, I guarantee you would see a difference. Your eye can detect very slight differences and this is the challenge with touching up paint.

But, it gets more complicated, because colors are also affected over time as they age and are exposed to light. Did you ever move a picture frame that had been on a wall for a while? Chances are the color behind the picture frame is quite different from the rest of the wall because it had been shielded from the light. Colors are also affected by other factors such as the specific paint product, application method, gloss level, film variance, surface substrate, and light source.

So if you paint has been on the walls for 20 years and you are looking to just get a little jar of paint and have the scratches disappear? Chances are good there will be a difference. You may be able to get away with it by feathering the touch up over a large area, or painting one wall corner to corner - or it may just be time to repaint.

The only way to guarantee an exact match of the color you have on your wall would be for you to send us a sample and we will match your actual color. Read more about our Custom Color Matching Services.