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How To Blend Ceiling Paint To Match Existing Shade

Trying to make house repairs can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with paint. Finding the right shade of paint from years ago is hard enough without also accounting for any fading that may have occurred over time. This task gets even more difficult when it involves paint on the ceiling. We did the research to tell you how to blend ceiling paint to match the already-present shade. 

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There are a few ways to match the existing paint on the ceiling. One way is to use a cover-up spray meant to touch up ceiling paint and blend in with various shades of white. It is also possible to use a scraper to collect a small sample of the ceiling paint and have a hardware store match the color. 

Though both options can work, it is important to note that not all hardware stores have the ability to match paint samples. Before trying this, you will want to check in advance with the stores around you. It may also take more than one try to match the paint sample perfectly. There are also a few other things to keep in mind when matching ceiling paint. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in more detail, so keep reading!

Painter Painting On Wall - How To Blend Ceiling Paint To Match Existing Shade

Blending Ceiling Paint To Match Existing Shade

Cover-Up Spray

The easiest option for touching up areas on the ceiling is using a cover-up spray. However, these only blend in with shades of white, so if your ceiling happens to be a different color, you will need to explore a different method. There are several different brands of cover-up spray, but all work in the same way. 

All you will have to do is spray the area needing a touch-up and then allow it to dry. This should refresh the overall look, and the paint will blend automatically with the rest of the ceiling. Most sprays will work well on any paint type and most materials that are common with ceilings, such as wood, metal, and drywall. 

Click here to see this cover-up spray on Amazon.

Hardware Store Paint Matching

For ceilings of a nontraditional color or if you would prefer not to use a cover-up spray, there is the option of getting a paint sample to take to a hardware store.

The first thing to do is call nearby stores to see if any in your area have the means to match paint colors. Not all stores can do this, so it saves time to call in advance. 

Once you know a store close by can match a paint sample, you will need to scrap a small piece of the ceiling off. To improve the odds of success, the sample should be at least one inch long.

After getting the paint sample, you can repair this section of the ceiling with a wall spackle. Keep in mind that it may take a few tries before getting the correct shade of paint. 

Other Methods

If you'd rather not scrape off a section of your ceiling, there is another way to match the shade of your ceiling. This option is far more tedious but does not require removing pieces of the ceiling.

Many hardware stores provide paint swatches to help customers match paint at home or decide on colors. These swatches can be taken home to compare with the color of the ceiling. 

This method takes more time but allows you to compare the shade of paint in the lighting of your home. This could make a difference when trying to match the existing color. Once you find the color that matches, you can then return to the store and buy the necessary paint. 

Close-up of two women choosing samples of wall paint. Interior designer consulting a client looking at a color swatch. House renovation concept

Touching Up The Ceiling

When it's time to finally do the touching up, the best way to go about it depends on what item you use.

If working with a cover-up spray, the process will be straightforward. All you have to do is cover anything you don't want paint on and then spray the area intended. When working with other paint, it works a little differently. 

To repaint the necessary areas, you should first place something down that will protect the floor underneath from possible paint drips. This could easily be some old towels or a tarp if you have one. You may also want to hang something over the wall if the section being painted is close to one. 

Next, you will need painting equipment. Though it is possible to use a ladder and handheld brushes, a roller brush would be the easiest way to reach the ceiling.

These either already have an extendable pole or are compatible with ones bought separately. With one of these, you can quickly repaint as much of the ceiling as you wish. 

Click here to see this paint roller kit on Amazon.

What If The Ceiling Paint Is Textured?

Mature Adult Female Painting Ceiling White With Paint Roller

Touching up a ceiling with texture may seem more daunting than a smooth ceiling, but it is essentially the same.

As long as the repainting is done gently, no damage will be done to the texture. Though using a spray would be easier, it is also possible to gently use a paintbrush. If the texture does receive damage, repainting the area with specific tools and techniques will recreate the textured look. 

Unfortunately, repairing the texture in your ceiling correctly depends on first identifying which type of texture you have. There are several different texture patterns, and not all of them use the same methods. The most common texture types for ceilings include: 

  • Crow's foot or rosebud
  • Knockdown
  • Slap brush or stomp brush
  • Brush swirl or fan brush
  • Popcorn
  • Orange peel

Once you identify the right texture type, you will need to research the correct technique to achieve the desired effect. If you wish to have more information on painting over textured ceilings, you might enjoy this post: Should You Paint Textured Ceilings?

How Long Will It Take?

Painting the ceiling with a roller

Touching up the paint on your ceiling will take some time. To make sure the new paint is even and going to cover any stains on the ceiling, you may have to apply more than one coat.

Most paint will dry enough to do another coat in about two hours. The amount of time it will take to apply each coat depends on the size of the area. However, it will typically take less than 30 minutes. 

If you have larger areas of the ceiling to cover in multiple rooms, it will likely take you a few days to get completely done. This does not include the amount of time spent finding everything you will need and matching paint shades if going that route.

For more information on how long it may take, please check out this post: How Long Does It Take To Paint A Ceiling?

What Type Of Paint Hides Imperfections?

Even though there are paints specifically made for ceilings, basic latex paints more commonly used for walls can work just as well. The only potential issue with using latex paint like this is it may drip more than a ceiling-specific paint would. The more important factor is the type of finish used. 

To hide imperfections on the ceiling, certain types of finishes will provide better coverage than others. The most efficient at hiding imperfections are those with lower sheens.

Higher sheens tend to reflect small nicks in the ceiling and highlight similar flaws. Low sheen finishes like eggshell and satin will provide enough coverage to make these small mistakes less noticeable. 

Do Ceilings Need To Be Cleaned Before Painting?

To get the best look from your ceiling after painting it, cleaning it before getting the paint out is a great place to start.

You can improve the quality of the paint job by quickly going over the ceiling with a duster before getting the paint brushes out. Not only will it look better, but it may make the painting process easier too.

The reason this is important is that small particles of debris and dust can interfere with the paint. It can make it harder for the paint to stick to the actual ceiling.

Also, the paint is more likely to have a smooth finish in the absence of dust or dirt. Just a few extra minutes beforehand can give you a much cleaner-looking ceiling. 

Man holding mop pile, cleaning ceiling in living room.

In Closing

Though this home maintenance task sounds straightforward, refreshing the ceiling paint can have surprising challenges.

Using a cover-up spray offers the easiest solution for white ceilings, as it automatically blends in with most shades of white. For nontraditional colors, matching a paint sample of the ceiling is the best way to ensure you get the correct shade for touch-ups.