My Paint Doesn’t Match The Sample – Why? What To Do?

Paint samples are a great way to narrow down color choices when renovating a home. However, it can be frustrating when your paint doesn't match your chosen sample. How could this happen? Is there a way to fix the problem?

Your paint may not match the sample if you used a paint swatch, didn't let the sample dry, or the lighting was different when you were selecting colors. To fix this, purchase an 8-ounce sample of your chosen color, and test it on multiple walls. Doing this will allow you to compare the lighting difference and ensure that the color is accurate.

By ensuring your paint sample matches your chosen color, you can ensure the new room looks exactly how you imagined it. In this article, we will take a closer look at why your paint sample doesn't match and ways to fix the issue. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about paint samples, so read on!

Why Doesn't My Paint Sample Match My Paint?

Rear view of a woman testing different paint shades over the wall, My Paint Doesn't Match The Sample - Why What To Do

Painting is a tedious task and can be very expensive. It's important to ensure you don't rush the process to avoid costly mistakes. Paint samples are a great way to test out colors before committing to a full-scale painting project.

However, it can be irritating to find that your paint does not match the sample you've chosen. This leaves you with a bucket of paint that doesn’t match the rest of your room.

There are a few reasons why this has happened. Let's take a look at them and how to prevent them in the future.

You Used A Paint Swatch Or Peel-And-Stick Sample

Paint swatches and peel-and-stick samples are a great way to narrow down color choices, but they are not always accurate. Due to the size of the sample, it can be difficult to tell how the paint will look in different lighting or on a larger surface.

In addition, they aren't really paint. Instead, these paint samples are pigments that are printed on paper or plastic. This can cause the color to look different when it's applied to your walls.

Paint swatches and peel-and-stick paint samples should be used at the very beginning of the process. Use these samples to narrow down your color choices, but don't rely on them as the definitive answer.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, purchase an 8-ounce sample of the color. Test it on multiple walls in different lighting to ensure you are happy with the color before committing to a full-scale painting job.

You Didn't Let Your Sample Dry

Paint needs time to dry before it can be accurately judged. If you didn't let your sample dry, the paint will have a different hue than when it is fully dried and cured.

Be sure to let your paint sample completely dry before you make a decision. This can take several hours, but patience is key in making sure the color is accurate.

The Lighting Was Different

Lighting can have a big impact on how a paint color looks. Depending on how your windows are situated and how the lighting hits the walls, paint color can look drastically different.

When testing out your paint sample, make sure to check it in various lighting conditions. This will give you an idea of what the color will look like when the sun is streaming in through the windows or when the room is dark.

It doesn't hurt to pick a small area on each wall to test the paint sample. This will give you an idea of how the color will look in various lighting without committing to a full wall of painting.

Woman holding a paint roller is looking at samples of blue paint on the living room wall to decide the right shade.

How Much Are Paint Samples?

As discussed, there are three main types of paint samples: paint swatches, peel-and-stick samples, and 8-ounce samples.

Paint swatches are usually free or very inexpensive. These are a great way to narrow down your color choices without spending a lot of money. Grab a variety of colors and compare them to each other in various lighting.

Peel-and-stick samples are also relatively inexpensive ($2-5/piece) and are great for getting a better idea of color and texture. Use these when you have narrowed your color choices to just a few.

Finally, 8-ounce samples are the best way to accurately test paint colors. These can range in price from $3-10 depending on the brand and type of paint. Be sure to purchase an 8-ounce sample before committing to a whole gallon or multiple gallons of paint.

You can also keep your leftover 8-ounce paint for touchups down the road. This will ensure that your paint job looks consistent over time.

By testing your paint colors, you can avoid the disappointment of mismatched samples and ensure you have chosen the right color for your next project.

Can You Return Opened Paint?

If you opened a gallon of paint to find that the color is not what you expected, you might be wondering if it is possible to return opened paint.

The answer is: it depends on the store and/or paint brand. Some stores will accept returns of opened paint, while others will not. It’s always best to check with the store before making your purchase to see if they accept returns of opened paint.

In some cases, stores may offer a store credit for the return of opened paint. This is usually used as an incentive to encourage customers to make sure they are happy with their purchase before opening it and committing to the color.

However, don't be surprised if the store won't accept returns of opened paint. This is often done to prevent people from taking advantage of the return policy.

In this case, your best course of action is to find something to do with the opened paint. You can always use it to touch up walls or other areas in your home, start a new project, or donate it to a local school or charity.

Cheerful girl seller helping male customer at the counter in shop

How Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Cost?

A gallon of paint can range widely in price. The reason being is that it depends on the brand, type of paint, and coverage area.

Most paint brands will cost between $10-50 per gallon. Some specialty paints may be more expensive. This is due to the different formulas and pigments used to create unique textures and colors. It’s important to consider the cost of paint when planning your budget for a project.

In addition, some stores may offer coupons or discounts that can help reduce the cost of the paint. You can also look into purchasing larger sizes (such as 5-gallon buckets) to save money on the overall cost of the paint.

By researching and comparing prices, you can get the best value for your money when it comes to buying paint.

How Can I Match A Paint Color?

Rear view of a woman holding a paint roll choosing colour for painting a room against white background

Matching a paint color can be tricky. It can be difficult to find an exact match if you don’t have the original paint swatch or sample. One way to do it is to get a 1-inch square sample of the existing paint color.

Take this sample to a paint store and ask them to match it using their computerized color-matching system. This method is usually very accurate and can give you an exact match for your new project.

Another option is to use a smartphone app that allows you to scan the existing paint color and find a match. This is a great option if you don’t have access to the original color sample or are unable to take it to the paint store.

You can also use a piece of fabric that matches the existing paint color. Take the fabric into the store and ask them to match it. This is not always as accurate as using the computerized color-matching system, but it can get you closer to the desired color.

Finally, you can also try using an online color-matching tool. These tools will allow you to input the existing paint color and find a match from thousands of different paint brands and types.

From there, get an 8-ounce sample to test the color before committing to a larger quantity. This will help ensure that you get the exact match you are looking for and that your paint job looks consistent over time.

Read more: How To Get A Paint Sample So You Can Match It

Final Thoughts

Rear view of a woman testing different paint shades over the wall, My Paint Doesn't Match The Sample - Why? What To Do?

Overall, paint samples are a great way to narrow down your choices and find the perfect color for any project. However, not all paint samples are created equal, so use the guidelines above to ensure you get the best match.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

Does Paint Look Lighter Or Darker On Walls?

How Many Paint Colors Does Benjamin Moore Have?

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