How to Match Ceiling Paint?

Learn how not to mess up when repainting a part of your ceiling

Our ceilings often go through different challenges like neighbors that flood your apartment or cracking of the walls.

So it often happens that homeowners need to repaint or touch up their ceilings, and this is when they face an issue: how is it possible to match new ceiling paint to the old one?

If you also want to know how to match ceiling paint colors, read this article. You will find out what can help you match the colors correctly, why it can be hard sometimes to match the colors, and what color you should paint your ceiling with.

Also, we will share a few tips with you on how to find a matching ceiling paint color.

How to Match Ceiling Paint Color?

You all know that ceilings are often exposed to various kinds of damage like water seepage, cracks, staining, or peeling. All of them can make your white ceiling look shabby and unattractive. So all homeowners know that, if you have recently repaired your ceiling even a little bit, it will need a proper touch-up soon.

The Best Ceiling Paint I've Ever Used and It's Not Expensive!The Best Ceiling Paint I’ve Ever Used and It’s Not Expensive!

But that would face you in front of another issue: how to match the existing ceiling color to the color you will apply?

This isn’t a problem if you have a can of the original paint. But what if you don’t? In this case, it is still possible to find the right color! Most paint manufacturers produce similar shades of white paint, so you should have no problems with matching your current color with the new one.

So how to match ceiling paint for touch-ups or repairs?

To touch up ceiling paint correctly, you should follow a few simple tips. They will help you to avoid a common mistake that homeowners make when they use the wrong color, ending up with a patchy ceiling! So grab a list of tips for correctly matching ceiling paint.

  • Collect several white paint swatches from a paint store. They can be of any brand. Choose swatches that you think will best match your current ceiling paint color
  • Use the step stool or ladder to place the swatches against the ceiling. You’d better do this when the room is brightly lit (better during the daytime)
  • Mark the swatches that look very close to the existing ceiling paint. Most likely, there will be a match
  • Get paint color samples from the paint store for your match or matches
  • Paint a square from each sample on the ceiling. Remember to wash the paintbrush between samples or use different brushes for each so you don’t mix the shades!
  • Examine your sample (or samples) to verify your match

Now you can check the finish on your ceiling. Most ceilings are painted either flat or matte. But in areas where water or steam might get in contact with the ceiling, like in a kitchen or bathroom, the finish may be semi-gloss. If you are unsure of the finish, pick up a swatch of finish samples at your paint store to check.

How to Match Ceiling Paint Color
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Why It’s Hard to Match Ceiling Paint?

People often ask why it is often so hard to match ceiling paint. See, even if you use the same color and formula, you may not be able to match your touch-ups to be exactly the same as the current ceiling paint!

The reason for this is that the same paint can be used and stored differently. And when the water evaporates from the paint during the storage period, this changes the consistency of the paint.

In addition, the texture of the painting tool also matters. A roller will usually work much better on a flat ceiling. But if you use a brush, it will give you the ability to blend around the edges for small touch ups.

Why It’s Hard to Match Ceiling Paint
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What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling?

This is another stumbling stone for many of us. The rule of thumb is that the color that you are going to use to paint your ceiling should depend on the size of the room.

  • If you have a small room, you’d better opt for light colors. Bright and light colors (like bright whites for ceilings) will make your room look more spacious and higher
  • If you have a big room, you can use either light or dark colors. But remember that painting the ceiling and the wall with the same dark color will make the interior and furniture look more focused!

So now you know how to match ceiling paint color and what you should keep in mind when choosing the right paint color for your touchups. With that in mind, you will avoid the common mistake of using a mismatched color. As a result, you will not have to repaint your ceiling that looks patchy!

What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling
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How to Find the Right Color For Touching Up Ceiling Paint?

Those who are not experienced in painting ceilings and thus in choosing the matching colors often wonder what tips there are to select the most suitable shade. First of all, you need to find out what colors can be used as the matching ones. For that, you can peel off a sample of your current ceiling paint with a scraper and bring that peel to the nearest paint store.

HOW TO paint ceilings FAST and like a professional PAINTERHOW TO paint ceilings FAST and like a professional PAINTER

However, there are a few more handy life hacks that can help you match these colors correctly and get the most precise results.

How to Find the Right Color For Touching Up Ceiling Paint
AntonMatyukha via VistaCreate

Examine the Ceiling

Before you buy the paint to touch up your ceiling, you will need to examine it. See, there are different types of finishes for painting walls and ceilings. They can be:

  1. flat finish
  2. glossy finish
  3. eggshell finish

When you buy the paint, make sure the finish matches your existing one. You will find that ceilings are usually using a flat finish.

Examine the Ceiling
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Collect Paint Samples

As we have mentioned above, you can bring a sample of your ceiling to the hardware store to get an exact and the most accurate match. Alternatively, you can make use of another approach.

You can go to a paint supply or hardware store. There are usually different bundles of cards from each color palette. Choose the one that matches your ceiling color best of all (which is easy since most ceilings are white).

You should take the color swatches home and find the color you need by holding it against the ceiling. In order to find the right tone from the sample cards you have, you will need a ladder and a bit more effort.

You should turn on the lights to make sure that the room is well enough lit. Climb up the ladder and hold the colors from the sample cards one by one. First, you should go through the regular ceiling colors and then move to the custom ones (if you didn’t find what you need among the regular options).

Collect Paint Samples
IgorVetushko via VistaCreate

Mark the Colors That Are Matching

Since you will most likely find more than one color that looks closest to the color of your ceiling, we recommend you mark all those alternative options. Like that, you can compare them later. Later, you can apply those paint colors to your ceiling in small patches to see how each color reads on the surface.

Mark the Colors That Are Matching
AntonMatyukha via VistaCreate

Find the Right Color

After you are done painting the sample patches on your ceiling, wait for the paint to dry. See, paint can often dry into a different shade, so you need to wait until it becomes of its true appearance!

Once it’s dry, you can take a closer look at each sample and decide which one is the best match. Once the best match is found, you can finally buy the right paint can and paint the parts that need repainting!

If you follow this process of paint selection, you can match paint for a simple ceiling touch-up. In case you still can’t find the right color, the best thing you could do would be to paint the whole ceiling.

How to Touch Up Ceiling Paint?

If something has caused any spot damage to your ceiling, you might need to do a touch-up. Touching up means you cover the damaged area with new paint on an older ceiling. This is quite a challenging process in comparison to just painting the whole ceiling because touching it up leaves a more obvious finish.

So the best thing you can do is to use the original paint color and formula if that’s possible. By using the original color, you will definitely not mess up with the finish.

If you do not have the original paint color, simply take a 2×2 inches sample of your ceiling with a scraper and bring this sample to your hardware store or to the nearest paint store. They will help you get a paint match with their paint scanner.So, now you know how to match ceiling paint correctly and how not to mess up with your current paint color. With these tips and life hacks that we shared with you today, you will be able to succeed even if you have never done this before.

How to Touch Up Ceiling Paint
Elnur_ via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐What tools to use to touchup ceilings?

You can use a cover-up spray for stains, spots, and water marks on your ceiling. The formula dries a flat white that blends flawlessly, matching most ceiling paint.

⭐How to get a sample of my current ceiling paint?

With a scraper, peel off a layer of the paint that’s 2x2 inches. And simply bring this sample to get it matched in the store.

⭐Do all hardware stores offer an option of picking paint colors according to the paint match I bring from home?

No, not all stores offer that option. So you’d better ask them in advance.

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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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