Anyone who has ever attempted a paint touch-up, whether inside or outside, will tell you that the process is a complete headache. In fact, painters will usually tell their questioning customers to simply repaint the whole wall instead of trying to patch a small part of it. But why don’t touch-ups ever work? In theory, it should be a 20-minute job, tops. It turns out that painters aren’t just trying to nickel-and-dime you when they advise to paint the whole wall; there is a reason why touch-ups are rarely successful.
The reason behind the headache starts and ends with water; or a loss of water, to be exact. Paint losses water during two processes: evaporation and wicking. Evaporation is pretty self-explanatory. As te paint dries, the water evaporates from the surface. Wicking is the absorption of water into the surface that is being painted. And it’s these two main culprits that cause touch-up fiascos. The longer you go between coasts of paint, whether it’s mere days or long months, the more the drying time of the paint changes. This drying time causes the pigments to bind to the wall differently, giving you a slightly different touch-up color.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “But what if I get a color match and a brand new can of paint?” That’s definitely a better option than using old paint. But the fact is that even if you use the latest paint-matching technology, the sheen will be off, making your touch-up stand out just as badly as if it was a different color.
This means that your painter really is giving you the best advice when he says to just repaint the whole wall. It may be a little more effort, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
Bonus Tip: Next time you’re painting (or repainting), look for paints that are 100% acrylic. They will resist color fading better than others, prolonging your need to repaint.