How to touch up damaged house paint in 3 simple steps

How to touch up damaged house paint in 3 simple steps

Spotting a mark on your wall is always disappointing and touching up can be a scary thought… Where do I start? What if it does not repair well? We have all seen poor touch-up jobs and sometimes they look worse than the spot they have replaced.

You do not need to worry though because these insights will provide you with our trade secrets on how to touch-up painting jobs around your home or workplace.

1. When you should (or shouldn’t) touch-up a blemish

Firstly, you need to know when it is appropriate to touch-up a blemish and when you need to call in a professional painting service.

When you should:

  • If the paint has a low gloss or no gloss in its finish, then it will be easier to touch-up
  • If you still have the original mix of the paint that was used
  • If it is a flat/matte finish (the paint has a higher pigment content and is non-reflective)
  • If the area requiring fixing is in an indiscreet or low light part of the wall

When you shouldn’t (the majority of cases):

  • You no longer possess the original mix of the paint. Even if you manage to find the same colour code, different stores have different mixing techniques.
  • The original mix you do possess has been stored poorly which may cause degradation of the pigment, resulting in a different colour.
  • The initial coat was painted poorly
  • The paint is a low sheen or higher sheen

These factors will all leave a poor finish and an obvious repair job. In these instances, it might be best to consider calling in a professional painter.

Additional things to consider before performing a touch-up:

  • Has the original coat faded? A repaint will easily stand out if the older paint has faded – even if it is from the same paint can. This is especially relevant for exterior painting in Mornington or other coastal regions, due to the harsh coastal environment.
  • Is the area I am painting highly visible? Indiscrete areas tend to touch-up better as small differences in paint colour will be less obvious.
  • Does this wall receive good lighting? Good lighting makes it easier to distinguish the colour differences between the original and the fix.
  • What size is the area that needs a touch-up? Small areas produce better results as there is less area to notice the colour difference.
  • What is the wicking rate? This is the rate at which water is absorbed from the paint into the wall during drying. Faster or slower wicking rates will result in a different end colour.
  • Do you have the original paint? If you cannot obtain the original paint, getting it colour matched at your local hardware store will be the next best alternative.

2. Okay, how do I start?

You have weighed up the options and decided that a touch-up will suffice, so where do you begin?

Whether you are painting the interior or the exterior of your home, the first thing to do is make sure that the area is cleaned appropriately. This step may include: checking that all relevant repairs have been made to the damaged area, e.g. filling a hole with putty and sanding it back. If the wall contains multiple damaged areas, it might be wise to consider calling a Bayside professional painting service.

A primer should always be applied to the surface before painting to ensure that the paint will adhere to the surface correctly and dry properly, ensuring the maximum quality finish.

You will also want to ensure that your paint is mixed thoroughly. Poorly mixed paint can contribute to a discoloured final product, creating an obvious repainted spot.

3. The touch-up.

After your primer has completely dried and you have mixed your paint thoroughly, you can start the touch-up. It is important that you use the same painting tool that was originally used, i.e., brush or roller, to ensure that the finish will present the same.

After applying paint to your tool, you should remove any excess paint which has been transferred. For example, if you are using a roller, running it across a grid will ensure that the paint has been dispersed evenly across the head, ensuring any excess paint has been removed. When using a brush wiping the extra paint off is essential.

When applying the paint to the surface you should start with the smallest covering possible. It is a similar principle to cutting timber – you can always cut more off, but you cannot add more later. The same rule applies to touching up paint jobs – you can always add another coat, but it is much more difficult to remove layers that have already been applied.

You should also start from the centre of the damaged area and work out toward the sides, applying the paint to the smallest area possible to reduce the size of the touch-up. You also need to apply a small amount of paint to the area surrounding your touch-up. This process is called blending, and aims to merge the two areas in an attempt to make it less jarring on the eye.

Once the paint has dried there may be some areas that require another coat. In these instances, it is best to apply paint via a small blunt brush only to the areas which require extra paint. To match the existing texture you may run over the area with a smaller, dampened roller.

Painting touch ups

The steps are relatively similar between exterior and interior jobs; however, the paint and primer will be different, and the surface prep/damage repair may be slightly different from job to job.

Most importantly, try not to think of paint damage as a curse. Damaged paint can provide a great opportunity to spruce up your house. A fresh coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive renovation and can completely change the feeling of a room.

This is a great opportunity to experiment with new colours, or explore different ways to freshen up the look of your home. If you need any assistance please contact us for a free colour consultation! Painters around Bayside or your local region are best as they may be able to provide suggestions more suited to your neighbourhood.

To reduce the likelihood of problems occurring with your paint job it is essential that you start in the right place with a high-quality finish. If you’re looking for a professional painting service in Bayside Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula or the other South Eastern Suburbs and need someone with strong industry experience then please contact us on 0468 390 058.