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Old 12-08-2010, 08:37 AM   #1
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Cannot match sheen on flat paint?


Hello all! Me and my wife are having quite a dilemma. We recently purchased a house in March, and it was repainted about a year before we bought it. It had a few minor spots that needed to be touched up, so we finally had some time and decided to undertake the task. We've never had problems matching paint in the past.

The paint if most certainly flat, a lighter brown brown color. So we went to Home Depot and got a sample of Behr Ultra Premium flat, and while the color matched, the sheen absolutely did not. It looked more eggshell than flat. So, we went back, and tried a quart of Glidden flat, and again, while the color was a close match, the sheen again was not.

I've always been told that flat paint is the easiest paint to match. We've been relatively successful matching eggshells and satins in the past, but are really struggling with this one.

The paint on the walls is very aesthetically pleasing, but it almost looks primer or ceiling paint flat. Repainting the whole wall is not an issue in the short term, but 60% of our house is painted in this paint, so getting a good match is essential long term. The thought of painting and entire wall everytime we move a picture or get a few dings is not a happy one.

Any suggestions of thoughts? We're really frustrated over this ...

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Old 12-08-2010, 08:40 AM   #2
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Cannot match sheen on flat paint?


If it was really cheap paint, and one coat at that, then it will be a tough match. Paint the whole room.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:03 AM   #3
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Cannot match sheen on flat paint?


You need to find the exact paint that was used, different brands will never match, flat or not.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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Cannot match sheen on flat paint?


See, there's no standard for paint sheens, and every company has their own versions of what we categorize as flat, satin - or whatever you call it.

Even if you used a glossmeter, the readings for flat paint would be somewhere between 0 and 5% relectance on their scale whereas a glossy paint would read over 70%, so you're playing around at the bottom of readibility - and hence the greater margin for error. So to exactly match a flat paint, you'd have to have the same low, low reading - under the same consitions - and that's tough.

Plus, flat paints have a higher content of pigments that glossier paints, and their reflectance is directly connected to the type and amount of pigment they use. Cheaper paints use cheap pigments like talc whereas a better brand will use more titanium dioxide, for example.

So let's say you already have a $40/gall Benjamin Moore paint on your wall; well, you won't match that gloss or anything with an $8/gall Behr, bet my shirt on it. And even if the sales people know all that, they won't tell you until you've paid for the Behr - not before - assuming they know it at all.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Cannot match sheen on flat paint?


Glidden Ultra-Hide 1210! 100% sheen match, 95% color. I'll take it. Thanks for the replies ....
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