Use the right brush when painting

How to: Touch-up Your Interior Paint Job

In Homeowner Tips, Interior Painting by Lindsey Mueller10 Comments

Earlier this year, we discussed touching up the paint on your home’s exterior. With interior painting being most active in the Winter season, we will now discuss techniques for touching up interior paint.

Even if your paint job starts out as immaculate, accidents happen. Scratches, scrapes, kids, and pets can damage a once pristine surface. Unfortunately, touch-ups can be one of the most difficult aspects of painting as it can be difficult to create a match between new and old paint. Read on for tips on how to make the process easier on you.

Prior to touching up your paint job, try targeting the problem area by cleaning. For example, scuffs are often easily removed with some light scrubbing.  Remember that higher sheen paints holds up to washing better than flat paints.

An image of paint brushes on top of newspaper by Sir_Iwan on Flickr.

When painting, be sure to use the right brush!
Photo by Sir_Iwan on Flickr.

Obtaining the Touch-Up Paint

Whether you had a professional complete your interior painting, or you did it yourself, be sure that you hold on to leftover paint, or have your painting contractor leave you with leftover paint in a clearly labeled container.  This makes for easy touch-ups, should you need to make any fixes in the future.  This also helps make sure your touch-up paint is most similar to the color on your wall.

At the very least, we recommend keeping note of the color, sheen, and manufacturer of paint used. If you don’t have the original paint colors, you will have to get a paint color match from a paint store.  While this is a useful tool, it is far less accurate than having the original paint.

Even if you do have the original paint, there is still likely to be a bit of a difference between the appearance of the old paint coat and the new paint you apply. For information on why this can happen, tips for proper storage of paint, as well as more touch-up tips, take a look at this informative article from Sherwin Williams.

Testing the Touch-Up Paint

Before beginning the touch-up process, we recommend testing out the paint in an inconspicuous area, such as inside of a closet, behind a piece of furniture, etc. This will help you test the appearance of the paint prior to applying the paint in a highly visible area. Be sure to allow the paint to dry before making any judgment, as colors may look the same wet, but in fact dry differently.

Completing the Touch-Ups

To complete the actual touch-up process, we suggest dabbing the affected areas with a small artist brush, rather than a large brush. This will allow for the best possible blending of small differences between new and old paint. A smaller brush also allows you to touch-up areas with the greater precision. Remember to always touch-up your paint using the same application method it was originally painted with.  For example, in the case of a wall that was sprayed, paint applied with a brush on top of the original coat is likely to stand out.

Worst-Case Scenario

Often, the touch-up paint does not match the original wall color, and painting “seam-to-seam” will the best option.  In other words, re-painting the entire wall of the affected area will produce the most aesthetically pleasing result.  While this may be less than ideal, as it is a longer process, differences between the old paint and new paint will hardly be noticeable on a separate wall.  The appearance from wall to wall already varies due to angles, shadows, and lighting.

If you need to re-paint an entire room or wall, this article from Sawshub offers a great start-to-finish guide on painting a room yourself with proper technique. For faster and more precise service, contact a professional painting contractor in your area!

To have a professional assess the painting work you may need, call the pro painters at Sound Painting Solutions at (206) 258-6676. Our friendly, expert painters can make your walls look new again!


  1. I totally agree with you that you should really test the paint in an inconspicuous area before totally painting it in a highly visible area. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is very helpful!

  2. This is the right website for everyone who really wants
    to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been written about for many years.

    Great stuff, just great!

  3. My sister wanted to have her home office repainted into the mint green. Thank you for these tips; we’ll keep in mind to test the paint inside of the closet or behind the furniture before applying it to help us test the appearance of the paint. I think it’s best if we’ll start looking for interior painting services in Ohio instead so we’ll be able to achieve our desired result.

  4. Great article on the ways to touch up your existing paint job. Touching up the paint inside your home is definitely something to consider to get more years from the color you choose years ago.

  5. We have recently started our new painting service company and came across this article.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to educate us on this. I’ve really focused on our painting skill being the forefront for our business. Touch ups are a constant issue but when you have a ton it’s a good idea to consider a professional to come in and really save you some time

    Painting services are by no means an exciting topic to write about, but you did a great job at keeping it enticing and informative. Thanks a ton

  6. The angles and shading tricks of painting are so interesting! Even if you can see the slight color difference between two separate walls, it still looks clean cut and probably even on purpose. Great tips! : )

  7. Hey we have just recently started our own painting business and came across this article.
    Really appreciate the tips for the touch-up paint. It is definitely a tricky thing to touch up walls and needs to be done with great care.
    Keep up the good work! Thanks a lot!

  8. I think it is definitely important to know how to touch up an interior paint job. There are so many accidents that can happen to your walls, and it is helpful skill to know how to touch up a paint job. I know that my own kids and pets have put many scratches on my walls that I would love to fix, so this article is very helpful and I plan on using the information I have learned from it.

  9. I would always have a pro do any painting especially touch ups… If you’ve ever tried to touch up your own paint you know why! Any time I’ve done it myself, you can clearly see where I did it at. Not cute!

  10. My mom wants our living room to be repainted because it looks old and shady. It was explained here that accidents cannot be avoided and touch-ups may be necessary for interior painting. Furthermore, it’s recommended to only hire professionals contractors for interior painting services.

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