Proper Paint Protocol


In the last couple of weeks I have run into two grossly conflicting situations regarding paint. More specifically, labeling and paint storage.
In one home we are winding down the bulk of the painting efforts and have begun to store things and organize. In this case the homeowner and I have been working closely throughout the project and I have a pretty good handle of what paint was used where. I did a good handful of the painting, and helped stage material for some of the other painters.
In that home we have labeled each can with what surface was painted: ie Repose Gray, Satin, Lower wainscot in Dinning room. In addition to that the Home Owner has a list of each room and what paint was used there...walls, ceiling, trim, color sheen... everything.
From that list I could go to the storage area and in quick order find what I need.
In the second home I was brought in for a secondary project. That project required some very minor painting touch up work. The story here though was completely different. Of the 30 plus gallons and 8-9 quarts of paint only three or four were labeled as to where that particular paint was used. Three of them for outside, one inside (which lead me to believe a different painter was used).
This home used the services of a professional designer and many fine and similar colors were used. I was able to ID some by their very different and bold nature but many of the subtle off whites, greens and Cream colors were anyone's guess. What should have been a 2 minute task turned into an hour of opening cans and testing...
So...the lesson here. At a minimum, label the paint can with which room or surface it was used on. Added info should include dates and the paint color recipe for future re-work if needed.
labeled paint 35+ gallons worth
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Pick a color and give it a go
room , Date, Color recipe How handy is that

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2 of 9 comments
  • Merry D
    on Jun 19, 2013

    This would be a fabulous idea for stains, as well. There's nothing so frustrating as thinking I used Cherry when I actually used Rosewood. Thanks for the tip!

  • Patti Mullett
    on Jul 7, 2015

    Hi All...going to share a secret that my sweet sister and I use. We purchase lots of homes and keep a notebook with room sizes, window measurements, paint colors, etc. When you have paint mixed, ask to have an extra label printed to go in your 'book', when you get to your next house, you know the colors you used and like. We carry them with us so we can take advantage of sales on curtains, blinds, etc. You can refer to them when buying bedding, pillows, décor items. Don't forget the 'oops' paint section. Happy decorating.....

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