Asked on Mar 27, 2017

How to match ceiling paint?

Tim Gavagan
by Tim Gavagan

Can someone tell me how to match paint for a ceiling touch up job?

I cut a small patch of dry wall paper out of the ceiling and had paint made at Home Depot TWICE! Still doesn't match. Trying to feather the edges next. Using dead flat ceiling paint. Any thoughts of a solution to paint the ceiling? Thanks.

  19 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 27, 2017
    Did you use what you cut out of the ceiling for them to color match?

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Mar 27, 2017
    Prime the spot first needed to repaint, you may want to spackle and/or prime first, use brush and also sponge to feather out. Also keep going back if it tint is not right or use another store. But the truth is: it is almost impossible to touch up a ceiling. You may have to repaint if it is too much of an eyesore to live with.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 01, 2017
    Janet is right about matching a faded piece and not the original paint colour. Johnnychip is right about the priming, feathering, and it being almost impossible to touch up.
    You don't mention whether the ceiling is white or a colour.
    I colour-matched a piece of old trim, and got a very close colour for my panelling for a repair. In another spot, it looked a bit more creamy, so I added a bit of white primer until I got closer, and it is barely noticeable. Sometimes on ceilings, it seems to match till it dries. That happened to me, but eventually with all the sunfading, it blended in.
    I had read for walls in darker colours, to add a bit of water to the latex paint, and then use a Q-tip for nail holes, or sponge it on if the area isn't too big, and then "wipe" it in to feather. It works quite well for small repairs.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Apr 01, 2017
    Unless you have the original paint can, I'd bite the bullet and repaint the entire ceiling. You won't be happy unless you do. Every 'ceiling' white is different, touch ups sometimes are just not perfectly matched. Best of luck.

  • Jennifer Dew Jennifer Dew on Jan 21, 2019

    Just repaired a section where the drywall tape was separating From ceiling. Didnt want bright white ceiling paint to make repair stand out even more so I added some light grey paint to the ceiling paint until it was more of an off white very very light grayish. Seems to match pretty good. I was happy with it. Now in my closet I had to repair a corner of the ceiling and after painting that spot the rest of the ceiling looked like old pale yellow color. So I just painted the whole thing bright white since it was a lot smaller ceiling area than the bedroom.

  • Gk Gk on Sep 20, 2018

    Paint looks lighter than the paint swatch when it is wet, then dries darker. When dry it should match the paint swatch exactly.

  • Cor32419347 Cor32419347 on Oct 17, 2018

    Most big box stores have a computer that will match your paint sample. Take a sample with you to the paint dept and let them do their magic.

  • Julie  McCuiston Julie McCuiston on Oct 17, 2018

    Find a hidden spot, maybe a closet or behind a outlet where you can slice off a small piece of the paint you want. Take it to a paint store that has a computer match for tinting. Lowes, Home Depot and any major paint store has that available.

  • Sandy Sandy on Oct 17, 2018

    Take a paint chip from the wall to a paint store and they can match it for you!

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 17, 2018

    What they said:) I'd take a sample to have the paint matched.

  • Andi Kessler Andi Kessler on Oct 18, 2018

    They only need a sample about the size of a nickel for the computer to match.

  • Ann Ann on Jan 30, 2018
    Take a small sample/chip to Home Depot and they will match it in whatever (gloss, flat, etc.) kind of paint you need.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2018

    you will have to take a large enough chip with you for any paint store to do a color match

  • Emily Emily on Jan 30, 2018
    if it is something in your home (wall paint, furnishings, decorative items) bring some paint chips home that resemble the color you want. Top pic is our old porch ceiling, bottom is new. Paint is same color which we found by bringing home a chip to match. The lower looks darker because it was a darker day, but it is the same color.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 02, 2023

    Hi Tim, your best bet is repaint the ceiling, you will never match the old paint, and new paint will really lighten up your room.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 02, 2023

    Seems like it would simpler in the long run to just repaint the entire ceiling and keep the can lid which contains info to help the paint store match that color.

  • Gillian Weaver Gillian Weaver on Mar 07, 2023

    You're stuck with painting the entire ceiling for best results.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 13, 2023

    Forget about getting small pots of touch up paint. Get a colour you like and do the lot. The colour of the ceiling will vary all over because of the conditions in the room right under any one spot eg: smoke or age related atmosphere.

  • Gorgon Gorgon Yesterday

    Your better off painting the whole ceiling. The touch up paint they mixed for you at the store almost never will match unless it comes from the same can or buckle the ceiling was painted from, sorry.