Same Color, Different Brand: Can You Color Match Between Paint Companies?

Can You Color Match Between Paint Companies? Same Color, Different Brand: Can You Color Match Between Paint Companies?

Let’s run through a quick scenario.

Maybe you have an existing paint color that you like, but you need to finish a few touch-ups. You bring home a bunch of swatches, line them up, find the closest match, and order a gallon or two. You aren’t sure of the original brand that was used, or maybe want to switch to something different anyway.

That leads us to the big dilemma: can you mix and match paint brands, or do the colors vary across manufacturers even if they have the same name?

All good questions! Before you make any quick decisions, here's a brief discussion about why you should be careful when mixing brands, plus we’ll share a few tips for a successful color match.

Understanding Paint Color Matching

It can be tempting to think that any color swatch with the same name (or very similar) will provide an identical match, even if it was created by a different company. But when it comes to paint colors, each paint company has its unique palette, created using proprietary formulations and pigments. These variations mean that even if two brands have a color with the same name, the actual shades can differ significantly.

 Same Color, Different Brand: Can You Color Match Between Paint Companies?

Can You Color Match Between Paint Companies?

The short answer: sometimes. As we mentioned above, while some companies may have colors with the same names, these colors are not always identical. So, if you are really looking for an exact match you probably shouldn’t paint with a color developed by a different brand. That doesn't mean you can’t get a perfect match, though. It just means that pulling any other swatch off the shelf from the one you originally used might not yield the best (or most consistent) results.

How Do You Match Your Existing Paint Color?

Here are a few different ways:

Digital Color Matching Apps: Some apps allow you to take a picture of a sample and provide you with the closest match available. This is one of the more convenient options, but accuracy does vary because, like we said, any other swatch will look different in most cases. Not to mention a phone camera is not capable of getting an exact representation of the color.

Custom Color Matching at Paint Stores: Many paint and home maintenance stores offer custom color matching services, where they create a formula based off of a sample you bring in. This method is much more reliable but you will need to remove a piece of paint from whatever you’re working on.

Third-Party Color Matching Services: Professional color matching services are another good option. This also usually requires a paint sample, but they can provide a precise match. Just keep in mind that this is typically a more expensive process.

Compare a Sample with a Swatch: We’ve already talked about why another swatch will likely not give you an identical match, but if you are completely repainting and don't mind a very slight change you should be able to find something close.

Practical Tips for Successful Paint Color Matching

  1. Test a Small Area: Before committing to a large project, always test the color match on a small, inconspicuous area to see how it looks in your specific environment.
  2. Consider the Finish: Ensure that the finish of the new paint matches the original. Differences in sheen can make even the same color appear very different.
  3. Adjust for Lighting: View the test area under different lighting conditions to ensure the match is accurate.

What’s the Takeaway?

If you are wondering whether or not to use a color from a different brand, just be warned that it might not be as exact as the name makes it seem. But if you are just looking for an approximate match or are repainting the whole surface, it may be close enough. Wherever you are in the color matching process, hopefully these tips help!

Williams Professional Painting Has You Covered

Need help with an upcoming or ongoing painting project? At Williams Professional Painting, we don't just come with tools. We come with the knowledge and experience needed for quality paint jobs every time. Contact us for more information!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can all paint colors be matched exactly between different brands? A: Not always. Differences in formulations, base colors, and pigments can lead to variations, even if the color names are the same.

Q: How reliable are digital color matching tools? A: Digital tools can be helpful but are not always perfect. Their accuracy depends on various factors, including the device's calibration and lighting conditions.

Q: Is it more expensive to color match between brands? A: Custom color matching services can be more expensive, but they offer a higher accuracy compared to standard matching methods.

Q: What should I do if the color match is not perfect? A: If the match is not perfect, consider adjusting the lighting, changing the finish, or consulting with a professional for further assistance.

Q: Can I return paint if the color match is not accurate? A: Return policies vary by store, but many retailers do not accept returns on custom-mixed paints. Always check the policy before purchasing.

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