How to Properly Apply Touch-Up Paint Like a Pro in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Area


If you've spent a lot of time painting the interior of your home in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area, then you know there is nothing more discouraging than scuffing your freshly-coated wall when you're moving a piece of furniture back into the room!

Maintaining the rich color and finish of your home’s interior doesn’t mean you have to repaint the whole room to fix the dents, dings and scratches that mark your walls’ surfaces.By reading DSEAYCOM’s suggestions on how to properly apply touch-up paint like a pro in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area, you can touch up select spots and keep your walls looking flawless and freshly-painted.When done right, you'll never be able to tell they were ever there!

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1.       Apply Wall Repairs

Make sure to repair any damaged surfaces before applying a touch up. Do not count on paint alone to camouflage the problems; you really don't need another reason for your touch ups to stand out. In most cases, all the repair requires is an application of drywall joint compound or a small piece of drywall tape covered with two or three coats of joint compound.

Dents, small holes (nail holes, etc.) and deeper scratches can be filled in with spackling compound. Use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and lightly smooth the surface around the area to be repaired. Use just enough to fill in the hole or crack. Put the compound-covered blade of the putty knife at a 45-degree angle to the wall and spread the compound over the hole or crack in a smooth, feathering motion until the hole is completely filled in.

Scrape away excess compound from the wall with your putty knife with the blade at a 90-degree angle to the wall. After scraping the repair, examine it from several angles with a light while you're sanding, and erase all humps and noticeable scratches. It will take a few hours for the patch to properly set. If the patch is slightly raised from the rest of the surface, lightly sand it again with fine-grit sandpaper. If you’re working on holes that are 2" or greater in diameter, you may need to purchase or make a wall-repair patch and apply it before using joint compound to seal it in place.

2.       Prime the repairs

You must now prime the repaired areas for optimal paint adhesion and color blending. If you're repairing a nick or gouge that requires filling with spackling compound, you'll find it easier to blend the repair if you prime the filler with wall primer. Because the primer seals the filler, the topcoat doesn't soak in, and the sheen is the same as the rest of the paint.

Unprimed repairs don't blend in. Without primer, the touched-up spot will stand out from the rest of the painted surface. Use a small or medium-sized paintbrush to apply a layer of primer over the spot.

Try to keep the size of the primed area confined to the dimensions of the repair for best results. Take the time to apply the right primer when needed. To avoid a mess, apply a thin coating of drywall primer to all repaired spots and let the primer dry completely.

Always prime any greasy stains, ink and crayon (for that you'll need an oil-based, stain-blocking primer) and rust (using a special rust-blocking primer) - otherwise the stains will reappear within days.

Remember: Open the windows to make sure you'll be priming and painting in a well-ventilated area.

3.       Clean the Surface 

Dirt, grime and dust can build up on the wall’s surface, which can affect paint adhesion when you begin touching it up. Lightly wipe the work area with a soapy sponge and then dry the walls with a clean towel, and rub a soft cloth over the painted surface if it looks dull.

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4.       Use the Same Paint

It can be difficult to match the color exactly if the touch-up paint is not from the same can. Whenever possible, always store leftover paint so that you can use it for touch ups. If you don’t have any of the original paint left, you can try to match it with the same brand, color and finish.

Another important tip to apply a touch-up like a pro, is to thin-down your paint when using the brush method with 5%-10% water for latex paints, or 5%-10% mineral spirits for oil-based paints. Reducing paint with a paint reducer can help the touch-up paint to blend in.

5.       Texture Match

Use the same applicator that was used to paint the last coat of paint on the wall that you’re touching up to blend with the surrounding surface. If you used a roller, use a roller again to replicate the surface texture. Use as little paint as possible and apply small amounts at a time.

When using a brush, “feather” the edges, beginning at the inside of the touch-up, moving out toward the edges. Feathering is a technique where you extend your brush strokes slightly beyond the repaired area to blend into the surrounding paint for a smooth transition.

A technique that you will notice a lot of professional painters use to maintain a consistent texture is called 'tipping-off'. This is one of the best ways on how to apply touch-up paint like a pro. It gives a super smooth finish and helps level out the touch-up paint.

6.       Check Touch Ups after Drying

Let the paint dry completely and check to see how visible the touch-ups are by looking at the wall at an angle. Check its appearance in both natural and artificial light at different times of the day.  Be liberal in your assessment; you may always see the touched-up spots, but a guest, or a potential buyer of your home in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area may not be able to.

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A proper touch up isn't just about matching color, but about matching sheen, texture and even application method. Use the tips listed above to properly apply touch-up paint like a pro without repainting the whole room.

This home improvement project will not only keep your walls looking flawless and freshly painted, it will also attract potential buyers. This will ensure your home in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area stands out from other homes for sale in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area.

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Derrick Seay
Derrick Seay
DSEAYCOM B'ham Branch