To many, nothing sparks excitement like the prospect of a home remodeling project. Most people consider a new coat of paint to be the quickest path toward provided their home with a fresh look. However, all too often, paint projects end in disappointment because the color scheme doesn’t end up looking as good on the walls as it did on the sample paper. Most people tend to take their paint to a home improvement or paint store when they want the color altered. However, many are surprised to learn that they can do the job themselves.
There are three ways you can change a paint’s color. You can either lighten it, darken it, or change it completely. All three options entail the same process. Basically, you’ll be changing a paint’s color by mixing in paint of a different color. If you’re planning to attempt to change the color of your paint, the first thing you need to do is identify the type and sheen of paint you’re using. Check the label on the side of the can to see if it is latex, oil based, flat, gloss, or semi-gloss. If your paint is latex, you should only add latex paint to it. If it’s oil based, you should only add oil based paint. Likewise, if the paint is flat, you should only add flat paint to it. If it’s gloss, you should only add gloss paint to it, and so on.
Now that you know which type and sheen of paint you should be using, it’s time to pick the color. If you remember the color principles you learned in kindergarten, you know that yellow and blue make green and that red and blue make purple. While this is true with house paint, usually such drastic alterations aren’t necessary. Most of the time, people just want to lighten or darken their paint. To lighten the paint, add a bit of white. To darken it, add more of the paint’s base. For instance, if your paint is light green, you can darken it by adding more green. Don’t know what color you should mix in to get the shade you want? Try experimenting with a dab of each paint on a piece of paper. A few trials and errors will help you come to a decision.
Now, it’s time to do the actual mixing. First, you need to pour out some of the original paint to make room for the new color you will be adding in. Now, you’re ready to pour in a bit of the new color. Start slowly and be sure to stir the paint thoroughly to ensure that the colors mix evenly. Sometimes, it can be difficult for an amateur to get the colors just right. So, make sure to add new paint slowly, stopping to test often. If you’re not quite satisfied with the color, just add a bit more. If you over-darken, you can add a bit of white to lighten things up.
It’s very important that you never mix different types and sheens of paint together. Since latex paints are water-based, adding oil based paints will cause the paint separate, effectively ruining it. Likewise, mixing flat and gloss paints together usually results in paint that produces uneven, streaky results. Also, make sure to alter all of your paint colors at one time. If you do it can-by-can, you’re liable to get subtly different results.