In Painters Advice, Painting Tips

Maintaining the look of smoothly painted surfaces looking like they were freshly painted always, can be a challenge.

With nicks, dents, scratches, scuff marks, or oil stains that are part of living in any home, they can make it look like the space is in need of repainting.

drywall repairs to walls before interior painting

Repainting is not always the only alternative as there will be times you can fix these minor mishaps using the right tools and techniques.  Touch ups are faster and easier to get the paint looking fresh again.

Let’s get started with tips and advice on when you can touch things up or if you need to repaint everything.

Touch Up Painting

A hole in the wall, chipped paint, scuff marks from shoes or from moving furniture or even a stain on the ceiling from water damage.  These are all ways of getting out the leftover paint you may have saved from a recent painting project and use it to do touch ups.

Interior Painting Touch Ups

If the painting was only done a few months ago or even a year ago, it should still be a good time to use that paint to do a minor touch up, but would not be recommended if the last time was more that two years ago that you had the interior of your house painted.  Because after roughly a year there are variations that occur in the paint colour from changes in the original pigmentation.  The original pigmentation of the paint colour changes over time which is normal because of sunlight and daylight that shine through and just like everything else paint ages.

If more than a year has passed and you use a paint brush over a dent, a scuff mark or whatever with a paint brush, you will undoubtedly see a difference in the colour.  It will not look exactly like the one on the wall alread.  If you use a q-tip it might not be as visible since it is such a small spot and of course it will depend on the location of the touch up.  If it is in the entrance/hallway then it may be a little more noticeable as you come through the door as opposed to say a bedroom or bathroom where it is not frequented as often and not by many.

Using a q-tip is best on a scratch, small scuff mark or small hole or dent so that the difference in colour is not too visible, otherwise using a paintbrush would be recommended if it is bigger than the size of a pea.  A paint brush will show more of the variations in the paint colour if the walls were painted more than a year ago.  Take note of the paint finish used previously.  Whether it was flat, eggshell, semi-gloss or gloss the slightest difference in the sheen will make any touch up really stand out, gloss finishes are almost impossible to touch up because of the mirror like high shine of the paint.


If there is a hole in the wall from a door knob having been pushed through the drywall or a hole the size of a fist, this is not just a simple touch up job, this will need repainting.  Before you can repaint such imperfections on the walls you will need to add a small piece of drywall to repair the hole first.  Patching the area with compound will ensure you get the drywall repaired  to obtain that flat wall surface for paint to easily be applied to.

repairs to drywall before painting

Now that the area has to be repaired by taping, mudding or plastering then sanding it, you will need to follow up with a paint primer and then paint the finishing colour.  There will be a difference between the old and new paint if you just touch up that patched spot.  We recommend repainting the entire wall with the same paint colour instead of just touching it up so that there is no visible difference where the patching was done.  The piece of drywall installed to fill the hole is new, just like the first time the house was built and then painted.  New drywall soaks up more paint than drywall that has a couple of coats of paint already existent.

Calling on a professional can help ease the stress and give you that perfect paint finish on the walls, trim, baseboards, crown moulding, frames, doors or if you had to repair the ceiling for whatever reason.  Painting with the quality paint products is recommended to get the best end result.

Exterior Painting Touch Ups Or Repainting

Touch ups or repainting for the exterior follow the same principles as the interior touch ups or repainting.  If it is a small scratch, dent or scuff mark on the exterior front door an imperfection that is the size of a pea it can be easily repaired with a touch up using a Q-tip or a pointed artist brush to get into the tiny space and not leave any extra paint on the surface that would be easily noticed.

If it is greater than the size of a pea, we recommend a complete repainting of the entire door.  Even if you colour match a brand new can of paint, it will never be exactly the same as paint manufacturers make new paint cans daily.  Even with the latest paint-matching technology not only will the colour be off but the paint sheen will be off, making your touch-up stand out just as much or as badly as if it was a different colour completely.  Over time the paints original pigmentation mix changes and it loses some of its original strength because just like a fine wine even paint ages in time.

If you are feeling unsure about whether you should simply touch up a spot or repaint the entire area we recommend you seek the advice of professional painters who will assess the individual situation and recommend the necessary repairs, touch ups or repaint.

Contact PG Paint & Design for any Touch Up or Repainting and for all your house painting projects


 This post was originally published on May 15, 2017  and edited Mar 21, 2020