Over time, dents, dings, scratches and marks can mar the surface of your walls. To maintain the colour and finish of your home’s interior, you may have to do some touch-ups. If the damage is small and your paint is less than one year old, you can easily restore the area without the need to repaint the whole room. Before you pick up your paintbrush, there are some things you should know about how to successfully touch-up your walls.


Decide if you really need to paint:

Try removing marks by wiping the wall with a sponge dipped in a solution of 1 gallon (3.8 L) of warm water, 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of white vinegar, and ¼ cup (57 g) of baking soda. If this does not remove the marks, gently rub the spots with a paste made of baking soda and water. Use light pressure or you may lift up some of the paint. If the marks are still visible, you need to do a touch-up!



Use 180 or 220 grit sandpaper, light pressure and small circular motions on the area you will be painting.


Undertake repairs:

If your paint is peeling, scrape any raised areas with a putty knife. Fill dents, small holes and scratches with spackling compound, available in your local hardware store. Scrape away excess compound from the wall with your putty knife. Let dry. If the patch is slightly raised, sand again.


Prime the repaired areas using a high-quality latex primer with the same base and gloss as the paint you previously used. This ensures the repaired spot doesn’t stand out from the rest of the surface. Keep the size of the primed area confined to the dimensions of the repair. Let dry, then sand till smooth to the touch.



Use the same paint originally used on the surface. If you don’t have any left, visit a store with colour-matching technology and ask them to mix an identical colour in the same brand, colour and finish. Stir the paint until thoroughly mixed, then thin it slightly ( 5%-10% water for latex paints, or 5%-10% mineral spirits for oil-based paints). Use the same style brush/roller that was used to paint the original coat.


Use good technique:

Coat your roller/brush with the least amount of paint needed. Start in the center of your touch up and work toward the edges. Extend your brush strokes slightly beyond the repaired area to blend it into the surrounding paint.


Check once dry:

Let dry for the time recommended by the paint manufacturer. Check to see how visible the touch-ups are by observing the wall at an angle, in both natural and artificial light. Touch-ups that are noticeable when wet may dry into an exact match.


More tips:

  • For small touch-ups (less than 1 inch) use an angled foam brush or cotton swab to lightly dab paint on the spot.
  • Buy the highest quality paint you can afford to purchase for the original coat. This can help reduce the dents, dings, scratches and marks that occur.
  • When applying the original coat, take all your paint cans and mix in a large container (5-gallon pail) eliminating the possibility of there being a variance from gallon-to-gallon. This makes leftover paint more likely to match when used for touch-ups.
  • Always take note of the paint you originally used (colour, gloss, finish). Write it on the lid of the can holding leftover paint.
  • Don’t shake the old paint can before opening it. If it has been stored for a couple of years, it will have a thick film on top. Open the lid and remove this layer before stirring the paint.

By using the proper technique, you can touch-up small areas of your walls keeping them looking flawless and freshly painted. If you have any questions, consult your local paint and design experts. They have the knowledge and experience to help you with your project, big or small.


Need advice on your painting project? Call Calgary’s independent paint and blinds store West Hillhurst Paint + Design at (403) 270-9696 or email at kyle@westhillhurstpaint.com Our knowledgeable professional design associates provide high-quality paint, a wide selection of blinds and advice for home projects. We offer excellent service and a variety of products to match any budget. Call for a consultation today!

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