Specialty Paint Repairs

In addition to some of my larger projects, I also enjoy when I get requests from my contractor, painter and interior designer friends to do unique paint repairs that tap into my color (and pattern) matching abilities.

I have done a few of these “paint fixes” recently that are good examples of the range of different things that can be done with paint to make problems disappear!

The first example was at a home up in Reading, MA.  In this case, one of my interior designer colleagues reached out to see if I could paint over patched holes in a stairwell to make them blend with the walls around them.  The challenge here is that the stairwell was painted with a faux finish, using multiple colors that were not recorded!  Re-painting the stairwell was not a great option, as it is continuous with the kitchen and great room – all of which have the same faux finish. So matching the faux finish was the only way to go! To do this, I made a first visit with my paint swatch books to find the colors that most closely matched what was used originally.  This is always a challenge, because with a faux finish, one or more of the colors is diluted with a glaze medium, so I have to deduce what the color would be if it were at 100% concentration. 

Once I had this information, I gathered the paint and headed back to take care of the job.  I always bring a range of colors similar to what I spec’d, because I find that I almost always have to do some mixing to get an exact match – which was definitely the case with this project!  There were 3 holes – but the one pictured was the largest.  When I was done, the homeowner couldn’t find the damaged spots – which is always the best compliment I can get for this kind of work!


The second example was at a home on Brookline, MA.  In this case, water leaks stained two different sections of wallpaper.  Neither paper was still available to do replace the damaged section, so the contractor called me in to paint over the damaged sections and make them blend with the existing paper!

Like with the faux repair, my first step was to visit the home and see what colors would match the wallpaper.  Again, I returned with multiple colors to make sure I could mix if needed to get an exact match.

After cleaning and priming the stained spots, I was on to my color match. For the striped paper, my cream-color paint was perfect with no mixing!  The blue took a little mixing, but I was also able to get that to blend with the existing blue.  Some of the stripes I completely re-painted, while with others, I just painted along the trim where the staining happened. The grass paper was a little trickier!  The color I chose was great as the “base” color, but I also needed to mix a lighter and darker version to re-create the subtle streaking that happens in the fibers of the grass paper.  Below are before and after pictures of these 2 fixes.  In both set of pictures, I needed more light at the end of the day – so the “after” pictures look brighter, but that is just the lighting!


The last example is a small and subtle one – but it was a lot of fun.  After doing some wall repairs as part of a kitchen re-model, a painter had filled gaps where the brick of a chimney met the wall.  The only problem was that the bright white of the caulk really stood out next to the brick, which the contractor and homeowner were not happy with.  To fix this one, I was called in to paint the caulk to look like the grout of the bricks. For this, I needed to match the many different colors in the grout and re-create the dappled look of the concrete.  When I was done, the homeowner no longer knew where the patches were!  Below is a before and after of this.