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After repairing some damage to a wall, I need to re-paint the repaired area to match the rest of the wall.

I have been given the wrong colour by a shop assistant and it has made it worse (See photo). The paint he's given me is British Standard white, which looks like cream and not white at all.

The one I got is no good either (pure brilliant white, gloss high sheen), because it's too "shiny" and you can see it's a different colour if you don't look straight at the wall.

Wall with patch of visibly different paint

I was hoping 1) to get some advice on the "gloss" or "sheen" issue (I don't even know what that means), 2) again, how do people figure out which shade of white without having somebody physically there?

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    There is no possible method to answer this question. Color in photos doesn’t reproduce perfectly, and it may vary by the monitor or phone screen displaying it. Also decorating advice is specifically off-topic per the help center. – Tyson Apr 25 '18 at 11:18
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    VTC - Any answer to this would be largely opinion based based upon the picture. And then there is the fact that no photo will ever be able to show the colours that you will see in your room. – Michael Karas Apr 25 '18 at 11:19
  • true, but I was hoping 1) to get some advice on the "gloss" or "sheen" issue (I don't even know what that means), 2) again, how do people figure out which shade of white without having somebody physically there? – ericat Apr 25 '18 at 11:27
  • You can get sample paint cards from most DIY stores, they will help you match up your paint colour. If you already have gloss or sheen paint, then it will be very difficult to get a good final result. If it is matt paint then you can thin the paint down to help blend out any slight colour difference over a larger area, but you still need to have an almost exact match, good luck. – 5202456 Apr 25 '18 at 12:11
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I was hoping 1) to get some advice on the "gloss" or "sheen" issue (I don't even know what that means),

As well as the colour, the appearance of a painted wall is affected by how smooth and reflective the paint surface is.

Paints come in matt, silk, gloss and other degrees of shinyness. You probably want a matt finish as that is what a high proportion of British homes use on their walls. Note that people usually use gloss finish on woodwork.

You should expect to find matt emulsion on your walls, gloss paint is usually oil-based and intended for woodwork, not for painting on plastered masonry walls.

2) again, how do people figure out which shade of white without having somebody physically there?

By taking a sample to the store and asking them to match it. Stores often have a machine for mixing paints to an exact match. This can be needed because paint colours are fashion items and may become discontinued. Also, painted colours can change over time due to exposure to sunlight and other influences. Unfortunately, taking a chunk of your wall to a store is impractical. You may be able to scrape off a sample if the paint, or a layer underneath, hasn't fully adhered. A chip roughly one inch square will be enough.

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By buying test pots until you find an acceptable match.

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Sounds like you need a matt finish, not gloss high sheen. Or maybe a silk finish which is shinier than matt but not as shiny as high sheen. See this Dulux help page for more details. It could also be down to the way you applied the paint: patching up using a paint brush leaves a different texture to using a roller.

I assume you've let it dry completely. If not you might find that the colour changes as it dries.

If you can't figure it out, find a shop where they actually know about paint, tell them exactly what you were given, describe why it wasn't suitable.

Or keep trying tester pots until you find the right one.

Since you don't have the original paint but really want an even finish, you might need to paint the whole wall.

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In the USA, big box home stores have little slips of paper that have the name of the color and an example of the color. We used that to successfully match paint.

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  • That will help you match the color, but not the finish. – Jeffrey Apr 25 '18 at 13:58

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