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My livingroom has a white wall with a visible brown stain on it.
I would like to cover it with some white paint but the wall was painted a couple of years ago so it is not bright white but it has become darkish.

How should I cover the stain with white paint avoiding the "bright white patch" effect on a white wall?

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First, you should fix the source of the stain. If this is water damage, it will reoccur until you stop the water. Then clean the surface, apply a primer, and then some matching paint. To get matching paint, remove a small chip of paint you'd like to match and have the store give you a custom mix based on your chip. When applying paint, you should feather it into the rest of the wall so that any transitions become difficult to see. Note that most people would repaint the entire wall since it isn't much more work and the result looks even better.

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    Don't be surprised if initially the colors don't match. The paint will change color as it dries. – mikes Aug 6 '12 at 1:05
  • Can the store match a white that got darker? Oh, repainting the entire wall means repainting also the other walls, ceiling incuded; for just a stain it seems an overkill. – systempuntoout Aug 6 '12 at 6:51
  • @systempuntoout they will match whatever color you give them. Repainting the wall means you stop at the edges, so you don't have to repaint the ceiling if you don't want to. Stopping at an edge makes it harder to see any slight change in color. – BMitch Aug 6 '12 at 10:48

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