My wall is "agreeable grey" and I got "agreeable grey" from the same painting store as before. Why is the part I painted over darker? I painted it over an hour ago and it’s still dark.

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  • You don't say how old the original paint is. Don't forget that sunlight will cause paint colors to fade over time. Even if the paint store got you a 100% accurate match of the original color, the rest of the paint won't be 100% true to that original color.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 16:55

4 Answers 4


Many possible reasons.

  • You haven't waited long enough for it to both dry and cure. It will change color somewhat as it does so; that's on purpose because otherwise the painter would never be able to spot holidays on the 2nd coat.

  • It was not mixed fully. Paint must be mixed aggressively or pigment will be left in the bottom of the can. You have to use the mixing stick to search the bottom of the can for anything sticky or lumpy - that is pigment not yet mixed in, and that'll throw your color off. That must be done by hand.

  • it was from a different can. That is a mixed to order color, and those paint machines aren't magical, their tolerance isn't tight enough to guarantee a match. You often have to paint the whole wall. Buy enough for the whole job and mix the cans together.

  • the can was a different sheen or type (quality).

  • the surface had different preparation. For instance one was painted over Kilz 2 primer and the other was painted over mayonnaise :)

Unfortunately, saving partial cans of used latex paint is tricky anymore. The modern standards have such low VOC that they no longer kill molds and bacteria. They can bloom in the can and contaminate the paint, making for stinky paint that never stops stinking. It helps if it's moved into cans that are very full (almost no air space).

  • 4
    What's 'holidays' mean here? Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 6:26
  • @JourneymanGeekOnStrike MIssed spot
    – anjama
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 12:17
  • Plus one for sticky paint.
    – paulj
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 12:34

Paint typically dries lighter than how it looks when it is applied, it might not be completely dry yet.

First you should verify the formulas are the same and the sheens are the same.

Also, if only a single coat was applied previously and you added a second coat over the top that can change the appearance.

Its hard to say with so many variables.


Is it a color from paint factory/company? If it is mixed at the store, there is a chance it could be slightly off. Also, check if it is the same base paint used for the mix. I know sometimes the base formula changes over time.


When buying paint, always buy more than you need & make sure the store will refund on any unopened cans.

Then very carefully check each can has the exact same batch number on a sticker on the side.
Unfortunately you can't do this if it was mixed specially in-store, so you have to mix all cans together before starting.

Paint colours will always vary between batches - close enough that no-one would notice it's not exactly as advertised, but not close enough to be able to put one right next to another without being able to spot the join.

You only real 'fix' is to start over with enough paint from one batch.

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