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How to touch-up paint

From the Resene paint and decorating problems solver

Repairing paint on a wall by touching-up sounds simple but it is easy to make mistakes that can highlight your invisible mend.


  • Always use the same original container of paint to touch-up if possible.  It is the ONLY WAY to a perfect repair.
  • If you use all of the original paint, keep a piece of card or paper with the details and a dab of the colour for matching in case it is needed in future.
  • Thin the touch-up paint with 20% water and apply with a nook and cranny roller or similar. Feather the edges of the damaged area or use filler if deeper than two coats of paint.
  • Always check an inconspicuous area first to see if there are any colour/gloss differences.
  • Always mix and box different batches of paint together before use.


  • Do not change the batch of paint or container of paint in the middle of a wall.
  • Do not touch-up with a different batch of paint.
  • Do not touch-up paint without thinning or in large blobs.  You are trying to merge in an invisible mend.
  • Sheen paints tend not to be suitable for touch up.  They usually show a sheen difference in which case the full wall should be painted.

Resene Paint and Decorating Problems Solver
Learn more about typical painting problems and situations you may find when decorating. Also, understanding paint hazards and essential precautions - putting your safety first!

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