White is…White…Right?

It’s time for painting again—the tenant on the top floor moved out and my plan is to get the apartment back on the market quickly. New York real estate is a hot commodity and it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. I did a complete reno on this apartment two years ago so it’s still in excellent condition. There’s no major renovation necessary; only patching nail holes (the tenant didn’t use drywall anchors), cleaning fingerprints and grease marks off the paint, and scrubbing the appliances to their original stainless steel glory (doesn’t anyone clean up after themselves anymore?).

Laying it On Thick
I’m repainting the apartment with the same paint I used before: white. Antique white, to be exact. There were a few gallons of this paint stored in the basement for future use so I brought it upstairs and prepared my tools. I decided to “patch” the primed areas last night with the Antique White instead of painting the entire wall—quick and easy work. Joy turned to despair once the paint skinned over: it didn’t match the paint on the wall. What happened? Did the paint “season” over those two years in the basement and mature into a different value? Or did the painted walls discolor in the sunlight and under the fluorescent lights? Or both? Or something else?

The strokes from the paint roller are visible on the wall. That’s an issue for me to deal with; the roller marks would be invisible if the paint matched. Houston, I have a problem.

Paint Doesn't Match

I let the paint continue drying overnight in the off chance that it would miraculously change and give me relief. When I checked the next day it was still the same value, still an unsuccessful application. There was a silver lining to that dark cloud, though.

My aha! moment came when I looked closely at the container of paint. I used the wrong paint! I purchased Glidden Antique White RM in February of 2010 for this apartment and SpeedWall Antique White in July of 2012 for the first floor apartment because the Glidden was discontinued. No wonder they didn’t match. They’re also different finishes—Glidden is semi gloss and SpeedWall is matte flat.

Antique White Latex Semi Gloss

I remember bringing up both containers, reasoning that I’d use up the Glidden and resume painting with the SpeedWall when necessary. Good idea, poor implementation because I neglected to spearate the containers appropriately. One container could have been stored outside in the hallway to prevent this kind of accident (lesson learned; I will certainly do this going forward).

What a relief! I’ve since gone back and repainted the patched areas and the walls look great. It took more effort than I prefer to have expended, however it worked out well in the end.


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