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What to do with a Scuff or Two: The Touchy Subject of Touching Up

There’s nothing like gathering your fabulous friends and family for holiday celebrations, unless you have that one person who will be laser-focused on finding the flaws among the festivities. Well, this is where my mind goes, at least! So, in order to save us all from that unneeded heartache, I thought I’d give you some tips on preparing your interior walls for holiday hipsters (and the not-so-hipsters!).

Tape it off: I like to first go around the house with some blue painters tape and stick a piece of tape near all of the things that catch my eye – from scuff marks to dings.

Wash it off: You will be amazed at how much a little soapy water and/or a magic eraser will do to improve the look of your walls. Go back through the house and see if either one takes care of the problem. Make sure the wall has had time to dry before you decide if that step worked or if you need to take it to the next level.

Touchy, Touchy!  Doing touch-up painting can be an arduous task that just leads to more work. Either the paint hue doesn’t match, the sheen is different or the application simply looks strange against the original paint. Hopefully you’ve saved any extra paint from the last time the walls were painted so at least that’s a good start. There are three situations in which you can probably touch up your paint:

Situation #1 – When there is very low or no sheen on the paint. Flat paints are much easier to touch up than satin or semigloss. If the paint on the walls (or ceiling) is not faded or dirty, and if you have an exact paint match, you can probably touch it up. The key is to apply the paint to the smallest area possible, then use a brush or small roller to “feather” the edges of the painted area, blending it with the older paint.

Situation #2 – When there is a very small flaw that is not in a prominent location. If there is a small nick or chip out of the paint, try using an artist’s brush (rather than a house-painting brush) to carefully dab the paint exactly onto the damaged spot. Use only a tiny amount, so it doesn’t bubble out from the surface, and don’t feather the edge.

Situation #3 – When the damaged area is in an area with low visibility. Sometimes the wall damage is behind an armchair or in a corner that’s hard to see. In that case, go ahead and try touch-up painting as described above, even if the paint is not flat or the damage is not tiny. Unless people get up close, they aren’t likely to notice the repaired area.

One Wall at a Time: If none of the above work, then take it one wall at a time. The good news is…you usually can get away with repainting only one wall in a room if you have the original paint or if you get a great color match from your local hardware store. Try everything else first and test any paint before you start on the entire wall.

But, remember, at the end of the day, people are coming to your home to be with you and to celebrate the holidays. Great food and fun will always triumph over a scuff or two!

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Nick Brummel
April 4, 2016

Thanks Chad! You guys did an amazing job! Can't wait for another project!