HOW TO TOUCH UP PAINT

Touching up paint can be tricky, especially without the paint you originally used. But you can still achieve a positive outcome by following the steps in this guide.

A scuff on a white wall.
Knowing that your touch-ups may not turn out perfect, you might want to consider repainting the entire wall. This is easier than you think, especially if you use a high-quality self-priming paint like AURA® Waterborne Interior Paint.
Watch our video to learn the best way to touch up paint.

Learn How to Touch Up Paint

Check out our step-by-step video for everything you need to know about touching up paint. From matching your original color and sheen to product recommendations and painting techniques, we've got the advice you need to make touch-ups a breeze.
A scuff on a white wall, behind a leather couch. A scuff on a white wall, behind a leather couch.

Step #1: Determine What Needs Touching Up

There are a number of common imperfections requiring touch-up paint, including:

  • Scuffs: Whether it’s a mishap from moving furniture or general wear and tear, scuffed paint is one of the more common and straightforward imperfections to touch up.
  • Patch marks: Maybe you’ve fixed cracks and small holes or repaired a larger hole in your wall. Perhaps your original paint job was a bit uneven, with paint streaks or drywall showing through. Whatever the case may be, it can be a simple fix.

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Helpful Tip

Helpful tip: If you have a scuff or mark on your painted wall, your first step should be trying to clean it with a rag, soap and water.
A Benjamin Moore retailer using the color matching machine. A Benjamin Moore retailer using the color matching machine.

Step #2: Match Color, Sheen and Surface Texture

Here are three things you need to know about choosing the right touch-up paint:

1. Match the Paint Color - To find the best color match, head to your local Benjamin Moore® retailer, ideally with a chipped-off piece of the wall you’re touching up for help with color matching.

2. Match the Paint Sheen - Is the paint you’re touching up a glossy satin or flat matte finish? Make sure you consider the sheen of your painted wall when selecting your touch-up paint. Your local Benjamin Moore® retailer can help match your sheen as well.

3. Match the Surface Texture - Matching color and sheen is crucial to a proper touch-up, but don’t forget about texture. Different paint applicators leave subtle differences on the end result. The paintbrush or roller you used when you first painted should be used again for your touch-up. Follow the direction in which you painted originally.



Helpful Tips

Flat or matte finishes tend to touch up better: The flatter the finish, the easier to touch up; the glossier the finish, the more challenging.

The better quality your paint is, the easier your touch-up is going to be. Whether you’re touching up paint or painting an entire wall, properly labeling the back of a light switch in the room where you’re working or labeling the paint can you’re using will help you stay organized for future projects. Your Benjamin Moore® retailer should have labeled the lid of your paint can for you. For best results, label with:


  • Brand of Paint
  • Type or Product Name
  • Color
  • Sheen/Finish
  • Where/What You’ve Painted (room, wall, piece of furniture, etc.)
A homeowner sanding a white wall/ A homeowner sanding a white wall/

Step #3: Clean and Fix

Make sure to thoroughly clean the affected area and fix any small cracks, large holes, or painting mistakes that are prompting your touch-up.

A homeowner painting over a scuff on a white wall using a paint roller. A homeowner painting over a scuff on a white wall using a paint roller.

Step #4: Blend or Feather Paint on the Wall

After the area is cleaned and repaired, there are two common techniques you can use to touch up paint: blending and feathering.

How to Blend Paint on a Wall
  • With a paintbrush or roller (ideally the same application tool used for the original paint job), start with as little paint as possible, applying a very small amount at a time. Slowly roll or brush over the imperfection, making sure to start in the middle and apply the lightest amount of paint to the outer edges.
How to Feather Paint on a Wall
  • Using a paintbrush, start at the center of the touch-up and slowly move outward. Lightly extend the tip of the brush just beyond the area you’re touching up to seamlessly blend the touched up area with the original painted area.

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Helpful Tip

You may need more than one coat to achieve your desired touch-up results. If applying a second or third coat, be sure to let each coat dry completely before starting a new one. Check the back of the paint can for dry time.


Try our free Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio® app or visit your local Benjamin Moore® retailer to find your best color match, and for help with all of your painting needs. Find more tips in our How-To section.