How To Match Sun Faded Paint Color

Sun faded paint is often worse on the southern and western walls of a home. When trying to match the faded color of paint, the homeowner can choose between trying to recreate the original color of the home, or shifting that original color to give the entire space a more faded look. The decision will rest on which style they would prefer, but both are possible given the right techniques.

Matching the Original Color

If you wish to match the original color of a sun faded wall, then you may need some record of what the original color had been. This could be from an old paint can or even from memory, depending on how many years have gone by. If that is not possible, then you may be able to guess at close to the original color based on a different wall. All walls and paints will fade and discolor over time, but by cleaning off a more sheltered section and examining its color, you will have a clearer idea of what the original looked like. That original color can then be compared to the color schemes of pre-existing or custom paints for a close match, although it may not be perfect.

Matching a Faded Color

If your goal is not to recreate the original color scheme, but to match the result of weathering and sun exposure, then you should work with what is directly on or in your house. Fading will rarely happen to an equal amount over a large surface area, because of the accumulated differences in the sun angle, the wind, and the other elements. Therefore, the goal will be to match the average color and recreate the new color scheme based on a more weathered appearance.

There are a couple of tactics which will work here. Some people have a naturally sharp eye for color and can take a handful of paint color samples, hold them up against the wall, and spot the subtle differences which point to the correct match. They can then take the closed match and purchase a pre-mixed can of paint for their project. This is unlikely to be a perfect match, but it can be close, especially if the wall is cleaned first to expose the color beneath layers of dirt on an outdoor surface.

If it is possible to safely remove a sample of the original paint, it can be taken in for analysis and a more accurate match can be created. If it is not, then technology can help. Some paint companies have created apps which analyze a specific color and identify the closest match to their own products or a customized color. This includes the Color Snap app from Sherwin Williams, which works on a number of mobile devices such as iPhones, Blackberries, and Androids.


Matching sun faded paint is helped along by technology if you want a more weather-beaten appearance, otherwise, it is possible to estimate the original color and restore it across the entire home.

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Chris Thompson is a guest blogger. Resarching color matching paint led him to the Nelson Greer Painting website in Tucson, AZ.

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