No – it is rarely possible to achieve an invisible touch-up on painted walls (or ceilings) and attempts to touch-up painted walls often results in the walls looking patchy. It is easier and more aesthetically pleasing (and less contentious!) to re-paint the entire wall if any part of a wall has been damaged. Nobody wants to move into a property with a wall that looks like a patchwork quilt!


If you could find paint that is the exact same make, colour code or batch number as that used on the walls by the landlord or previous tenant, the main problems associated with the touch-up of walls, are as follows:

  • Gloss difference: The gloss difference is often related to the difference in film build. If the film thickness of the original paint was insufficient to fully seal the substrate, then it’s sheen level is likely to be flatter than normal. The extra paint that is applied during the touch-up may deliver a correct but slightly higher sheen level.
  • Surface texture: The difference in surface texture between the original and touch-up paint is often the major cause of touch-up problems. Different application methods and techniques can produce a slightly different surface texture. The degree of the roller stipple may vary or a different appearance between roller and brush marks may be evident, especially under critical lighting conditions.
  • Opacity: The ability of paint to obliterate the background colour of the substrate is called opacity. If the original coat was applied too thin and failed to fully hide the surface below, the observed or perceived colour may not be the same. If full hiding is delivered to the repaired area by the touch-up coat, it is possible that it will stand out as having a different colour.
  • In-service conditions: It is not feasible to achieve a perfect match when fresh paint is applied to the same paint that has been adversely affected by in-service conditions such as heat, light, weather, wear or soiling.
    Touch-ups are mostly only effective if carried out by the same painter using the same method of application using the same paint on surfaces recently painted.

Depending on a number of factors, minor scratches may be deemed to be fair wear and tear in which case repainting a wall with only minor scratches would be unnecessary.

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