Can you "touch up" flat paint? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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We're getting ready to move out of our rental...and the landlord is coming in a few weeks to "check in." The walls are flat tan paint...and look HORRID.

Of course, they're only horrid where kids can I'm wanting to touch up instead of having to paint the entire house.

Is it possible to touch up flat paint...or am I going to end up doing the walls?

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#2 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 03:32 PM
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Try it but be sure to get the EXACT brand and color information from your landlord or it will probably not match. Even the exact same color, brand etc. will sometimes vary (slightly but enough to notice) from gallon to gallon. Flat paint is the most forgiving sheen as far as touch up goes.

I paint, so when I rented I would always ask if they wanted to pay me to give a fresh coat before we turned in the keys so they didn't have to deal with it. Some did, others had their own team of maintenance people. AS a landlord (i rent out a house i own) I expect to have to paint between tenants, especially if there are kids or pets in the house. I don't take anything off of the security deposit for painting, just fyi.

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#3 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 03:36 PM
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I would try a magic eraser first - those things really do work miracles. If that doesn't help, I would follow the advice of the PP.


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#4 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 04:58 PM
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I think if you paint the whole wall, it will look fine, but if you're just wanting to brush it on in dirty spots it will be visible.

Around here the landlord would expect to paint between tenants. If there were holes/dents/damage on the walls I'd repair it, but if it's just dirt or stains then I'd wash what came off and leave the rest.
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#5 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 07:01 PM
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I've touched up flat paint many times, and it almost always looks fine. The key is to get the exact same paint color and brand. If you have an old can of what was originally used, I'd try stirring that up and see how it works. Also, if the paint was rollered on in the first place, be sure to use a roller for the touch ups. Using a brush will show because it will leave brush marks.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-14-2010, 04:45 AM
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I don't have advice but wanted to say I understand your frusturation. My apartment has flat paint and after 2.5 years the walls look terrible. I assume they use it in our building because they paint between every tenant and it's cheaper to use flat paint, but we definitely would have paid extra to have them use a washable paint. I'm hoping they'll let us repaint with a more washable paint come spring as we're probably going to be here for awhile still and I'd like my place to look decent.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-14-2010, 05:51 AM
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i've had great luck touching up flat paint. I was in an apartment with such cheap paint that just looking at it made scuff marks. I second the advice to use a roller rather than a brush.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-14-2010, 08:54 PM
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I'd try magic eraser first.

Then I'd ask the LL whether they would charge for fingerprints/scuff marks. As a pp mentioned a lot of LL's plan to paint between tenants so as long as there aren't a lot of nail holes or anything, they may not care. Or they may be able to tell you how much they'd keep back on the security deposit and you might decide it's worth it to avoid the hassle.

If you need to touch up, flat paint is actually supposed to be the easiest finish to touch up so I'd get the exact paint brand and color and give it a try.

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