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Paint Matching Technology: An Interview with The Home Depot

Paint Matching Technology: An Interview with The Home Depot

The Home Depot shares how paint match technology is making remodels, touch-ups better

Paint touch-up on your rental home has taken on a new meaning far beyond just a few small strokes of the brush. Whether refreshing small areas or finishing a new addition to the house, matching exterior and interior paint has become a precise science to yield near identical results.

Improved color-matching through software compatible with hand-held spectrophotometers is making it more possible to match old paint with new. While the technology has been around for more than a decade, it’s advanced far from just a close match.

Better pigmentation is producing near identical results for matching paints applied five, 10 and 15 years ago, industry pros say.

Best of all, an accurate paint match takes only a few minutes when working from an actual paint sample. The old paint is scanned to produce the right mixture of pigments, eliminating any guesswork by the paint associate.

“The scanning technology is better and quicker,” said The Home Depot Regional Pro Sales Manager Jeff Watson. “Digital spectrophotometers have been around a long time. But the laser taking the picture of the pigment was not as accurate 15 years ago as it is today.”

Paint matching more accurate through mixing automation

In the past, mixing was up to the paint associate who used the pigment codes produced by the scan as a guide. The associate could mix more or less of some colors, ultimately affecting the shade of the match.

Today’s machines determine the exact amount of color and automatically disperse it into the bucket.

“It used to be an associate mixing the paint had a metal file, and using a ruler to figure how much tint to drop in the can,” Watson said. “If you put in the wrong one, maybe you forgot or got distracted, you didn’t get a true match.”

Today, a painted sample tells no lies. Peel off an inconspicuous part of paint and take it to the paint store for a match, Watson says. Even if the paint has weathered for several years, match technology will produce almost near perfect results.

Better pigments, quality repel dirt so paint looks better longer

Touching up jobs has gotten easier with improvements in latex paint technology, Watson says. Latex paint has improved because formulations and ingredients outpace all other paint types when drying.

“You can touch up or match paint and it goes unnoticed,” Watson says.

Because smaller pigments create more vibrant colors and improve applications, priming the surface usually isn’t necessary. Pigments particles are tightly spaced, almost like interlocking octagons. One coat is almost as good as if the area was primed.

At the same time, paints are more resistant to dirt and soiling, making surfaces easier to clean without always needing solvent cleaners. The finish also holds up longer, which can make property maintenance easier.

The Home Depot rolls out Pro Paint 2.0

The Home Depot recently launched Pro Paint 2.0, a system aimed at the rental housing industry that enables property management companies to build a repository of exterior and interior paint selections accessible at any store in the U.S.

For big jobs, Watson advised using higher grade paints, even if they cost more. Because they apply easier and don’t require multiple coats money is saved in the long run.

“It can pay dividends to invest in paint because of labor savings.”

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