The Paint Matching Challenge

Have you ever gone to one of the big box stores to get a paint match only come come home, touch up 10 spots then see if doesn’t match? We find this many many times. Home owners who think a paint match will be as perfect on the wall as it is in the store. There are a number of reasons for this situation.

  1. If the paint looks perfect when you are looking at it straight on, but not from the side, the issue is not the color it is the sheen. Keep in mind, Sherwin Williams flat and Behr flat will not be the same sheen. Nor will Benjamin Moore and Kelley Moore or Olympic, etc. The same goes for satin, eggshell, Semi-gloss, etc. So, if you want to be sure you have a perfect match, use the same brand and type of paint.
  2. Paint fades differently based on the colors in the mix. If you color match to one wall and then use the paint on three others, you may not get a match because of fading. Unfortunately, you cannot tell if the paint is different because it fades gradually from area to area.
  3. Poor match. Yes, that is right those machines used at the big box stores are NOT reliable. If you want a good match. Go to a paint store and let the experts match by hand. You will be amazed at the difference and quality.
  4. Quality of paint and thinning can also impact a match. If the original paint was contractor grade and thinned for spraying. You will not match it with high grade that is not thinned.

If you are trying to touch up a faux finished wall. Forget the paint. If you are just dealing with nail holes, be careful when pulling the nails to make the hole as small as possible. When filling the hole, wipe off all excess so the fill is only in the little hole. Then, no kidding, get out a box of 48 crayons and blend the color of the hole.

As a final note, it is better to have someone experienced give you their opinion and suggestions than to have a splotchy mess that requires a full paint. Remember, when hiring a professional you are not only getting the actual labor but also their years of experience


Thinking of Retro-Fitting Arc Fault Breakers?

Arc fault circuit breakers are identified in section 210-12 of the 1999 edition of the National Electric Code. In January 1, 2002, circuits that serve bedrooms in residential construction were required to be Arc fault protected. Bedrooms have been identified as the source for many arc related fires.

Electrical arcs (short) can occur in wiring without a standard breaker tripping. Standard breakers are designed to trip when a circuit is overloaded. Arcs can be “minor” but still produce enough heat or sparks to cause a fire. Standard breakers also provide little protection from a fault in a light weight cord used on appliances, lamps, etc. Electrical manufactures realized this was a problem and designed arc fault breakers to trip when they sense an arc. When an arc is present, the breaker is designed to trip instantly.

Unfortunately, installation of arc fault breakers in existing construction is usually not possible. Arc fault breaker have to have the hot (black) and neutral (white) isolated by circuit. In old construction, it was not unusual to have neutral wires from different circuits connected throughout the house. In order to have an arc fault circuit work properly, all those connections would have to be found and separated. The cost of which could be in the thousands. And, in the end, might not even be possible without a complete re-wire of the house.

So, what does a home owner do to protect against arcs if they can’t or don’t want the cost?

  1. Check all cords to be sure the insulation is in good, flexible condition.
  2. NEVER pull on a cord to unplug it.
  3. NEVER put a cord under a rug, mat, furniture, etc.
  4. Limit or eliminate “chained” extension cords.
  5. Confirm your cords are the right size for the appliance, lamp, etc that is plugged in. If the cord is warm, you need a larger size.
  6. If an outlet is loose or damaged get it replaced immediately.
  7. If you have doubts or concerns call an electrical specialist. Don’t risk a fire.