Weekend Projects

Let Your Walls Take This One Smart Cue from Your Makeup Routine

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: David Telford)

In makeup, as in home decorating, much of the art lies in drawing the eye to attractive traits (the eyes, the art above the couch), and keeping the eye from being distracted by things you’d rather leave unnoticed (acne, a tangle of cords). Since the things that aren’t supposed to be there demand attention, they’ve got to be disguised.

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This weekend, we’re going to erase the chipped paint and scuff marks on the walls with paint touch-up pens, the home owner’s “concealer,” and restore our walls to the smooth, un-distracting blank canvases they’re supposed to be.

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

(Image credit: Liz Calka)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Weekend’s Assignment:

Set yourself up for easy paint touch-ups.

Matching your paint color

The first step in covering up those unsightly paint chips on your walls is to match the paint color. If you’re lucky enough to have a record of your paint colors, this will be easy. (If you’re even more lucky and have extra paint stored somewhere, skip ahead to the next step: “Touch up your walls”)

For the rest of us who need to get paint samples to match, there are a couple ways to go about it. Of course, there are apps that (claim to be able to) do that. Sherwin-Williams and Behr both have color-matching apps. But if you’re wary of relying on your phone for an exact match (I kinda am), then grab a swatch straight from your wall the old-fashioned way.

With a utility knife, cut a shallow square-inch piece of paint from your wall and bring it with you to your paint or hardware store. Their color-matching computers will ensure a good match. Buy the colors you need in small sample-sized containers.

Touch up your walls

Rather than the hassle of brushes and all the mess and clean-up they entail, use paint touch-up pens specifically designed for this purpose. The beauty of this is that you’ll have them on-hand for future touch ups as well. (You won’t need to match your colors or fiddle with paint next time.)

These touch-up pens are designed to be filled once and then be used for hundreds of future touch-ups (should they be necessary). They’re airtight, so you won’t reach for a touch-up brush only to be confronted with dried-up paint. If you need to perform slightly more comprehensive touch-ups, you may want to get this all-in-one wall repair kit, complete with spackle, nail hole filler, and a sanding block.

As you’re applying your paint, be sure to dab the paint outside of just the area you’re re-covering. “Feathering” the paint like this will help blend the touch-up in with the rest of the wall. And that, after all, is the entire point.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.