How to Touch up Paint Before Thanksgiving

How to Touch up Paint Before Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017 , In: Home Improvement, Indoors , With: No Comments

It happens every time. That pre-holiday moment when the proverbial glass goes from half-full to half-empty in less than a nanosecond.

Of course, the holidays have always held a special place in your heart. Festive music, seasonal decorations, childlike anticipation and wonder. What’s not to love? You get presents. You spread joy!

This year you’re kicking things off by having the crew over for Thanksgiving. Visions of creative menu combinations dance in your head when — here it comes — the OMG moment.

You never really noticed before, but in this light that scratch on your dining room wall looks like a Badlands crevice. And the dented entryway where your kicked-off chunky heels routinely hit? Let’s just say it suddenly bears startling resemblance to a pocked, ancient ruin.

Expectations in your family run high. And even if they didn’t, you take great pride in putting your best foot forward. Just ask the entryway arch. Is it possible to spiff up your home in time for Thanksgiving and still maintain a bit of well-deserved holiday joy? We say yes. Consider the following advice.

Aim Small, Miss Small

By now, those fantasy appetizer and dessert options have disappeared in a poof of panic. Instead, you’re visualizing tarp-covered floors, eight-foot ladders, waves of visible toxic fumes and every last knick-knack shoved into boxes. Bah humbug.

The good news is, you’re completely over-thinking this. Panic can do that.

Take a deep breath and consider that when folks congregate for Thanksgiving, they circulate in and out of just a few rooms.

  • Family/Living Room — Or wherever the big-screen TV is set up for football viewing.
  • Dining Room — The main event arena.
  • Kitchen — Where the magic happens — and drinks are poured.
  • Bathroom — Refer to previous drink remark.

Thanks to this line of thought, you’re down to only four rooms that need refreshing. That’s a number you can get your head around!

A Little Touch-Up Paint Goes a Long Way

When a friendly greeting leaves a lipstick smear on your cheek, you don’t reapply your makeup. You do a quick touch-up. Paint can be the same way. Everyday dings and scratches do not necessarily require a total do-over. There is an art to paint touch-ups that any woman who has applied makeup can master. Here’s how.


Gather Tools and Materials

It’s probably your most time-consuming step, but — take heart — the next one involves shopping. Keep the overall budget low by first compiling items you already have:

    • Sponge
    • Old Towel
    • Mild Detergent
    • Baking Soda
    • Plastic Gloves
    • Putty Knife — if you don’t have it, borrow one

If you were smart enough to keep the brushes or rollers used to paint your original walls, grab them. And if you stowed away leftover paint, give yourself full credit. Matching wall colors can be tricky.

Purchase Painting Supplies

When it’s time to head to the supply store — or hit up online project sites — here’s what should be on your list:

    • Fine-Grain Sandpaper
    • Paint Reducer
    • Spackle Compound
    • Paint Primer

If you know a wall was painted with a roller and you don’t have one, pick up a small-end version. The same goes for brushes. It’s important to maintain similar stroke texture throughout. And since you’re touching up rather than covering a large area, grab an angled foam wedge brush as well.

If you can’t find leftover paint, don’t despair. You’ve got options other than trying to match paint chips. Some companies even have an app that compares various color hues right off your smartphone.

interior of home

How-To Steps for Touch Up Painting

Follow these seven easy steps, and you can touch up every festive room of your home in a single day.

  1. Clean the Wall Area

Using a sponge and mild detergent, thoroughly clean the area in need of repair. If you see improvement but can’t seem to erase every mark, try adding baking soda. Do not scrub hard, because baking soda’s abrasive composition may further scratch the surface.

  1. Open Your Windows

While touch-up areas are drying, open as many windows as possible. Fresh, circulating air will not only speed your task but also efficiently ventilate noxious paint fumes.

  1. Sand and Spackle Touch-Up Area

Fill in gaps or cracks with spackle. Using your putty knife, spread the compound a little at a time, starting at the center and working your way out. Hold the knife at an angle and work with smooth, short strokes, as if you were frosting a cake. When spackled areas are dry, sand the entire surface to ensure consistency.

  1. Prime Where You Will Paint

A coat of primer is necessary for paint to adhere properly. Try to prime within the outline of the area needing repair only.

  1. Dilute the Paint

Because a light coat of paint blends more smoothly than a thick one, dilute your color with paint thinner. Start with an approximate 4:1 ratio and continue adding thinner slowly until you get a consistency that looks about right.

  1. Paint the Area

To maintain even stroke texture, use a brush if you’re matching brushwork and a roll if paint was previously rolled on. Like you did when applying spackle, start at the center and work your way out. Extend touch-up paint beyond the outline of repair to achieve a seamless look.

  1. Allow the Paint to Dry

Until touch up paint dries thoroughly, it will continue to differ slightly in appearance from your already-existing color. Resist the urge to correct hue or consistency before the fact. Remember, you are looking directly at an area you know to be under repair.

Your guests, when they arrive, will see the big picture only. Rely on other things to distract them, too, like strategically placed candles, intoxicating kitchen aromas, the whistle of a referee sounding on TV in the background and sparkling stemware — filled to the brim!

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Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!
How to Touch up Paint Before Thanksgiving
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How to Touch up Paint Before Thanksgiving
If you've got friends and family coming over for Thanksgiving, you want your home to look perfect. Here's how to touch up paint before the holidays.
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Your Wild Home
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