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Today, the handyman returned to install guttering and paint. This was the paint that I spent much of last Saturday trying to match. I felt pretty comfortable with the outcomes, and but for a little hint of gloss felt that I had nailed it.

So I came home at lunch to let the pups out, and found the handyman painting and looking concerned. “The paint doesn’t match.” I checked, and sure enough, the new paint displayed a greenish tinge that the old paint did not possess. This is the cream shade on the body of the house and garage, something that you think would be easy to match except that you go to the paint store and find booklets filled with 11,000 variations of cream, off-white, bisque, alabaster, and so on.

After some hunting, I dug out the chip that I had used to color match. Showed it to handyman, and we both agreed that but for a little shine, the colors match exactly. Apparently, however, that little bit of shine is enough to throw off the color. Depending on the light and the angle of viewing, the old and new colors look nearly identical, or very, very different.

The new paint is “low lustre,” same as the old paint. But it’s possible that the term means different things depending on the paint brand. Some brands have three grades of shine: matte, satin, semi-gloss. Others have eggshell and/or low lustre tucked between matte and satin. In still others, satin and low lustre are identical.

What I may do this weekend is return to the big box and get samples of flat and, if available, eggshell versions of the new paint in the hope that with less shine, it will better match the old. The section that faces the street isn’t bad, and I could live with it if I had to. But the difference is pretty obvious on the sides of the garage, and I’d like to tamp it down if possible.

Of course, all this color checking led to an examination of the old paint job. It’s 11 years old, after all, and starting to flake in places. Sun fading and degradation may be part of the reason for the color difference compared to the new paint. It may be time to start thinking about repainting. Or even, dare I consider it, siding. Fiber cement. Cedar shingle. Pretty new doors and windows….

I need a bestseller. Better get to work.