You walk into the Home improvement store with a swell in your chest knowing you finally picked the perfect paint color. As you near the paint counter, you wonder where the swatches went? Maybe they moved them? But they are no where to be found.
You were just dropping in, like many times before, on the way home from another errand. You figured you could grab a swatch off the rack and say, “give me a gallon of this.”
Or maybe you just needed one more gallon to finish painting the room. You swing in to pick it up and realize your favorite paint line has been discountinued.
You panic a little. How will you ever choose a different paint color? That one was so perfect. How will you finish that second coat? There is no way you want to start all over.
5 Must-Dos for Your Favorite Paint Colors
My post about Martha Stewart paint being discontinued in 2012 had a recent surge in traffic. It seems the Martha Stewart paint colors at Home Depot are now being discountinued for good.
So what do you do if you are in the middle of a project or you’ve been coveting a few of Martha’s colors?
1. Get or Save Paint Swatches of Your Favorite Colors
I would say run to the store and grab extra swatches of all your favorites, but they are already gone.
Thankfully I panicked when they discontinued her base paint a couple years ago and grabbed extra swatches of all my favorite colors. I have a jar full of them in my studio. For the specific ones we use in our home, I keep them in a paint and fabric swatch book for quick reference.
This morning I grabbed out two swatches to take to the store. I knew they’d be able to look them up in the computer and mix the paint for me.
I was distracted by kids while telling the guy at the paint counter what I needed. I turned around to see my paint swatches (yes, the ones you can’t get anymore) DEFACED. He wrote on the front of them with a jumbo permanent marker. Whatever you do, don’t let them write on your swatches. Honestly, I’ve never had anyone at any paint store ever do that before. But sure enough one of my Facebook fans said the same thing recently happened to her.
Swatches are for you, not the paint store clerk. Swatches have a barcode on back for the store, but I’ve never seen them actually scan that. They are either searching by paint name or number in their computer database.
2. Take Note of the Paint Formula
For at least a little while they should still be able to look up the colors from a discontinued collection. For the past couple years they’ve been mixing Martha paints in Glidden (I prefer the Glidden Duo).
The best thing to do is copy down or save the label they put on top of the paint can. That little sticker has the actual paint formula and a barcode. One of my Facebook fans recommended snapping a photo of it with your phone and the store will be able to scan the barcode on the label.
At some point if the paint color info was no longer stored in their computer, they should still be able to recreate the color with the formula. It tells them how much of each pigment to add to the base paint.
3. Don’t Switch Base Paints
A bigger concern I would have is if the base paint was no longer available. When they originally took away the Martha Stewart base paint, I saw a noticeable difference. Especially since at first the Glidden replacement didn’t come in an eggshell finish. Thankfully it does now.
I always try to get the exact same base paint, mixing into other brands base paints can make the end result different.
Once I had a Sherwin Williams paint mixed into another brand to save money. It was close, but not an exact match. I wanted the wall color to match the trim painted in the original Sherwin Williams paint. They are close, but not exact. It bothers me to this day.
I once got lectured by the Home Depot paint lady. She was extremely offended when I refused to have a Martha Stewart color mixed in Behr paint. I already started painting the room and wanted an exact match. That store was out of the right base paint from the Martha Stewart line. She tried to push us to use Behr.
She thought I was crazy to drive to another store for the paint. She said that Behr year after year is ranked as the top paint. Sorry, I think they are a little biased and results must be skewed since it is also the cheapest paint. If you’ve never used any other kind of paint, I am sure it seems fine. I know people that swear by it. Personally I am not a fan of the paint quality. And I was not convinced the paint would be a match. I drove to another Home Depot that had the base paint I wanted in stock.
4. Buy Enough to Finish Plus Extra
Always try to buy all the paint you need for a project at one time, mixed by the same person. That way you can avoid the scenario I just described above. And you can have a higher level of certainty all the paint will match.
If you finish a project and you are scraping the bottom of the bucket, run back to the store and get another quart. You will want it on hand for touchups.
I love how Jen from I Heart Organizing stores and labels her leftover paint. She has extra of every color used in her home. She also keeps a detailed record of the paint info and what room they were used in.
5. Do Everything In Triplicate
Okay, I promise I am not crazy. But you know when you find a great paint color how monumental that is. You may want to use it in other rooms in your current home. You may want to re-use the color in your next home. So, it is essential to have all the paint information.
It’s not good enough to just know the name. Or just have the swatch. Or just hope the store will never discontinue it.
For every color you use in your home, keep a record of the paint name, number, and formula. It is also a good idea to keep a painted sample on hand, even if it is the stir stick you used to mix the paint. It can be used in the color matching machines (although the match might not be exact, it’s better than nothing.)
Goodbye Martha, Hello Ralph
Will Martha appear elsewhere? Maybe. Considering she’s had paint lines at Kmart, Sherwin Williams, and Home Depot, I am sure we will see Martha Stewart paint again. I remember the landlord of the house I rented in college would let us paint, but only from the Martha Stewart palette at Kmart. No complaints here. One thing is probably certain: wherever the paint line appears next, it most certainly won’t be the same colors.
On the positive side, Ralph Lauren paint is back in store, which I loved and used before they replaced it with Martha. What I’ve always loved about both lines is the restrained palettes. They don’t want to give you every possible color, just the good ones. I have never re-painted over a Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart color.