The time will come when you have to figure out what brand of paint and color you used. Maintenance, repairs, and/or remodeling are all reasons to re-paint a wall or room. But the magic question is, “What color did I use?” Or, “What brand of paint did I use?” Or, Where and when did I buy it?” It’s a common problem that most homeowners have experienced.

Today’s technology offers many digital options to keep track of paint colors used in each area of your home. And a traditional technique is to cut a small square of the wall (usually just the drywall paper or a piece of plaster) and bring it to your home center to have it digitally color duplicated. 

These techniques are effective but here’s a simple, robust, and foolproof way to track room paint colors without having to spend an afternoon entering app data or having to repair an additional wall section. Before cleaning your paintbrush, paint a color swatch on a 2-inch square piece of white paper (colored papers can affect the color). When dry turn the paper over and list the brand name, color, type of finish, painting date, and even the store in which it was purchased. Then, and here’s the magic, place or tape behind a wall switch or outlet trim cover. Take your color swatch with you when you need to buy more paint in the same color.

Here’s what the back of your switch or outlet cover plate will look like before you reinstall it (two pieces of paper used for clarity)… 

You’re welcome…

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