Is Matte Paint Easy to Touch Up?

There comes a time for all homeowners when you need to perform some touch-ups on your home’s paintwork. So, you may be wondering if matte paint is easy to touch up?

Touching-up matte paint is easier than touching-up glossier paints. Matte paint has a more muted finish, which will not easily reflect any imperfections or brush strokes. This makes the touch-up process much simpler and easier since you don’t have to worry about the touch-up being too obvious. 

In this post, we’ll explore the factors that can affect touch-up results on matte paint and share tips on how to achieve a seamless finish.

The 7 Factors That Affect Touch-up Results on Matte Paint

Although matte paint is one of the easiest paint finishes to touch up, there are some factors that can affect the results. Let’s start by taking a look at those 7 factors.

Surface preparation

The first and most crucial factor that affects touch-up results on matte paint is surface preparation. Before applying touch-up paint, you must ensure that the surface is clean and free of contaminants such as dirt, oil, or wax. Any residue left on the surface can affect the adhesion of the touch-up paint and result in a poor finish.

Gloss level

Matte has a very low level of gloss, and it’s important to match the gloss level of the touch-up paint to that of the surrounding wall. Different brands have varying levels of gloss, so it’s important to find a paint that has the same sheen as the existing wall, or better yet, use the same paint brand.

Paint color

The color of the touch-up paint should match the color of the original coat as closely as possible. If not, you may end up with visible patches or streaks. To ensure a good result, always use the same brand and type of paint that was used for the original coat.

Age of the paint

The age of the paint is also a factor when touching up matte paints. Older walls exposed to sunlight or moisture for an extended period can be more difficult to work with. The older the wall, the more challenging it can be to achieve an even finish with touch-up paint.

Type of surface

The type of surface you are working with can also affect the results of a touch-up job. Smooth surfaces provide for easier touch-ups than rough surfaces, as the brush strokes will be more visible on rougher surfaces.

Previous paint job

If the original paint job is not done properly, touching up can be more difficult. Before applying the touch-up paint, ensure any holes or imperfections are filled and sanded down.


Finally, the environment you work in plays a role in touch-up results. If the area is too hot or humid, it can affect how well the paint adheres to the wall and create an uneven finish.

Touch-up Comparison With Other Paint Finishes


Flat paint is a popular choice for interior walls due to its smooth and non-reflective finish. Flat paint is easier to touch up than matte paint as it conceals surface irregularities better due to its lack of sheen. This makes blending in new paint with the existing coat easier without leaving noticeable marks or streaks.


Eggshell paint can be challenging to touch up when compared to matte paint. Even though it has a low sheen, it can make brush marks more noticeable and blending difficult. It’s important to properly prepare the area and use the right tools and techniques for an effective touch-up. 


Satin paint is a popular choice for medium-traffic areas due to its durability and ease of cleaning. When it comes to touch-ups, it is harder to work with than matte paint due to its mid-level sheen.


Semi-gloss has very high light-reflecting properties and is best suited for areas that require frequent cleaning, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Regarding touching up, semi-gloss finishes can be more challenging than matte finishes. The higher sheen of semi-gloss paint makes any imperfections or differences in color more noticeable.


High-gloss finishes have the highest reflectivity and are usually used for furniture, cabinets, and trim. Touching up high-gloss paint can be tricky as any errors will be highly visible due to its high-gloss surface. In some cases, touch-ups can be impossible.

Best Practices for Touching up Matte Paint

Clean the area

Before touching any paint, ensure the surface is clean and free of dust and debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the area and let it dry completely before proceeding.

Prepare the surface

Before applying any paint, the surface should be properly prepared. This includes filling holes or cracks with spackling and sanding down rough edges. This will help ensure the touch-up paint adheres to the wall properly and gives you the best possible results.

Apply primer

Priming the area before applying the touch-up paint helps create an even surface for the new paint to adhere to.

This is particularly important if the existing paint is old, faded, or has a different base color, as the primer can help to neutralize the surface and provide a consistent base for the new paint.

Furthermore, a primer can also help to seal the porous surface of matte paint, preventing the touch-up paint from being absorbed too quickly and leading to uneven coverage.

It can also provide a smooth and uniform base for the touch-up paint to adhere to, minimizing any visible differences in sheen or texture between the new and existing paint.

Test the color

It’s always best to test out a small area first before covering the entire wall. This way, you can make sure that the new paint matches and that any differences in hue or sheen are minimized.

Choose the right tools

Use a small brush or weenie roller to apply the touch-up paint. This will help ensure a smoother, more even finish with fewer visible strokes or marks.

Use the same paint if possible

It’s important to use the same paint on the surface for touch-ups. If you don’t have any leftover paint, take a small sample of the color to your local hardware store and have them match it.

Make sure to shake the touch-up paint well before using it. This will ensure that the pigment is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Apply in thin layers

When applying touch-up paint, it’s best to apply several thin layers rather than one thick coat. This will help prevent drips and ensure a smooth finish. Feather the edges of each layer and let the paint dry completely between coats.

Be patient

Touching up matte paints can take time and patience. When applying the paint, allow each coat to dry completely before adding additional layers.

Repeat if necessary

If the touch-up is still not even after a few coats, you can repeat the process until you achieve the desired results.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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