Image by naobim from Pixabay

I hate painting. I swear I'd rather eat uncooked liver or scrub a latrine with a toothbrush before I pick up a rolling pin and start painting walls.

I can never get it right, and the amount of coats you have to put on never seems to end. I cry when I have to do it.

And the stress of it all starts at the paint store. Those Home Depot people act like their artists and I'm an idiot. Ok, maybe they're right.

I can never figure out how to match the color or even get the perfect new color that's in my mind. So I doth my workman's cap to the HP counter crew.

Redditor u/PhantomHeroine wanted all the people with color mixing skills to share some interesting tales by asking:

Home Depot paint mixers of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing you've had to color match?

I've brought in previous paint chips to try and match. That is the extent of my ability in paint coordination... crusty, old, dirty chips. What else is there to bring to the paint counter? Let's find out...

Meow Mix

cat turning GIF Giphy

"My manager color matched a cat once. Mostly people just try to have you match splinters or things that have multiple color tones into just a "general vibe."

- TarotFox

In the Eyes

"I matched sharpies, microscopic flecks of paint people scraped off their walls, a woman's teal underwear, and more. Maybe the weirdest one was matching a guy's girlfriend's iris color. He wanted to paint something the color of her eyes, so he brought in a close-up photo of her. It was difficult because an iris isn't just one solid colour, but it was fun and he left happy with this kind of smoky blue."

- jojawhi

Crazy Brights?

"A guy came in once and wanted Asylum Yellow for his attic room. He said he saw it once and could we find it? Ended-up calling the 1-800 number and the woman said there was no color. After a while, she found it but it was Alyssum Yellow, named after a flower. He took a quart home, but I don't think he ever came back."

- LanceFree

Andy Picks

"My mom took a can of Campbell's soups to Home Depot to get a color match for the red part. She then painted the kitchen, which was full of Campbell's soup tchotchkes, Campbell's soup red." -


"Andy Warhol would be proud."

- vishuskitty

Sexy Colors

babe dancing GIF Giphy

"I used to work at a sex shop. We took a dancer thong into a place to color match the shade of pink for paint for the inside of our store. They ended up naming the color Booty Pants."

- jedgica

If only I wore underwear, I never would've thought to use it though. And my dog and cat are all black, so that would've been simple, had I been painting a cave. But people certainly get creative. I mean, soup for walls? Hungry much?

Clean Mix


"Somebody brought in a bar of soap for me to match. I think it was Irish spring."

- OpenlyAMoose

Not Pepsi?

"We did Coca Cola red, color matched a Coca Cola sign. (My husband only likes Coke, not Pepsi.) We didn't paint the walls red (walls are a soft yellow), but we painted the picture frames in the nearby room, and a clock frame, things like that. Stuff we can take off the walls if we decide to go a different route later, haha."

- LadyCiani

Never just one chip...

"Tostitos spinach dip. It was odd enough and with a good reward that I haven't forgotten it. A long time ago I worked for one of Home Depot's competitors and a someone came into ask if I'd be able to match the spinach dip that Tostitos was about to roll out. He wanted undercooked, perfectly cooked, and over cooked matched so that they could paint the inside of jars to show the manufacturing teams what each looked like as it all was made."

"The guy showed me a jar of the dip and we talked about how he'd have to remove all the spinach and red stuff (bell peppers, tomatoes?) chunks and have just the actual dip. He left but came in a few days later with just the dips smeared and dried on some little cards or something, then I spent a couple of hours working with him. To get the colors right. In the end he was happy."

"A day after that he came in just to bring me a couple of bags full of Lays (Tostitos parent company) and Tostitos with multiple jars of dips, including the not yet released spinach dip. He told me to share it all but I was in my mid 20s working full time and trying to finish my second college run at the time, so that free food was a godsend. I put those bags in my car instead of the break room and took it all home."

- GrahamTheCracker404

Dirty Lady

"Older lady comes in with a ziploc bag full of dirt. i figure she wants us to test it's pH or, something. Nope. She has a walkway, and when it rains some of the dirt from her flowerbed runs on to the walkway. she wants to paint the walk way the same color as the dirt so it isn't as noticeable."

"I try to talk her in to using landscape ties or something to prevent the dirt from getting on the the concrete in the first place. Nope, just wants to paint it. Ok. So i asked her if she wanted the paint to match the color of the dirt when it was wet or dry. Blew her mind."

- cptpedantic

Manual Labor

Ned Beatty Art GIF Giphy

"Oh, now that's long ago... I used to be very good at manually matching colors (no machines in those days). There was the standard bits of paper and cloth."

"One day someone walks in covered in dried paint, and asks me to match the color on their arm. Someone has spilled the paint all over him and they needed more, but had lost the color identification code somehow. He stood around patiently for an hour until I sorted out an exact match."

- Saigonauticon

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"A mum came in with her daughter in a swimming costume and plonked her up on the counter and I colour matched the bum of her swimmers which were a bright blue that were apparently her school colours."

- Chrysuss

Doing the Good Work

"About 10 years ago I was working at Walmart in high school, this lady once came in and said she has a color in mind but can't find anything similar. So she describes it and I guess how to make close to it. It comes out and she wants me to add a little more pink to it so I do it and mix again. This went on for near an hour but then I finally got it right. It was a great shift."

- RealHuman96

Skin Woman

"It's a tie between the large jar of ghee (clarified butter) and someone's skin. I got both of those within a week of each other. The skin thing was because a woman came in looking for a paint color that would match her skin so I thought, "f**k it, let's match her arm and see what happens." She loved it so much she ordered it for her whole house. I named that color "Susan's arm."

"Edit: I forgot a couple of other weird ones. scotch masking tape blue (was really happy with how that one turned out), multiple ottomans, a reading chair, dog fur, an egg, a painter's shirt and a painter's jeans. Whenever people ask me this question i'll respond with "let me tell you about the skin woman" which is probably the worst out-of-context sentence you could hear out of a home depot employee."

The Sign

walmart GIF Giphy

"I worked at Lowes, but someone once wanted the blue color of the sign hanging above the paint area. There was no way I could get the sign down to put it in the scanner. I picked a paint Swatch that I thought came the closest and he agreed to it."

- RedditBrowser90

Glitter Girl

"It wasn't a color match exactly, we just had to mix a very bright pink. It was afterward that the mom of this little girl pulled out a container of glitter and said "will this be able to be mixed in with it too?" So we ended up just kind of saying forget it and mixing a big container of glitter into a gallon of paint. I'm not sure if it ever worked, kind of doubt it did, but the little girl was super excited about her glitter paint."

- Zierdo


"Overheard while buying paint for my son's room. Lady in front was complaining bc the green she ended up with didn't have the 'speckle' she whips out a chameleon, photo of I presume the same chameleon, and is trying to tell the young lady that the color they made for her was so flat."

"The young lady was so confused. Lady kept asking why the paint didn't have the speckle like the photo and animal. Stood there patiently and watched the staff try and explain what dimensions are, how you can't match gradient, patterns etc with one shade of paint."

- Metemgee

Get the Tape

"Worked at Walmart about 18 years ago and had to occasionally run the paint area. Wife and husband brought in a 4 foot by 4 foot piece of wall that they painted. They wanted me to match it. The wife then pulls a paint splotch from her purse, and says something like "this is the paint we used from Home Depot!" Some people are just born to entertain."

- BarnacleMcBarndoor

Dear Ben

"Had someone bring a chocolate milkshake into our store wanting paint matched to it. My other favorite story is a couple who bought Ben Hogan's house in Westover Hills in Fort Worth. They brought in a sample of something that was oil based paint and had nicotine stains. We tried to explain to them that it use to be white or off white but the yellowing of the paint and the nicotine had turned it to this snot yellow color. They didn't care, they wanted the color Ben Hogan had been living with - just freshened up."

- C-Rock

For Jesus

jesus wink GIF Giphy

"Not Home Depot, but we had a customer come in with a statue of the baby Jesus from her church's Nativity scene."

"The paint was chipped and she said the price to replace the statue was too high--so she asked us to see if we could match it. The woman working the paint desk with me said she'd give it a try. She succeeded. That's right, she color-matched the baby Jesus."

- retailguy_again

In the Sky

"My wife worked at Lowe's and had a lady come in asking for the color of the sky. My wife told her to look at the samples and pic a color and she'd mix it up. The lady said "No I want the actual color of the sky" like she wanted her wall to look like the inside of a Vegas casino. My wife seeing this lady is going to be a problem, asks her "What time of day do you want? If it's night time I've got black."

"Now the lady is getting upset that she can't just buy one can of paint to make her wall look exactly like the sky. My wife finished the conversation with "bring in a sample and I'll see what I can do." Lady then proceeded to ask for the manager."

- catjam

Look at that some people are nuttier than me. Retail careers are never easy. Whether you're selling food, cars or paint. The customer is always right and always crazy.

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