Lowes : Wrong paint

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Jun 16, 2019
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#1
I hired a reputable paint contractor to paint the exterior of my house (total cost of project $7000). Per the contract, I got a 2 hour visit from a design consultant. After the design consultants visit, we locked down 2 sherwin william color (had to choose one of the two for final paintin). When we asked the design consultant which Sherwin william store we can go to to get samples to try before we decide which paint to go with, she recommended to just go to Lowes as the colors are "universal" and they make exactly the same colors. Per the suggestion, we went to lowes and got the 2 samples made. We Painted 2 patches on our exterior wall. After a week, we called the paint contractor and said we chose one of the paint as the final color. We provided him with the chosen sherwin william color code.

2 weeks later sub contractor arrived at my house at 8am and started wrapping the house. At about 3pm I got a call from the sub contractors sayin that the color they started to paint does not match the patch we painted from lowes (note, the sub contractors bought the paint from Sherwin Williams). Long story short, Lowes sample was not made properly, and even though we liked the "wrong" paint lowes made, it was different than the original sherwin williams code I provided to lowes. We called the owner of the paint company that we had the contract with, and he said that sherwin williams made the color correctly (which is true), and that lowes made the wrong color. Hence he couldnt help us and gave us 2 options 1) stop the work (with just one wall wrongly painted) but still pay for the paint and labor 2) get the whole house painted with the wrong color. We went with option 2

I have spoken to the store manage at lowes, and his stance is that since we didnt buy the actual paint from the store, they are not responsible for the wrong sample. He wouldnt even take the responsibilty to say the sample they made was wrong. To prove this, we went to a different lowes location to make yet another sample of the same sherwin williams color and this time they made it exactyl as it suppose to be (we put the paint on the sherwin william paint card).. We then went back to the same lowes location (the one that gave us the wrong color) and once again got them to make the same sample, and this time, they made the color correct. Bottomline, the first sample lowes made (based on which we made our decision) was not mixed well..

I agree the contractor didnt buy from lowes, but our decision was based on the wrong sample (which we have proved was made wrong in the first place).. do we have a case against lowes for the money we spent for this project (north of $6000)
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#2
Did you go to the site and look at the paint before the job started? And/or go again to see the paint that had been used on one side of the house? If you told them to proceed with the painting, it seems to me that you approved the color. And, not buying the paint from Lowe's gives you no recourse to them.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Oh boy — repainting a house. Went through that recently for a family property.

I am a bit confused — when the House was fully painted with the “wrong” Lowe’s color how was that done? Lowe’s mixed color 1234 wrong and you liked that but when the subcontractor bought color 1234 it was different?

I agree that it is hard to have recourse against Lowe’s nothing was bought there.

Is the color very different or highly objectionable? Or HOA problem? Neighbor had to repaint their entire house one month after a paint job because the HOA does not allow pearlescent sheen— not sure how that mistake was made.

This is a tough situation.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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#5
Thank you for the quick reply.

I agree. If the contractor had bought the paint at Lowes, the matter 'may' have been resolved by now and that is the weakest link in the argument. We were not aware of where the paint will be purchased from, and frankly didnt think that was our prerogative to know, as it was being sourced by the contractor. When the contractors design consultant advised us to go to Lowes for the sample a) we didnt even know you can get sherwin williams color at a different vendor b) assumed they may purchased their paint from there.

Yes, it is ironic, that even though we selected the actual sherwin williams color (simply by holding a paint card on the exterior wall, at one point of time, under one light condition) we ended up liking the "Wrong" Lowes color after we actually painted that color and saw it under various different light for over a week. Unfortunately, we didnt feel the same once the sherwin williams color was applied to the wall.

- To answer your question, we approved the job not because we liked the color but because we had no option. The paint company's 'sub contractors' arrived at 8 am and started wrapping the whole house. Both my wife and I went to work and were told the job will be complete by sunset. I got a call at 3pm at work (sunset here is at 8:00pm), saying after painting one entire wall, they noticed the paint doesnt match the 'patch' we have on the wall. Wife and I rushed back home by 4:15, called the owner of the paint company, and were given the 2 options I mentioned above i.e stop the job midway (with one wall with a different color) and still pay for material and labour or 2) go head with the job (rain was forecasted for the next day with 70% probability, hence all the paper wrapping of the house was going to go to waste, and would require another day of labour). So we chose option 2, at least we will have one color on the exterior wall. (Before we made the decision, we called lowes, but the store manage was on vacation)

- My argument is, even if the paint was bought at Lowes, would lowes simply refund me for 'material' cost ? what about the labour cost ? I would have still required to hire 2 contractors for a full day of labour, to redo the prep and painting. Would I be reimbursed for that or at least Lowes sends their contractors to get the job done. In that case, even in my current situation, where the paint was bought elsewhere, compensate me for the labour cost ?

- Ironically, in my paint contract, their is a line that says "PROMO: Paint is Free".. meaning everything I paid was for labour, 'technically speaking'

- No HOA issue
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#6
While it is true that there are computer programs that can 'match' any color, there will always be variations. This is one big reason why many paint professionals will actually take the gallons of paint needed for a job and actually mix them ALL together in big buckets...because even gallon to gallon, with the same paint formula, the colors can vary every so slightly.

I will add this - we used a Sherwin Williams color to paint my entire office building two years ago. When painting our office, the pros who we hired warned us that if we needed more paint for touch ups we shouldn't just go to any Sherwin Williams dealer...we should return to the same location that mixed the first batch. There can even be slight variations in the calibration of the color machines that can affect the final outcome.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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#7
msmayor.. I agree with you...

In our case we didnt match the color, we provided them with the color code.. Also, yesterday I went to a different lowes location and the same one that made the wrong sample, and had the sample made again. In both instances, they made exactly the color that matches sherwin williams color.. So the machines and the code seem to work.. its just the original sample we got was incorrect..
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#8
This is truly unfortunate, but you have no case against Lowe's

You never verified the paint color with the supplier that you did purchase the paint from. Even if Lowe's made a mistake, you didn't purchase the paint color from them!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
Msmayor made some great points about color mixing and calibration.

For the house that was repainted we did not go with the high end painters nor the lowest — more of a mid level and had to have color match for a paint color that no longer exists— (paint company no longer exists) The painter wanted to buy the paint at the exact place that had mixed the custom color that was approved by the HOA. This made sense with a custom color but I think should be standard practice with every paint job — because of what Msmayor wrote.

OP has anyone been able to figure out what happened to the original wrong color? Was one of the paint colors used wrong?
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#10
I agree that you have no case against Lowes. You got bad advice from the designer, but she doesn't work for Lowes. You passed on your one chance to fix the mistake when there was just one wall done. Yes, you would have had to reschedule and re-prep due to the forecasted rain, but better that than a $7000 paint job with a color you don't like.
 
Likes: Algebralovr
Jun 16, 2019
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#12
Appreciate all the feedback.

I do feel that our decision to proceed with the paint job is not relevant to the eventual outcome of this situation (if there will be one).. The sub contractor already purchased all the paint when they informed me of the difference in color. Had I chosen not to paint the entire house with the wrong color, I would today have a house with one odd wall, several gallons of unused paint in my garage, and still paid the contractor the exact same money as I have today. At least I have one consistent 'wrong' color on the house..

the downside is, that because all this confusion costed time on the day of the job, the sub contractor did a haphazard job. Frankly, they werent unprofessional or anything, but we all were just in a crappy situation, since the paint company (owner on the phone) will not allow me or the sub contractor even an extra day to sort this out. His call was that this job will get done today or it wont.. And we have to pay in either case.. as I result they started painting at 5pm, and by the time I got back from work (close to 6:30pm) they were wrapping up... which was bizarre since our house is a large bungalow (probably about 2500 sq ft of stucco) and there was no way you could do 2 coats (per the contract and to get sherwin williams 15 yr warranty) in that amount of time.. which is a seperate issue I am dealing with the paint company currently.. (Once the paint was complete, we were going to pain the windows, fascia and soffits, followed by outdoor lighting of the house and trees, which I have already signed for but am struggling to hold off until the color is fixed)... fun times...
 
Jun 16, 2019
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#13
Neil.. its not terribly off, otherwise we would have visually caught it.. Lowes is a grey tint (which the wife likes) and Sherwin W. is Brown (which the wife dislikes).... living with it, is the last resort (and one with the high probability so far) :)
 

Neil Maley

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#14
What does the contract say you signed with the painter? Does it state anything about where he will buy the paint?

Have you contacted the designer that told you to go to Lowe’s? As far as I see- that’s where the fault lies. Had you gone to the Sherwin Williams store as you were going to this wouldn’t hsbe happened.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#15
I think you understand that this was "one of those things" listed in Murphy's Law. The only guilt lies with the dopey designer who gave you wrong information. I'm sure you'll both learn to like the color. My sister looked for new dishes in Italy several years ago, they spent a great deal of time looking, they placed an order. Six months later the dishes arrived ... not even close to what they had purchased. So she repainted the dining room to match the new dishes. You get into these expensive situations and sometimes just need to learn to like what you end up with.

But I'm far more concerned about a "haphazard job". That is something you should get straight with the painting contractor, s/he should come out and inspect the job. But before that happens you'd need to hire an independent painting contractor to inspect and give you a report. I'd definitely want the painting contractor to make sure the house is properly painted, whatever the color. You certainly don't want to go through a full paint job in a couple of years after all the other improvements have already been made.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#16
You say that the sub-contractor wasn't unprofessional, but I can't imagine a reputable paint contractor STARTING a job at 5pm and then taking 90 minutes to paint an entire house.
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#17
Maybe it's just me but I don't think it's fair that the contractor uses Lowe's as a samples lab.

I feel bad for Lowe's. They spent time and materials to make 2 samples for people who had no intention of buying paint there. Essentially Lowe's was unknowingly doing a favor. And the reward for their trouble was the chance to make 2 more samples and a very unhappy homeowner asking them to make restitution. I'm guessing that multiple people at Lowe's had a pretty bad day dealing with this mess.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#18
Maybe it's just me but I don't think it's fair that the contractor uses Lowe's as a samples lab.

I feel bad for Lowe's. They spent time and materials to make 2 samples for people who had no intention of buying paint there. Essentially Lowe's was unknowingly doing a favor. And the reward for their trouble was the chance to make 2 more samples and a very unhappy homeowner asking them to make restitution. I'm guessing that multiple people at Lowe's had a pretty bad day dealing with this mess.
I have to say that I do sort of agree with krisseye. They are being asked to take responsibility for a business transaction that they had no part of --

Was there a reason that the design consultant suggested going to Lowe's? Was there not a Sherwin Williams store nearby.

Also once the paint was on the side of the wall, did anybody compare it to the paint color card and see that it looked a little too gray?
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#19
Thank you for the quick reply.
- My argument is, even if the paint was bought at Lowes, would lowes simply refund me for 'material' cost ? what about the labour cost ? I would have still required to hire 2 contractors for a full day of labour, to redo the prep and painting. Would I be reimbursed for that or at least Lowes sends their contractors to get the job done. In that case, even in my current situation, where the paint was bought elsewhere, compensate me for the labour cost ?
Your argument is asinine. You didn't purchase the paint at Lowe's. End of story.

Your beef is with the contractor. The more information that you post, the more disreputable the contractor sounds.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#20
In the end you did approve the painting of the house with the brown tint color so I have a hard time seeing how Lowe’s can be held responsible when there was no business relationship with them.

I think you have to work with the paint contractor or learn to live with the color.