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What’s on that label?

Did you ever wonder what was on that paint can label the paint store affixes to the lid of the can?  That information is valuable especially when getting refills of that color in the future.

diagram of paint can label parts
I created this graphic to show you the parts of a paint can label

Keep in mind, not all paint stores print their labels exactly in this format.  However, you will see most of this information somewhere on the paint label.

With that in mind, I will explain the parts of the paint can label and why you need to keep a record of this information.

Store Where You Bought the Paint

This information is the name and  the location of the paint store. Some stores will keep a custom mix in their store database.   Keep this information.  If you need a refill of a custom mix, the store location on the lid has that specific formula.

Paint Number and Name

The manufacturer assigns a particular number to the paint.  Along with the paint number, the paint manufacturer gives the paint a particular “fancy” name.


This is the brand name, whether it be Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Behr, Valspar, etc.

Rev Date

The “Rev Date” is the date the manufacturer revised the paint formula.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.  Sometimes manufacturers tweak the formula.  The formula change may affect the color.

Paint Base and Number

The base number is the paint the store begins with (just like a foundation. ) The store then adds the colorants to the base to make your particular color.

Mixed On

This is the date the store mixed the paint for you.  Again, you’d want to keep this information for future refills.

Colorants and Amounts

Colorants that were added to the base and their ratios are listed in this section.

Why should you keep a record of this information?

The best answer you should keep a record of paint label info is “just in case.”  Seriously, keeping paint records is a good idea in the event you need touch ups for a particular room and need to know which room it was, or if you move and want to use the same color scheme.  Keeping paint records is also good practice if you are decorating and need the information about a particular color that was used in a specific room.

How do you keep this information organized?

There are a few ways to keep your paint records organized.  One method would be to take pictures of the labels with your phone.  Then, download the photos onto your desktop and arrange the photos into files for particular spaces.  Another method of keeping your paint records organized is to write info onto a form.  You can keep those forms organized in a binder.  To help you with keeping paint records, I have created a downloadable room paint organizer form for you here.  I have looked online for a paint record organizing app and was unable to find any.  If you have an app that you use to keep your paint records organized, please let me know in the comments.