Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What I've Learned About Paint

Because on Tuesdays I'm almost always participating in 5 Minutes for Books' Tuesday carnivals*, I haven't made a huge effort to participate in Musings of a Housewife's weekly carnival What I Learned This Week, even though I think it's a great idea. But this week I thought I'd share the wisdom I've gleaned from my bathroom remodeling project (and I'll post pictures tomorrow!).

  1. If your walls are not in great condition, use matte-finish paint. I am usually an eggshell girl -- one step above a matte -- but my contractor explained that they will show any little variation in the walls. And yes, I have been noticing these inconsistencies on my walls that were painted four years ago in an eggshell finish after stripping wall paper off of them. Problem solved.

    I always selected a paint with a bit of sheen for scrubability, but the contractor explained that most paints now will hold up to a bit of washing regardless of finish. Also, matte finishes are much easier to touch up (there's no line of demarkation), and let's be honest -- if your kid mars a wall, often times the best solution is to paint over it.

  2. Always test out your paint. I learned this the hard way when I chose a nice light lavender color for that powder room after the very 90's navy, burgundy, and hunter green wallpaper was stripped off. What looked like a nice light lavender purple really turned out to be a bit too purple for my taste. But I've lived with it (you can see it in my "before" post).

    So, before slapping some paint on the walls of the newly remodeled kids/guest bathroom that features some very-hard-to-match tones that sometimes look bluish, sometimes gray-toned, and other times a little greenish, I bought the Benamin Moore Color Sample size. It's worth that $5 to know. And am I glad that I did. The Feather Gray color that I thought looked bluish grayish, and seemed to match my floor tile sample when placed on it, was too bright and blue when I put it on the wall. I went back to the drawing board and looked for a more greenish hue, and found Tranquility in the Aura Affinity line.

  3. You get what you pay for. If you watch that video in the link above, they talk about what makes Aura unique. I don't know if it's that Tranquility (AF 490) is just the most beautiful color in the world, or if the difference in the paint has some effect on it, but I love it. I painted both bathrooms this color (the purple powder room downstairs in addition to the one upstairs), and I'm thinking that I might put it in the master bath, which is the next room to be remodeled.

    I can also vouch that it is indeed scrubable. After only a week, I noticed something on the walls (it's a bathroom, so I don't really want to think any harder about what that might have been), and I used a washcloth and it came right off (with no paint residue left on the cloth).

    As a side note -- you also get what you pay for in toilets. I could have bought one as cheaply as $130 or so, but everyone said, "Buy the Kohler with the Power Assist flush," so I spent $200 more per toilet. Is it okay to love your toilet? Because I think I do (and I have pictures to prove it)

  4. Paint your ceilings. I had heard about this trend, but I thought that it seeemed silly. We live in a standard colonial style house with standard 8-foot ceilings, and sometimes it seems that they are closing in on us (after living in Texas-style homes with 9 to 11-foot ceilings), but I listened to my contractor, and painted the ceilings as well. They are gorgeous, and now the white ceilings in the other rooms are screaming to be painted!!

    Here's how you do it: Have the paint store mix the color you choose at 25% of the color. The other option is to just go two shades lighter on the color strip. That's actually what I did, because I didn't want to use the expensive Aura paint on the ceilings. So the helpful paint store employee pointed out that Beach Glass was almost the same color as the Aura Affinity Tranquility, and we went two shades lighter than that.

Click on over and tell Jo-Lynne what YOU learned this week, or glean some knowledge from others in the blogosphere.

*Just like in high school and college, I've waited for the very last minute to finish my reading assignment. I will be posting my thoughts for The Great Gatsby Classics Bookclub later today.

I'd also like to invite you to join us for our first non-Classics Bookclub June 2 reading Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center. I can't wait.


JanMary said...

We have just painted our kitchen/family room - and I had so many sample pots, but we made it in the end!

We too painted our ceiling.

Looking forward to seeing some photos.

(PS Your link over a Musings seems to be linking to the wrong post)

Dianne said...

I'm guessing the matte finish is a lot better these days than the old "flat" white. Nothing like a fresh new coat of paint . . . oooh you're tempting me!

Hairline Fracture said...

Thanks for the tips! Nothing makes a room feel "new" like a fresh coat of paint.

Darcie - Such The Spot said...

I didn't know that trick about the painted ceilings. We live in one of those 10 ft. ceiling houses and while I've always painted the ceilings, I've always just painted them the same color as the walls. I think I'll try your way when we redo our bedroom this fall.

You are *so* not alone in falling behind on your blog reading. I've been a slacker too. I always love stopping by here though. :)

Musings of a Housewife said...

I haven't done much painting of the ceilings. LOVE the idea of going a shade or two lighter than the walls. Awesome tips!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I really appreciate this post, as I am fairly clueless when it comes to painting.

However, I discovered the wonder that is Benjamin Moore paint this year and I'll never go back to anything else. Great coverage, and withstands scrubbing, even with a Magic Eraser. Most of the walls in our house were painted with something else (by the previous owners) and they're a mess -- which I've made worse, when I tried to clean them. But I did the basement w/ Benjamin Moore and am in love.

Thanks for the tip on ceilings, too. I'm a white-ceiling girl, but I might get brave someday, and experiment with a "tinted" ceiling.