Monday, November 21, 2011

Paint and Paint Supplies: The Basics

There is so much to consider when you choose to paint walls. I prefer to go to sources that seems to have the most knowledgeable staff and the widest range of choices when I am out of my element. As such, over the years Home Depot has become my friend. When you have no idea what you are doing, or even if you have some idea, the staff there knows their stuff and generally can point you in the right direction.

I decided to paint the workspace that beautiful Chocolate Swirl color by Behr so I paid my friend a visit to pick up a few things.

{excuse the grainy iPhone photo quality. this is why I really need to get more lighting options and a good camera}

Basic paint tools for this mini makeover came to a whopping $22.48 before taxes! WOOT WOOT Seriously, paint is probably the least expensive way to make a big impact in a room EVER. I have never lived anywhere that I didn't paint a room or a wall or a corner. 

In this case, since I am only painting a former closet, I won't need much paint which is why I selected a 1/4 gallon can. However, if you are painting a room, you could very well go through two or more cans, depending on the size of the room and the number of coats needed. Please be sure to consult with the Home Depot staff if you have any doubts. 

TIP: I would rather see you buy less cans of paint than you need than more than you need. Why? Because if you buy too many gallons and they are mixed with colors, you cannot return them. On the other hand, if you run out of paint, you can always return to Home Depot for a gallon or two more. The color can easily be matched by taking the lid from any used can. It has the code that the paint technician needs to properly mix and match your color.

As much as I love the large selection at Home Depot, it can certainly be overwhelming. The paint section is replete with all kinds of paint types. Among those are various types of shine (or lack of shine). How do you know which one to choose?

Gloss - Gloss is primarily used for trim or cabinetry or in bathrooms or kitchen areas.  The glossy, shiny surface provides the best surface for easy clean-up.

Semi-gloss - If you prefer a less shiny look with the same ease for clean up, you may prefer semi-gloss. This sheen is great for areas that will see a lot of moisture and condensation such as a bathroom or kitchen. 

Satin - The cool thing about satin is that it is just as durable as semi-gloss but has less sheen. When you have imperfections on your walls, such as seams and bumps, satin does a great job at highlighting those areas so they are less noticeable.

Eggshell - Want low sheen without going flat? Eggshell is your friend. It is also great for walls with imperfections and bumps.It has an almost matte or flat appearance and is very smooth. It is not very easy to clean but with some elbow grease, fairs a bit better than flat.

Flat - Flat is chalky and hard to clean but a perfect choice when you want little to no shiny reflection or if you are going for a chalkboard paint type of finish. This type of paint is especially good for ceilings.

As for which brand works best, it truly depends on what room you are painting and what your goals are. Again, I would consult with a Home Depot staff member. 

Please note that ANY brand can be made into any color from any paint swatch regardless of the brand who developed the paint swatch.  For example, I chose a can of Glidden paint but had it mixed in the yummy Chocolate Swirl color that Behr offered. I tried this once at a Orchard Supply Hardware and they weren't able to accomodate my request. Hence, my return and continued love affair with Home Depot. They can mix any color with any brand. They can even match a swatch of fabric if you prefer. LOVE THEM!

So that's my mini lesson on types of paint. I hope it helps you find the right paint for your paint job. Next time I will share my painting process and how I put the materials purchased above to good use.

xoxo ~tami

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