Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Paint Nightmares

I think picking paint colors is possibly the most difficult thing in the world. Paint consultants or interior decorators that specialize in this field must be geniuses.  Or maybe they figured out the paints that work and keep using them over and over again.  I can't decide.
I grew up in a house with plain white walls. I thought my mom was crazy for missing out on the opportunity to use paint to transform the look and feel of her house with the simple addition of a little color on the walls. With each new house we've lived in, I've attempted to experiment with paint colors and always end up with the same reaction. I hate it. Maybe it's the permanence of the paint or maybe it's just that I pick terrible colors.  Either way, I can now sympathize with my mom.  I love white walls.

Suzie: Caitlin Creer Interiors Tiek Built Homes Meikel Reece Photography  Kitchen cabinets by ...
Caitlin Creer Interiors, Benjamin Moore Dune White (I love that bench)

Fortunately, white walls work perfectly with my aims of keeping the house neutral and cohesive.  Considering that the living room, dining room and kitchen aren't separated by walls, using only one color will help the space feel open and less segmented. I suppose I could get a little more creative in the bedrooms and bathrooms, but I have grown to prefer to accent white spaces with pops of color instead of all over, unchanging walls.  So that was a long explanation to say...I have to pick a white.
colleen price: Sunroom
Decor Pad, Benjamin Moore China White

So I've decided that we'll paint the trim, walls and ceiling all the same color.  This is supposed to make small spaces feel larger.  Whatever.  I'm just excited that I won't have to be quite as careful cutting in.
Suzie: Amy Morris  Emily Followil Photography  white & black farnhouse foyer design with matte ...
Amy Morris, Benjamin Moore China White

In our last house we used Behr paints.  I'd heard good things about them and they offer great sales every holiday.  I wasn't real impressed with the coverage quality, but it wasn't bad.  Recently we used the Lowes brands of Valspar and Olympic.  Behr seemed far superior to both.  Not much progress there.  And I've never been happy with the selection of colors available in Behr, so this time around, I'm hoping to find the perfect color and the perfect paint.

Suzie: Carolyn Espley-Miller  David Tsay Photography  Grand entrance with vintage wood bench, ...
Carolyn Espley-Miller, Benjamin Moore White Heron (Love the french grain sack pillows)

Consumer Research, Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports offer up their reviews of the best paints.  Benjamin Moore's Aura seems to get the best reviews all-around, with promises of great coverage, no priming, quick drying and low-VOC.  At $50 a gallon, and twice the price of Behr, it would need to live up to the promise of only requiring one coat.  Requiring half the time and work, it sounds worth the risk and investment!  Another benefit?  Benjamin Moore offers some of the highest rated color choices!

Do you have a favorite brand of paint?


  1. We use Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambert - from Lebanon Paint & Wallpaper. I love dealing with those guys! They'll even create custom colors. Great quality, but they still require more than 1 coat. Aunt Judy

  2. That's my mom's favorite store as well. Still need more than one coat, huh? I kind of figured we'd have to, considering how much paint new drywall sucks up. Maybe we'll use Behr to prime and then switch to Benjamin Moore for the second coat.