Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Please remember before emailing me about the poor quality of this photo, I'm NOT A PROFESSIONAL photographer! Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about a few secrets in house painting. Some people think I'm crazy, but I actually enjoy painting, and added bonus, save a lot of money by doing it myself. Last summer I painted the outside of our mostly-brick house (I used a special paint specifically for masonry, stucco and brick) and after my long-winters-rest I've started the process of painting the interior.  For this project absolutely every room, every surface (ceilings, walls and trim) need patching, priming and painting. In short, it's going to be a long road to the finish line, but the final results will be well worth it and save us around $10,000.00 by doing it ourselves. Grey tones have taken over the tans of the last several years, and Benjamin Moore has an impressive line of grey, from warmer (more traditional) to more modern darker greys. While most of my clients insist on using Benjamin Moore, I've never understood why; I don't think the product is any better than Valspar at Lowe's or Behr at the Home Depot and the average cost of a gallon of Benjamin Moore paint is $65 compared to $20 of the previous mentioned brands. For the amount of space I need to cover in our home I'd bust our budget if I used Benjamin Moore, so off to the Home Depot I went where their new services include matching ANY other brands color! I simply told them I wanted Benjamin Moore's "Light Pewter" and they matched the exact same color in Behr for $25/gallon. On some of our better looking trim surfaces I use high gloss (Benjamin Moore's high gloss finish is $85/gallon compared to Behr's $35/gallon). Because many of our windows are unremarkable (typical 1960's boring ranch trim) we didn't want to draw attention to them so we decided to paint the trim in the same color and same finish as the walls, essentially helping them disappear (note photo above...right side of trim shows painted version). While some people love putting lipstick on a pig, we'd rather let ours go au naturale.
1) If you like more expensive paints like Benjamin Moore or Farrow & Ball but would rather not spend the money, take the color and code to your local Home Depot and have them match it for you for more than half the savings. In addition to color and brand matching, Home Depot will also take any object you have and match the color. When we lived in California I wanted to paint our kitchen the color of one of my favorite yellow ware pottery bowls, so took it to the local hardware store where they did the same for me. Now the Home Depot will do it too!
2) If you have beautiful trim, show it off by painting it in high gloss. To really make it pop, paint it white.
3) High Gloss is different from Semi-Gloss and, while it gives a beautiful finish, surfaces MUST be prepped and primed as every imperfection will only be highlighted by the incredibly shiny finish.