Picking The Right Paint For The Job

If This Doesn’t Answer Your Questions Get Advice From A Paint Store Like Sherwin-Williams

There are so many variables to consider that I would have to write a too-long post so I’ll just give a few generalities here that will be helpful if you don’t already know this.  If this doesn’t answer your question then I would suggest either calling me at 509-551-1060 (my advice is free, and worth every penny of it) or going to your local Sherwin-Williams store and tell them what you want to do and they will give you a recommendation.  I suggest that you don’t just ask anyone behind the counter.  Though they are good the store manager will be the best one to talk to as he will have the most product knowledge, the most real-world experience, and the best ability to communicate to you why he has suggested what he has suggested.

Do NOT Go To A Big-Box Store Like Home Depot Or Lowes For Advice On The Right Paint

I know how this works, I used to be a part-time kitchen designer for Home Depot while I ran my painting business and the associates in the paint department regularly sent their customers to me for even the most basic questions. The associates in big-box stores have had little training or experience.  You could get lucky and go to the store that has a former professional painter working the paint department, but why risk working all those hours on your house to find out you got bad advice?

General Principles To Keep In Mind When Choosing Paint:

Flat Interior Paint Hides Imperfections And Repairs In Your Drywall

The more sheen, the more you will see the imperfections in your drywall.  This is especially critical if you have done any drywall repairs and re-textured.  It is almost impossible to match an existing texture pattern unless the repairs were textured not only by the same person who did it before but using the same machine he used before.  Every texture gun and every person running it will create a different pattern.  The only way to get a truly uniform texture after a repair is to float out the whole wall (fill it and smooth it) and start over with texturing.

Flat paint has rarely been used on anything other than ceilings because flat paint is not washable.  If you try to wash it it will leave a burnish mark.  Latex paint technology has improved to the point where you can get a washable near-flat paint that has only a small amount of sheen.  Sherwin Williams Duration Home Matte is such a paint.  Even though it is nearly flat it has a hard enough finish that it can be washed just like a gloss or semi-gloss finish.

Door And Window Trim Requires A Higher-Quality, Harder Enamel Paint

Of course a better paint is going to cost you more but you are not going to need as much of it.  If I were to spray out the whole interior with 25 gallons of wall paint I might only need 5 gallons of high-quality trim paint for the trim and doors.

Many new home interiors are painted with the same paint on both the walls and the trim.  You can be sure they didn’t use trim paint to paint the whole interior as no contractor is going to spend the extra money it would take to do that.  That being the case, you will probably notice the doors and trim will get dinged up easier than it would have with a harder trim paint.

Will The New Paint And Primer In One Paints Save Me From Having To Prime My Walls First?

Probably not.  In my not-so-humble opinion it’s just a marketing gimick.  If you are changing colors much at all, especially going from a light color to a dark color, or vice-versa, one coat with a paint/primer combo will not do the job in which case it would have been better to go with a less expensive prime coat either tinted to match or nearly match your final color or gray primed to an appropriate darkness for your final color and then use a better paint for the top coat.

Where I could see a paint/primer combo saving you from having to do two coats is when you are painting the same color as you currently have but you are painting a flat or matte finish on top of a gloss or semi-gloss finish.  The primer qualities in the paint/primer combo will help with adhesion which can be an issue when putting flatter paints on top of glossy paints.

For New Construction – Prime Before And After Texture For Better Touch-Up

Most spec home builders and even many custom home builders will scrimp on painting cost by not priming the new texture before painting because the average home buyer will not be able to tell the difference. Until they move in and want to do touch up.

What happens with painting over un-primed texture is the porous texture literally sucks the sheen out of the top coat leaving it flatter than it would if it had been sealed with primer.  That in itself is not a problem; the problem comes when you put another coat of the same paint on top in spots to touch up nicks and dings.  The second coat has been primed by the first coat and doesn’t have the sheen sucked out of it so will be shinier.  This will leave a shiny spot that will stick out like a sore thumb under the right lighting conditions.  The only way to get rid of it is to paint the whole wall.

If you don’t have the original paint for touch up it’s easy to get a good color match with today’s optical scanners but it’s nearly impossible to match the sheen on a paint.  Priming the texture before painting will leave the top coat with the sheen it’s supposed to have so that when you touch up both sheens will match.

Don’t assume that your builder is priming the texture, even if you are paying extra for a higher quality house.  I’ve seen custom home builders advertise the quality of their homes in the things that are readily apparent to a prospective client, such as granite counters, but still skimp and save on other items that are not so noticeable.  If you ask them if the walls are going to get primed you need to be more specific than that because they may be thinking of the cheap primer that goes on before the texture, which is standard operating procedure, and not be thinking you are asking about priming AFTER the texture.  You need to specifically ask if the walls are going to be primed both before and after texture.

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