1
 

Blog

October 2, 2018

Are you looking for a way to liven up your living room or make your bedroom feel cozier? A fresh coat of Benjamin Moore paint is an inexpensive, effective way to achieve your goal. The trick is to find just the right hue to make your furnishings pop. To save time and money on your painting project, thoroughly test different paint colors before you commit to one. Here’s how.

Bring Textiles from Home to Help You Pick Samples

You may think you know what shade of blue your throw pillows are, but viewing dozens of blue paint swatches under bright lights at the store can make it impossible to tell which one matches. Make it easy on yourself and bring one of those pillows with you to the paint store. Compare it to the swatches and select a few tester pots to bring home.

Prime the Wall

If you’re changing from a dark color to a lighter one, you’ll need to prime the wall before painting it. To ensure you get an accurate impression of the shades you’re sampling, go ahead and complete this step before you test paint colors.

Paint the Largest Sample Sizes Possible

Certain undertones are difficult to detect on a small scale, especially because the surrounding wall color affects it. To minimize this, paint samples of 12 inches square or larger. Also, don’t paint samples right next to each other, since this could affect the way you perceive them.

Paint Samples in the Right Places

Design magazines often portray homeowners painting sample squares in the middle of the wall, but it’s difficult to discern the true nature of each color unless you can see how it interacts with other elements in the room. Paint a square on each wall at different heights – one at eye level, another next to the baseboards and a final one right up to the ceiling.

View Paint Samples in Different Lighting

Painting color samples on every wall is also beneficial to see how the light interacts with them at different angles and times of day. Be sure to view the samples in the soft light of morning, during the brightness of midday and under artificial light in the evening. Choose the paint color that looks best under all types of light.

Paint Pieces of Drywall

If painting samples on the wall isn’t an option, you can still test paint colors on loose pieces of drywall. This allows you to move the samples around the room and view them under different lights throughout the day without putting any paint on the walls yet.

Here at the Paint Centers in Flint and Grand Blanc, Michigan, we are happy to help you select sample paint colors. We have high-quality Benjamin Moore paint and primer to choose from. Stop by today and pick out paint testers with help from our painting experts. We’ll help make sure your next project goes smoothly!

 

September 18, 2018

The foods you eat, products you apply to your skin and furnishings you place in your home have a greater effect on your health and quality of life than you probably realize. These choices also impact the environment because you either support sustainable products or those that contain harmful chemicals and generate pollution.

When both the environment and your family’s well-being are your top priorities, you can satisfy your needs by choosing eco-friendly paint. Learn what makes certain paint eco-friendly and where to find it.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

Traditional household paint contains moderate levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These toxic emissions are comprised of chemical gases that wreak havoc on your health, such as toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, ethyl acetate and others. Think of the classic scent of wet paint. This is the smell of VOCs.

Many solids and liquids found in your home may emit VOCs besides paint, including cleaning products, air fresheners, cosmetics, adhesives and aerosol sprays. As a result, the indoor concentration of VOCs is typically two to five times higher than outdoors, states the Environmental Protection Agency. Concentrations can skyrocket to 1,000 times higher while applying VOC-emitting paint.

The health effects of VOCs range from mild eye, nose and throat irritation to long-term liver or kidney damage. Memory loss and cancer are other possible health effects of VOCs. Obviously, you don’t want to bring products into your home that could have these consequences for your family!

Many conventional paint products also contain biocides to extend their shelf life, while paints designed for use in bathrooms and outdoors often have fungicides. These ingredients can be detected in the air for up to five years after the paint is applied.

What is Eco-Friendly Paint?

When paint is specially designed to be eco-friendly, this means it contains little to no VOCs. This is good news for your health because you can expect few if any emissions to impact your indoor air quality.

Waste Management considers paint to be hazardous waste that must be disposed of carefully because it may contain pigments made from heavy metals. Eco-friendly paints are manufactured with non-toxic dyes that don’t harm the environment.

Finding Eco-Friendly Paint Options

As you shop for natural alternatives to traditional paint, check the label to ensure it says “low VOC” or “no VOC.” Also, make sure petroleum and heavy metal pigments aren’t listed as ingredients.

Benjamin Moore Natura® Premium Interior Paint is the perfect eco-friendly paint option. It contains no VOCs and gives off zero emissions. This patented formula is tinted with zero-VOC Gennex® colorants, which are free of harsh fumes. Natura® is Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly for your peace of mind. You can find Natura® paint in an astounding variety of colors available in Flat, Eggshell and Semi-Gloss finishes.

Pick up a can of Benjamin Moore Natura® paint today and see the difference for yourself! Visit the Paint Centers in Flint or Grand Blanc, Michigan or visit our website to learn more.

September 4, 2018

Want to add a little pizzazz to a room? One method is to paint one wall a bolder color than the rest. An accent wall is an easy update that promises to deliver the big impact you want. However, it’s not quite as simple as painting any old color on a wall chosen at random. Avoid the most common accent wall mistakes by following the tips in this guide.

Decide Which Wall to Paint

Look around the room and decide if one wall is an obvious focal point compared to the others. The focal point is where your eye is drawn to first when you enter a space. If you have a fireplace, this is probably the focal point, so you should paint the wall it sits on. In bedrooms, the bed itself is the focal point, so it’s ideal to paint the wall behind the headboard.

If your room has no obvious focal points, consider painting the narrowest wall located furthest from the door. Painting a long wall in a skinny room might not create the effect you’re going for. Still struggling? Narrow down your accent wall options even more by choosing one with no windows or doors.

Pick an Inspiration Piece to Help You Choose a Color

What’s your favorite feature in the room? Maybe it’s the shag rug, the lampshades or the beautifully patterned bedspread. Select a color from this inspiration piece to ensure you pick a hue that matches the décor and also makes you happy.

Just keep two things as in mind as you choose a color based on your inspiration piece:

First, remember to go bold, but not too bold. If you want to match the royal blue in your throw pillows, consider choosing a similar color a few shades lighter. You can always go darker in the future if you think the color you chose is too bland after all.

Second, choose a color that complements the room, but isn’t too matchy-matchy. For instance, don’t make the accent wall blue if that’s the color of your sofa. If you have a painting with lots of green in it, don’t paint the accent wall green. To create a balanced look, try picking a complementary color from your inspiration piece.

Paint with Precision

Select high-quality Benjamin Moore paint to ensure a beautiful look that lasts. Use painter’s tape to create crisp lines around the accent wall, and cover the floor with a drop cloth to protect against paint splatters. Use a roller for most of the job, along with a small brush for details around corners and trim. Plan to apply two coats of paint. Remember, budget-grade paint often requires three coats or more, so you save time and effort by selecting better-quality paint up front.

For more pro painting tips, please visit the Paint Centers website. Then, stop by our Flint or Grand Blanc, Michigan store to purchase Benjamin Moore paint in the perfect color for your accent wall.

August 21, 2018

If you’re tired of the boring white walls in your home, you have two primary options for dressing them up: you can paint the walls, or you can apply wallpaper. That’s right – believe it or not, wallpaper is back in style. But just because its reputation has recovered doesn’t necessarily make it a better option than paint. Consider the pros and cons of painting vs. wallpaper to help you make the best design decision for your home.

Preparation and Application

You must prepare your walls to ensure a durable finished product. Both painting and applying wallpaper require you to clean the surface and fill cracks or irregularities.

  • Wallpaper: Before applying wallpaper over paint, you must prime or sand it. For the best results, you should also horizontally cross line the wall with lining paper. Then, you must attach the wallpaper with paste. Matching patterned edges and ensuring a flat, even installation is vital for aesthetically pleasing results.
  • Paint: Simply prime the wall if painting over a darker color. Also, plan on using at least two coats for an even finish.
  • Bottom line: Painting requires less preparation and is easier to apply than wallpaper. For this reason, you may want to reserve wallpaper for smaller accent areas.

Appearance

The aesthetic of painting vs. wallpaper differs greatly.

  • Wallpaper: You have limitless colors, patterns, textures and sheens to choose from, so your walls look just the way you want.
  • Paint: While your color options are vast, paint patterns are limited. However, you can always paint a mural, use color blocking, implement an ombre paint technique, or apply Benjamin Moore’s ben® chalkboard paint or Notable™ dry erase paint for unlimited creativity in kids’ rooms, playrooms and
  • Bottom line: Wallpaper instantly makes your walls interesting, while paint requires a bit more imagination.

Durability

The lifespan of painting vs. wallpaper is an important consideration.

  • Wallpaper: As long as it’s applied correctly, wallpaper holds up well to wear and tear. Many varieties also tolerate scrubbing. However, wallpaper may peel if used in kitchens, bathrooms and other high-humidity environments.
  • Paint: Satin and eggshell sheens used on interior walls tend to hold up well. When they get dirty, scrubbing usually does the trick. You can also easily patch scratches and scrapes.
  • Bottom line: Paint and wallpaper both hold up well, as long as you apply and maintain them correctly.

Removal

What if you want to redo the walls again someday?

  • Wallpaper: Removing existing wallpaper is tedious. You need chemicals or stripping tools, and you must be careful not to damage the wall.
  • Paint: There’s no need to remove existing paint when redoing the walls. Simply apply primer first when painting over a dark color.
  • Bottom line: Pick your wallpaper carefully or stick with paint to avoid the chore of removing wallpaper in the future.

Whether you decide paint or wallpaper is right for you, the Paint Centers has everything you need to complete your upcoming project, including high-quality paint from Benjamin Moore, one of the most celebrated and reputable brands in the industry. Visit our website for more painting tips, or stop by one of our Michigan locations to stock up on painting or wallpapering supplies.

 

August 7, 2018

Is the old paint on your front door scratched and peeling? Don’t pay to replace it – repaint the door with these pro tips from The Paint Centers.

Lay the Door Flat

Drips and runs are a real concern when painting doors. To ensure the smoothest finish possible, lay the door flat on a sawhorse and remove all the hardware.

Prep Before You Prime

Even the highest quality Benjamin Moore paint won’t last if you apply it to an oily, dirty surface. That’s why you should thoroughly clean the door with warm soapy water and a sponge. Allow the door to dry completely before moving on.

If the door has been repainted before, it might have layers of paint built up. If the door rubs against the jamb, this could be the time to remove the paint and start from scratch. For wood doors, use a sharp carbide or stainless steel scraper. For metal doors, use sandpaper. For fiberglass doors, use a chemical stripping agent.

NOTE: If the door was last painted before 1979, have it checked for lead before you scrape or sand.

Whether you simply clean the door or remove layers of paint buildup, the final preparation is to fill all dents and scratches with spackling compound. For deeper holes, use two-part filler or epoxy wood filler.

Prime the Door

Primer is important because it prevents dark colors from showing through, seals porous wood fillers and helps the new paint adhere better. Prime the entire door – spot priming could make the topcoat appear blotchy.

After the primer dries, check for flaws and cover any you find with more spackling compound. Sand and re-prime these areas, feathering the edges to blend with the first layer of primer. Then, sand the entire door by hand with non-clogging 180- or 220-grit sandpaper. Vacuum up the sawdust and wipe the door with a damp cloth to remove all residual debris.

Paint the Door

The door is finally ready for paint! Choose a high-quality interior or exterior paint from Benjamin Moore, depending on whether you’re repainting your front door or an interior door. If the door has windows or panels, paint these areas with a brush first. Then, apply the paint smoothly and evenly with a high-density foam mini roller. Allow the first coat to dry, sand the door with the same technique you used after priming and apply a second coat. Assess the finish and apply a third coat if needed.

Take Precautions When Hanging the Door

Even after the paint is dry to the touch, it can stick to the doorjamb or weatherstripping and peel off when you open the door. To prevent this, wait at least two days before closing an interior door. If it’s an exterior door, cover the weatherstripping with painter’s tape to prevent sticking.

For more pro painting tips, please visit the Paint Centers website, or stop by one of our Michigan locations to stock up on the supplies you need to repaint a door.

 

July 24, 2018

Have you set your sights on repainting your bedroom? Your motivation level is high, and you’re ready to get to work! You don an old t-shirt and jeans and have a smile from ear to ear because you envision a beautiful finished product. But hold on just one minute – before you apply your first brushstroke, think about your wellbeing for a moment. You can avoid accidents and mishaps by following these painting safety tips.

Wear Safety Gear

Prepping your walls for paint could require sanding, stripping and cleaning. Protect yourself from flying sawdust and chemicals by wearing goggles, gloves and a dust mask.

Ventilate the Room

To ensure the best possible air quality after painting a room, always choose low- or no-VOC paint. This gives off fewer volatile organic compounds that can cause dizziness, respiratory distress and other symptoms.

Even with low- or no-VOC paint, we still recommend ventilating the room while painting. This means opening a window, if possible, or at least leaving the door open and aiming a fan inside to increase airflow.

Use a Sturdy Ladder

One of the most common painting injuries is falling off a wobbly ladder. If you plan to climb a ladder during your painting project, make sure it’s stable. Metal ladders are more reliable than wooden ones. Also, look for safety features such as non-slip feet and heavy-duty spreaders with a maximum load capacity that can easily bear your weight.

Avoid Plastic Drop Cloths

Canvas is the best material for protecting the floor during your project. Paint won’t seep through and, unlike plastic, canvas isn’t slippery. This is good news whether you’re simply walking around or setting up a ladder on top of the drop cloth.

Don’t Paint Near Open Flames or Heat Sources

If the paint you’re using has flammable solvents, the fumes may combust when introduced to heat or flames. This makes it incredibly dangerous to paint with a fireplace or natural gas water heater or furnace operating nearby. Turn these appliances off if they’re located in the room where you’re painting. Also, refrain from smoking, lighting matches or burning candles until the paint on the wall has dried.

Clean Up Properly

Dispose of any soiled rags, paintbrushes and rollers so pets and children can’t get a hold of them. Save unused paint for making touchups in the future. If you need to dispose of water-based latex paint, allow it to harden completely before throwing it away. Adding cat litter to the paint helps it dry out faster. Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of at a recycling center.

Here at the Paint Centers, your safety is our number one priority! Get more pro painting tips on our website or stop by one of our locations in Flint or Grand Blanc, Michigan today. We’ll help make sure your next painting project goes smoothly.