December 12, 2018

Every time you walk into a room, color impacts how you feel.

You want to love the colors that surround you. So when imagining (or re-imagining) a room, remember the influence color will have on the mood of the space. The effect may be subtle or dramatic. It can encourage tranquility or boost energy, even make you feel optimistic or more introspective.

Trendy kitchen with yellow wall and industrial chairs

The Basics

To begin to understand color’s emotional impact, start with these color groups:

Pales – Their light, airy qualities make pale hues feel uplifting.

Neutrals – It’s no surprise that earthy, nuanced colors keep you grounded.

Whites – Pure and pristine, these timeless colors offer a blank canvas to express your style.

Deeps – Bring drama to a room with colors that are rich and mysterious.

Present Tints

Pale colors like dusty lavender, ballet pink and sky blue are comfortable and easy to live with. They feel positive and encourage expression, while enhancing other colors.

Neutral colors and hardwood beams above dining room

Shifting to Neutral

Neutrals go beyond gray and brown into earthy hues like slate, clay, sand and ochre. Colors in this family can be warm or cool, but are always reliable and levelheaded. And because they transition beautifully with shifting light, they’re a good choice for rooms used throughout the day.

Crisp, light green bedroom retreat

Versatile White

Whites can easily feel contemporary, classic or anywhere in between. It’s an honest, harmonious family of colors and a great place to start, as they complement any style. You might call it a perfect backdrop for the life happening around it.

Living room with wide fireplace, purple wall and rolling ladder

Be Dramatic

Voilet, onyx, sapphire and ruby—even the names evoke something dramatic. Deep colors dissolve boundaries and create depth. They are the opposite of understatement and can fill a room with energy, creativity and confidence.

The Paint Centers logo inside white hexagon, beside blue a sign being held up that says, "shop like no other. Buy local."

Three stir sticks inside open cans of grey, red and blue paint beside the Benjamin Moore Logo

November 20, 2018

If you’re planning to repaint the interior or exterior of your home, brush up on these repainting tips first.

Interior Repainting Tips

The most common reason to repaint the walls is to change the color and thereby alter the appearance of the room. Before you get started, keep these interior repainting tips in mind:

  • Clean the surface: Paint doesn’t adhere well to dirty walls. Clean with a sponge dipped in warm, soapy water to remove dirt, stains and grime. Give special attention to kitchen walls that are subject to grease splatters.
  • Prime the surface: When applying a fresh coat of paint over an existing color, you face several potential problems. The binders and solvents may be incompatible, causing poor adhesion or bleeding of the original color into the new. A glossy wall may cause the new coat to peel, flake or crack. A dark color may show through the new lighter color. The key to preventing these issues is to apply Fresh Start® latex primer from Benjamin Moore before you paint.
  • Choose high-quality paint: Budget-grade paint contains fewer pigments, making it watery and less capable of covering the old color. This might make it necessary to apply three or more coats. Save time by choosing high-quality Benjamin Moore paint in your desired color and sheen.

Exterior Repainting Tips

Siding and trim come in many different materials. If you’re repainting the wood exterior of your home or spot painting damaged areas, plan carefully using these tips to ensure satisfactory results the first time around:

  • Prepare the surface: A fresh coat won’t glue down old, peeling paint, so strip and sand the wood first. Then, apply a paintable water repellent to reduce moisture uptake and help the wood last longer. After two days of drying, apply a latex or oil-based primer. Finally, caulk all cracks and openings in the wood.
  • Choose the right paint: Acrylic latex paint – such as ben® Premium Waterborne Exterior Paint from Benjamin Moore – is the best for exterior wood surfaces. Keep in mind that one gallon of paint will cover about 400 square feet, though coverage varies with different paints and application methods. One coat should last four to five years, but two coats can last for eight or 10.
  • Paint at the right time: Apply the first coat of paint within two weeks of priming the wood and the second coat within two weeks of the first. To prevent temperature blistering, avoid painting cool surfaces that will be heated by the sun within a few hours. Also, choose a day when the temperature will be 50 degrees or higher, and the humidity level will be relatively low, while you paint and for two hours after application.

Looking for high-quality interior or exterior paint? The Paint Centers carries Benjamin Moore paint and stain for your project. Stop by one of our locations in Flint or Grand Blanc, Michigan to pick out colors and get advice from our painting experts.


November 6, 2018

Have you noticed that the wall in your living room could use a few touchups? Scuffs and scrapes can leave unsightly marks on the wall or chip the paint away. You go to the shed to grab the old paint can you initially used to paint the walls, but to your dismay, the paint has dried out. Now you’re left with the task of matching the paint color, or you’ll be forced to repaint the whole room. Follow these tips to achieve the closest color match possible.

Bring in a Good Sample

The better the sample, the better the color match will be. If you have the original paint can, the drippings down the side may serve as a sample. However, it’s preferable to bring in a clean paint chip about two inches across with no sheen, texture or metallic finish to serve as the sample.

Magazine clippings and photos taken on your phone are no good. Variances in lighting, printer ink and phone screens make it impossible to match paint color this way.

Compare Your Sample with Paint Swatches at the Store

If you know the brand and, better yet, the name of the paint, you have a promising place to start. However, individual batches are mixed slightly differently, and paint manufacturers change their offerings over time. The color you painted your walls years ago may no longer be in production. Therefore, visiting a paint store to find out what’s still available is an essential step in matching paint color.

View the Paint Sample Under a Spectrophotometer

This device measures color electronically, which is much more accurate than attempting to match paint colors by sight alone. After reading the precise wavelengths of light reflected from the sample, the program calculates the exact amount of tint needed to produce an identical hue.

Work with a Color Match Specialist

While a spectrophotometer works well and saves time, the color may still require some adjusting. That’s where a color match specialist comes in. This person applies a matched paint color to the sample, allows it to dry and determines whether the new color must be lightened, darkened or have certain shades added to better match the original sample. Once the two colors are exactly alike, a batch can be mixed for you to use as touchup paint on your walls.

Are you looking to color match the existing Benjamin Moore paint in your home? The Paint Centers can help! Bring a sample to one of our locations in Flint or Grand Blanc, Michigan, and we’ll get to work matching the paint color you need.

October 18, 2018

There’s nothing quite like a real wood deck. The look of equally spaced boards, the feel of it under your feet, even the weathering that occurs over time. If you install a wood deck in your backyard, you have an important decision to make: will you paint or stain your deck? Consider the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

Painting Your Deck

Painting can be a great choice for your backyard deck. Here are the primary benefits:

  • Endless color options: Go with a traditional gray or light brown, make a statement with a bold color, or match the siding of your house. The choice is yours.
  • Repair minimally damaged wood: Paint can fill gaps and cracks because it’s a thick finish. It can also hide knots and other imperfections in the wood.
  • Lower maintenance: Depending on the color you choose, painting your wood deck could make it easier to clean. Paint also protects the wood longer, so you don’t have to repaint for several years.

Painting your deck also comes with some possible drawbacks:

  • You can’t go back: Once you decide to paint your deck, you’re committed to this finish forever. If you want to revert to staining, you’ll need to take drastic restoration measures.
  • Slippery when wet: Depending on the sheen you choose, your painted deck could become as slick as ice when it rains. Avoid glossy or semi-glossy finishes to help prevent this.

Staining Your Deck

Many people decide to stain their backyard deck. Here are the benefits of this finish:

  • Showcase the natural beauty of real wood: The rustic appearance of wood grain is very appealing to many homeowners. If you want to retain this look, be sure to stain, not paint, your wood deck.
  • Easy application: Stain is thinner, more forgiving and easier to apply than paint.
  • Many color options: Create just the right look by choosing a lighter or darker stain as you see fit. You can even mix new, lighter boards with old, darker ones by applying a stain with more pigment to help the boards match.

Here are the potential downsides of staining your deck:

  • Shorter lifespan: You may need to refinish your deck more often than homeowners who choose to paint.
  • Not a repair material: Unlike paint, stain doesn’t cover up problems with your deck. If there are cracks, voids, splinters or other imperfections, these will remain apparent after applying the stain.

Whether you decide to paint or stain your deck, you need quality products to get the job done. The Paint Centers carries Benjamin Moore exterior paint and deck stain for this precise application. Using high-grade products from Benjamin Moore will decrease maintenance requirements and help your deck last years longer.

For more pro painting tips, please visit our website. Then, stock up on deck stain or paint at one of our Michigan locations.

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.