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December 1, 2019

A fresh palette. A revitalized spirit. A soft, rosy hue blooming with potential. Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2020, First Light 2102-70, is the backdrop for a bright new decade.

The Color Trends 2020 Palette

OC-57 | White Heron

White Heron OC-57

2102-70 | First Light

First Light 2102-70

AF-485 | Crystalline

Crystalline AF-485

2067-60 | Windmill Wings

Windmill Wings 2067-60

HC-149 | Buxton Blue

Buxton Blue HC-149

2152-50 | Golden Straw

Golden Straw 2152-50

AF-685 | Thunder

Thunder AF-685

HC-125 | Cushing Green

Cushing Green HC-125

2128-40 | Oxford Gray

Oxford Gray 2128-40

2062-30 | Blue Danube

Blue Danube 2062-30

WORK WITH THE COLORS

A refreshing wash of pink, First Light 2102-70 uplifts.     A neutral that floats between warm and cool, Thunder AF-685 centers.

A casual living room with a light pink-painted accent wall
A pale kitchen with pink cabinets painted with Benjamin Moore's 2020 Color of the Year

An effervescent, silvery jade, Crystalline AF-485 invigorates.     Earthy and enveloping, Cushing Green HC-125 anchors.

A bed set against a light green feature wall
A two-tone green home office wall with green office chair
A dark green wall leads to a bright, neutral bathroom

A playful periwinkle, Windmill Wings 2067-60 animates.     Like perfectly faded blue jeans, Oxford Gray 2128-40 comforts.

A bright, airy kitchen with blue island and white walls and cabinets
Light blue living room walls frame a large gray banquette

An easygoing blue-green, Buxton Blue HC-149 calms.     A deeply elegant sapphire, Blue Danube 2062-30 elevates.

A cozy living room complete with a retro fireplace accompanied by blue painted walls
A bunk bed alcove with two-tone blue walls

Clean and cool, White Heron OC-57 refines.     A cross between honey and cream, Golden Straw 2152-50 illuminates.

A light kitchen with pale yellow walls and white-painted cabinets
An open, inviting kitchen with neutral walls and bright yellow chairs

#ColorTrends2020


November 21, 2019

Flaking paint occurs when cracked paint begins peeling off its original substrate. In its early stages, the problem appears as hairline cracks in the paint, but will worsen over time if the problem is not fixed, causing larger pieces of coatings to chip off.

Paint cracking on walls, ceilings, and exterior surfaces happens due to a variety of causes, one of the most common being poor preparation of a surface prior to painting. Painting over cracked paint is a bad idea; it is important to remove any flakes from the surface before repainting.

Why Does Paint Crack and Flake?

  • Poor surface preparation, especially when the paint is applied to bare wood without priming, or to previously coated surfaces that show signs of cracking or flaking paint.
  • Using low-quality paint, as it may have inadequate adhesion and/or flexibility.
  • Spreading paint too thin during application.
  • Paint becoming brittle with age, failing to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes.

Note: A more uncommon version of paint cracking is mud cracking, which is when paint cracks when drying due to too-thick application or extremely dry painting conditions.

How to Fix Cracked or Flaking Paint

  • If cracking does not go down to the substrate: Remove the loose or flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush, sand the area to feather the edges, prime any bare spots, and repaint the surface.
  • If cracking goes down to the substrate: Remove as much of the existing paint as possible. Methods for removal could include scraping, sanding, using a heat gun, abrasive blasting, etc. Once most of the paint is removed and surface is smooth and even, prime, and repaint with a quality latex paint.

How to Prevent Paint from Cracking or Flaking

  • Take care prepping surfaces before painting: Only apply paint to surfaces that have been properly sanded, cleaned, and primed.
  • Never paint over cracked paint.
  • Allow paint to dry thoroughly before adding another coat.

WARNING: If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE.

November 20, 2019

Bring a more inviting look and feel to any room by using a technique known as color washing or glaze painting. Benjamin Moore’s Studio Finishes® Latex Glaze (N405) is directly mixed with the paint color of your choice to create the solution needed to color wash walls and create a beautiful faux finish. Drawing from Tuscan roots, color washed walls are ideal for dining rooms and other areas where guests will gather, and its decorative look will exude warmth and charm anyplace in your home.

Start your color wash journey by choosing your paint color. Selecting shades from the same color strip is the best way to combine hues that complement one another. Use one of the lighter shades from the strip as your basecoat, and choose a satin or semi-gloss finish to start building the finish.

Color Washing Brushes and Supplies

One of the keys to a successful color wash, sometimes referred to as “faux painting,” is to have the right supplies. Color washing can be achieved by sponge painting or brushing the latex glaze onto walls. A paint brush will provide a more textured look, while sponges or soft rags will create a softer, more diffused appearance.

Studio Finishes is available exclusively at local paint and hardware stores authorized to sell Benjamin Moore. Start with this checklist, then visit us at either of our locations and we can help you get all you need!

You will need:

Step #1: Prepare Walls for Color Washing

Surfaces must be properly prepared before you begin glaze painting walls. Clean your walls thoroughly and repair any protruding nails or other imperfections.

For best results, use Fresh Start® 100% Acrylic Primer (N023) before applying your base color. Be sure to tape off any edges you wish to protect, such as those along ceilings, windows, and doors.

After you have prepared your walls, apply your selected base color, taking care to follow the label directions. Allow the base color ample time to dry. We suggest waiting at least 48 hours before moving on to the next step.

Step #2: Glaze Painting Your Walls

Once your base color is dry, you can select the color washing paint technique of your choice, using either a brush or rag/sponge. Begin by mixing Studio Finishes Latex Glaze with a latex or acrylic paint with an eggshell sheen to minimize glare. A good ratio to start with is four parts glaze to one part paint (adding an additional one-half to one part water will further the transparency of the glaze). The more glaze you add, the more transparent the effect. Using less glaze will allow more of the base color to show through.

Next, dip a soft cloth or sea sponge into your glaze mixture. The soft cloth will give glaze a more subtle appearance, while sponge painting walls will give a more textured look.

Apply the glaze mixture to your wall using a crosshatch motion, creating large, overlapping X-shaped stripes. Continue this wiping technique until the entire surface is covered, and feather out any harsh brush strokes by lightly sweeping over the glaze with a clean, dry brush. For a gentler finish, apply the glaze in a random wiping or circular motion, as if you were washing the wall. Be sure to let the glaze dry thoroughly.

Tip: When you color wash an entire room, glaze walls opposite from one another first. This will allow adequate time for drying and avoid smudging the wet glaze.

Step #3: Discover More Color Wash Painting Techniques

There are different wall painting techniques that will make your color washed walls stand out.

  • For different visual effects, vary your wiping motions as you apply the glaze.
  • To achieve the look of an aged patina, apply a lighter glaze over a darker glaze.
  • For a look with richer color depth, glaze walls with different paint colors: a base color, a glaze darker than your base paint color, and a third deeper glaze color.

Have More Questions? Visit The Paint Centers in Flint or Grand Blanc for all your paint & design needs!

November 1, 2019

Get creative with color in small spaces, from studio apartment ideas to making the most out of your home’s painted accent walls, hallways, alcoves and other nooks.

Smaller spaces are easier to repaint with greater frequency. Enter ben®, a Benjamin Moore paint that delivers beautiful results anyone can achieve. With a special formulation that delivers quick-fix drips and smooth touch-ups, ben is a reliable go-to for first-time homeowners, apartment dwellers and DIY-ers.

Small kitchen and living area painted with brown walls
Neutral color wall paint for utility room
Black painted accent wall in entryway
Deep blue painted walls in living room

Go High

As color is always highly personal, there is no single recommendation when it comes to paint colors for small rooms. However, choosing a lighter color above your eye level creates an airy effect that can visually heighten walls.

Lighter colors can also make a room look larger and taller, especially in a small room or a room with a lower ceiling. Simply paint the ceiling with a lighter shade, or a slight variation, of the wall color. The subtle contrast brings depth and dimension without breaking the unity of existing colors. Generally speaking, a flat finish is a common choice for ceilings.

Blue & white painted bathroom walls

Little Bathroom, Big Look

A pint-sized bathroom offers an opportunity to use strong color and transform a modest space. You can overlook room-to-room color flow thanks to the bathroom’s innate closed-door policy, making it the perfect place to get creative with color.

No natural light? No worries. Vivid, rich colors like Peach Parfait 2175-70, Lavender Mist 2070-60 and Sapphireberry 2063-60 can complement artificial lighting sources to make a powerful style statement. Don’t be afraid to create color contrast: the backsplash seen here in Trout Gray 2124-20 lends a cool industrial edge to this small bathroom when juxtaposed with a cheerful blue wall.

Apartment living room walls painted in the color aqua

Accent with Color

A painted accent wall adds a focal point to any room. If you live in an apartment, condo, studio or a home with several smaller-sized rooms, a bold color on one wall easily adds architectural interest to modestly sized space.

Consider accent wall paint shades that instantly add a happy vibe to any room. Blues like Clearest Ocean Blue 2064-40, Blue Danube 2062-30 or Cool Aqua 2056-40, pictured here, breathe a bit of outside sky into your home interior.

Neutral paint color on entryway walls

The Unsung Hallway

Many hallways are both narrow and dim, especially when it comes to townhouses and apartments. Lighter colors open up this particular small space. If you’d like to add both a soft glow and a feeling of warmth to what might otherwise be an overlooked area of the home, consider Subtle AF-310, Antique White OC-83 or Soft Satin 2164-60 for bright, light-enhancing hallway paint colors. These colors open up smaller spaces and reflect natural light, pulling it throughout your home.

Dark hallway? Consider creamy off-whites from our Off White Collection for a sophisticated look that elegantly lightens up dim passageways.

Light blue & white paint color for small kitchen

Color in the Details

Carve out color opportunities in small spaces to add a bit of playfulness and charm. Here, Covington Blue HC-138 provides a partial light blue frame to this diminutive open kitchen, instantly adding design interest.

Looking for a more dramatic flair for an alcove, built-in shelving or other cozy nook? We love Hunter Green 2041-10, Vintage Wine 2116-20 and Amherst Gray HC-167, paint colors that are perfect for small spaces–especially if you want a touch of drama in your color palette.

Light purple paint color on living room walls

October 1, 2019

Your choice of home office paint colors can both maximize productivity and ignite your creativity.

From efficiency-enhancing greens to high-energy pops of red and yellow, Benjamin Moore fuels home office ideas and creativity. Push design further with clear Notable® Dry Erase Paint over your existing office wall color, and watch as ideas come to colorful life.

Home office painted in a neutral beige paint color
Home office painted in gray and white paint colors
Home office painted in white paint colors
Home office with Notable® Dry Erase ink walls

Modern Office Colors Meet Productivity

With Notable, painted wall surfaces become dry erase boards. Use Notable clear over any wall paint color, or opt for the classic “whiteboard” white. Notable puts your ideas, to-dos and appointments directly on your home office walls with a glossy, luxurious finish that erases beautifully.

Wood, glass, metal or laminate surfaces? Apply Notable® Dry Erase Paint over these surfaces too for ultimate design flexibility.

Bright home office painted in white paint

Calming Paint Colors: A Blank Slate

Given at-home diversions, finding focus in your home office is critical. Our favorite non-distracting colors include neutrals, blues, and greens. Some research suggests green is an effective wall color to increase concentration, so consider Guilford Green HC-116 or High Park 467. Our favorite light blues for home offices include Blue Danube 2062-30 and Woodlawn Blue HC-147.

Light colors are not only calming, but they create great backdrops for pin boards, pictures and shelving without being too “loud” for a space where concentration is important. You can never go wrong with white for a home studio or office, as seen in this crisp office in Simply White OC-117.

Home office painted in a light pale pink paint color

Lighting & Accent Walls

Accent walls and wainscoting can provide colorful creative punctuation for you home office, library or study. Brighter, more energizing colors we love for the office include Touch of Pink 2008-70, Banana Yellow 2022-40 and Surf Blue 2056-30.

Whether your color choice is warm or cool, as seen in this video, light plays a major role in how color transforms any room. Use a balance of task lighting and ambient lighting with appealing light temperatures so that the office is equally functional and visually comfortable.

Home office painted in white and blue paint colors

Sheen: The Finishing Touch

Don’t forget to consider the design impact of sheen. Because it reduces glare, a matte finish will produce a soft look that works well in an office.

Chairs, desks, cabinets, bookcases or any office furniture presents an opportunity for a higher impact sheen to stand out against classic matte or eggshell walls. If you want shine and contrast for your office furniture, consider ADVANCE, which provides a furniture-like finish in a high gloss.

Home office painted in white with wood accent wall

September 26, 2019

Whether with a warm neutral or a deeper hue, your entryway’s paint color immediately sets a mood. On the practical side, entryways are high traffic areas, so a highly washable and durable product, like Regal® Select Interior, is ideal.

A gray hallway with white staircase and wainscoting includes a delicate console table and lustrous hardwood floors.
A white entryway with black door opens to contemporary black chairs and black throw rug.
A welcoming entryway includes off-white walls with blue wainscoting and door trim.
A front door opens into a pale green entryway featuring a console table and two colorful side chairs.

An Elegant Welcome

The entryway is a transitional space that family and guests spend only a brief amount of time in, so opting for soft, welcoming neutrals is always a popular choice. Lighter color paint on walls keeps the entryway area open and airy. Neutrals also offer seamless color flow into surrounding rooms.

You can add liveliness to neutral colors by mixing and matching several choices on wainscoting, trim and walls. If space allows, consider an accent piece like a small table or colorful chairs to layer in details that are both practical and pretty.

A deep red entryway does double duty as  mud room with several pairs of boots lined up next to an upholstered bench.

Big, Bold & Sensible

Using bold colors makes for a strong and memorable first impression that often reflects the personality of those who live there. Darker hues can help add definition to smaller spaces. Make sure you view the entryway from multiple angles to ensure the chosen color will complement connected rooms.

Darker colors can also provide a dose of practicality as they hide dirt better than lighter shades, making them great for grand entrances and small mud rooms alike. Along with a stroke of drama, darker hues meet the challenge of messy dogs and running kids head on.

The back of your front door is yet another option for deeper color in your entryway. Watch our how-to video for tips on painting an interior door.

A crisp, white entryway features natural light flooding through a contemporary door.

Let There Be Light

During the day, light pours into your entryway. Take a cue from the landscape beyond your door, whether it be fresh greenery, desert climes or urban steel when selecting color.

Testing paint colors on the wall is essential in your entryway because of dramatically changing lighting conditions that occur here, from natural sun to artificial light. Buy a small pint Benjamin Moore Color Sample, brush it on, and test lighting interaction with the door open, partially open, and fully closed during both day and night.

One way to bring extra light into your entryway is to consider higher gloss sheens for an extra brightening effect.