Blog

January 1, 2020

Even the smallest bathrooms play a big role in your day—so don’t let paint color be an afterthought.

The bathroom is where you and your family get prepped to face the world, and it’s your own private retreat when it’s time to recharge. Set the right mood with a look-good, feel-good bathroom paint color. Benjamin Moore Aura® Bath & Spa Paint is the only paint with both mildew resistance and a luxurious matte finish that stands up to humidity, so you have a stylish spectrum of worry-free color options.

Navy Blue and White Bathroom with Chevron Rug and Large Bathtub
Bathroom walls painted in a matte decorator white paint color
Bathroom walls painted in a matte gray charcoal slate paint color
Calm, cozy bathroom with farm sink vanity and purple wall

Check Your Look

To get an accurate read when you’re grooming or applying makeup, pick a paint color that doesn’t recast the light in an artificial or unflattering way. It’s helpful to know which colors will alter the light: Strong blues, greens and yellows have the most impact; creamy whites and soft grays are safe choices.

Elegant, earthy bathroom retreat with geometric tile

Spa-inspired Colors

A master bathroom is where you grab some “me” time. Choose soothing paint colors that ease you into a Zen attitude. Whether it be a light and airy pastel or a calming watery blue, this is your most personal space, so pick a color that you love. Here’s one caveat: For visual flow, choose paint colors that share either cool or warm undertones with an adjoining bedroom.

A bold pink painted bathroom with a potted plant and arched window.

Little Bathroom, Big Look

A powder room doesn’t have to be forgettable—the pint-sized space offers an opportunity to use strong color. If the powder room doesn’t have natural light, vivid or rich color can play with artificial lighting sources to make a strong style statement. Or, experiment with painting the ceiling for additional color interest.

Master bathroom with marble double vanity, soft green walls and accents

Soft Effects or Staying Neutral

With tiles, mirrors, fixtures, bathrooms are full of hard surfaces. So allow the wall color to bring a sense of softness to the space. Warm whites and neutrals are very flattering in bathrooms and complement the hues found in many countertops and tiles. Benjamin Moore Aura® Bath & Spa paint has a soft matte finish that provides a low sheen level and resists the damaging effects of moisture and humidity, while also locking in color.

Serene light green bathroom with clawfoot tub
Serene light green bathroom with clawfoot tub

Find the Perfect Color for Your Bathroom

Our team of trained professionals at The Paint Centers are here to help you! Come see us and we can help you find the perfect color combination to update and personalize your bathroom.

December 23, 2019

Whether you are a professional painting contractor or a homeowner, one of the most common paint problems you may encounter is mildew. Often mistaken for dirt buildup, mildew appears as a black, gray, or brown discoloration on a painted surface. Many mildew resistant paints are now on the market, but how do you clean mildew that is already there?

Mildew thrives in damp environments with little exposure to sunlight. Though it is most commonly associated with high-humidity spaces like bathrooms, mildew can affect most painted areas, including home exteriors. Once developed, it is generally easy to get rid of mildew and prevent it from coming back—as long as the correct process is followed.

Mildew versus Mold

Before steps are taken to remove mildew, you should determine if the surface spots you are seeing are actually mildew.

You may have heard the words “mildew” and “mold” used as if they are identical, but mildew is actually a type of mold, and is typically less harmful than the black growth it gets confused with.

To check whether mildew is present, apply a few drops of household chlorine bleach to an affected area. Mildew will lighten or disappear within a few minutes, while dirt will remain. If this happens, the good news is that the paint has not deteriorated and the mildew can be removed.

Possible Causes of Mildew

  • Using lower quality paints, which may not be formulated for mildew resistance.
  • Painting in damp, dark areas that have little access to sunlight or dry air.
  • Not priming a surface prior to painting.
  • Painting over a substrate or coating from which mildew has not been removed.

How to Remove Mildew

  • Never paint over mildew—it will grow through new paint, which will make subsequent cleaning and maintenance even more difficult.
  • Wash the affected surface with a mixture of household bleach and water—three parts water to one part bleach—or with a household cleanser designed to kill mildew.
  • Scrub the affected surface with a soft brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

How to Prevent Mildew

  • Use a high quality, mildew resistant paint, such as Aura® Bath & Spa, our choice for a mildew resistant paint for bathrooms.
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces prior to painting whether mildew is visible or not. For interiors, wash walls thoroughly using the 3:1 household bleach solution. Home exteriors can be power washed using the same solution. Thoroughly rinse surfaces after and allow to dry.
  • For interiors, install ceiling fans, exhaust fans, or dehumidifiers in rooms that are susceptible to mildew growth, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. For exteriors, allow for as much sunlight towards the painted areas as possible, and redirect moisture sources, such as dripping air conditioners, misdirected sprinklers and leaky gutters.

Bring a touch of shimmer to your home without having to mix glitter with wall paint. Add character and fun to any room with Benjamin Moore’s Studio Finishes® Glitter Effect (311), a clear, low lustre finish that creates the look of glitter wall paint or sparkle wallpaper with the ease of applying a topcoat. Ideal for a child’s bedroom, an accent wall, or even a piece of furniture, it is the perfect finish for an iridescent pop over any paint color in your home.

Bring Sparkle to Any Paint Color

A clear finish with a low lustre sheen, Glitter Effect can be applied over nearly any wall color or interior surface, turning ordinary paint into sparkle paint. While the glitter may be easier to see over lighter colors, the tiny specks of reflective material in its finish catch the light, adding a whimsical twinkle to most rooms or painted furnishings. From pink glitter walls to gold glitter walls and even black glitter walls, shimmer in any paint color is within reach.

Painting Your Glitter Wall

When applying glitter to walls, select rooms where sconces or table lamps will draw out its shine. Glitter looks particularly lovely by incandescent light and candlelight, which emphasize its twinkling, reflective qualities. One to two coats of Glitter Effect can be applied depending on your preference.

The key to successfully painting glitter walls is to work on a properly prepared surface. Before you begin your project, clean your walls thoroughly and repair any protruding nails or other imperfections.

If you are starting from scratch and are going to be painting your walls with a base color as part of your glitter project, make sure to sand down any rough spots and prime surfaces with a top-quality primer before painting.

Newly Painted Surfaces

If you are adding glitter to a not-yet-painted wall, follow these steps:

  • Apply your selected paint color onto properly prepared walls and let dry completely. (We recommend waiting at least 48 hours.)
  • Apply one to two coats of Glitter Effect as a topcoat.
  • Let dry thoroughly.

Previously Painted Surfaces

If you are adding glitter to an already-painted wall, follow these steps:

  • Apply one to two coats of Glitter Effect as a topcoat.
  • Let dry thoroughly.

Beyond the Walls

Use Glitter Effect as a veil of iridescence on furniture or craft projects. Try it over a painted toy box to protect the finish and add a touch of magic. Consider a topcoat on chairs and chests: because it dries to a clear, durable, washable finish, its shimmer is ideal for any kind of furniture.

From bringing a surprising sparkle where guests will least expect it, to lending an elegant, ethereal quality to more formal setting, Glitter Effect has something for every homeowner eager to tap into their creative side.

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!