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Paint Boutique.

Did you know choosing paint would be this complicated when you started your project? We are here to help.

There are so many questions to ask and so many different answers. What paint do I use? There are different sheens? What does that mean!? Should I paint the ceiling or do an accent wall? If I used the same colour, can I use the same product? What does this all mean?! Do you wish this process wasn’t so befuddling? So confusing? There is a paint and primer? Then why do I still have to prime sometimes?!

Here is a little bit you will need to know before you start your project:

What Are You Painting

If you are painting a piece of furniture as opposed to painting a wall, you will want to consider the sheen (Flat t0 High Gloss) depending on the durability required for the surface. This is one of many things to consider with what you’re painting. As you go up in sheen (Semi-Gloss or High Gloss), you increase the durability of the end result.  But the higher the sheen, the more you will notice imperfections. Consider what is most important to you. For example: The table below appears to have a high gloss. This gives a nice durable finish.

BELOW: The table is painted with Advance High Glass in Onyx (2133-10) and Simply White (OC-117)

Will It Need To Be Primed, Cleaned or Repaired?

Has it been painted before? If so, you are no longer painting wood or metal – you’re actually painting paint. What is on there now? Is it oil or latex? What type of surface are you painting? Is it raw wood, galvanized metal or kitchen cabinets? This will also need to be considered when picking your paint and preparation process. Latex will NOT bond to oil paint. If you are not sure – it’s safer to check before you paint, otherwise you will have a hot mess on your hands. You can check by taking a cotton ball with Acetone (found in most nail polish removers) and rubbing the surface gently. If the paint comes off easily, it’s latex. If it doesn’t, it is most likely oil. In which case, you may need to prime.

How Much Paint Will You Need?

How Big Is The Surface You Are Painting? We can help you calculate in store but we will need proper measurements.

Don’t stress too much about exact numbers. One gallon of paint will cover anywhere from 350-450 square feet. If you know the room measurements and the height of the walls, bring it in and we can help you calculate approximately how much paint you’ll need! An average bedroom usually needs more than one gallon and less than two. When in doubt, start with one and check how much is left over after your first coat. If you have used more than half of the gallon, come back in for one more before you start your second coat. Ask one of our paint specialists for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): 

What does VOC mean?

Volatile Organic Compounds occur during off-gassing of certain materials. It is important to keep in mind as well that VOC’s are not the only toxic component in your paint. Even today with tougher standards on paint in Canada, companies have replaced the organic compounds with other carcinogens. There is one tried and trusted way to know what kind of paint you are using: the smell. All paint will have a small amount of odour, but when the whole house smells like it has just been painted: you know! If this is a large concern for you, consider using Natura. This paint is one of the most eco friendly paints on the market. It does not just meet or exceed one green standard – it meets and exceeds them all.

Does Benjamin Moore make eco-friendly paint?

Yes! All of our premium products are LOW VOC and we also have which is a Zero VOC paint. That means that there are no volatile organic compounds or emissions that come into the room you’re painting. It’s safe to use while you are pregnant, or if you are painting in a kid’s room. Benjamin Moore has also created a new, unique colourant system. It is water based – meaning we will not be adding toxins to your paint, no matter what colour you love! All of our premium interior and exterior paints are eco-friendly. They are ALL low VOC and are tinted with our water based colourant system.

What does sheen mean and how do I select the right one?

Fact: It is commonly misunderstood that “Eggshell” is a gloss level and not a colour, at least, not a Benjamin Moore colour.

Interior Paint comes with 6 options for sheen:

Flat, Matte/Low Sheen, Eggshell, Pearl/Satin, Semi-Gloss, and High Gloss

Exterior Paint has 5 options:

Flat, Low Lustre, Satin, Soft Gloss and High Gloss Sheen is a technical way of saying how much light the paint will reflect on your surface from a specific angle. Flat will be the lowest sheen (least shiny), meaning that it will absorb light rather than reflect it. High Gloss will be the shiniest of the paint options. Flat will hide imperfections but may collect more dust and High Gloss will be the most durable, but will show more imperfections.

Is there a special paint for bathrooms and kitchens?

Yes, you can use Aura Bath & Spa, or a pearl or semi-gloss paint. Aura Bath & Spa comes in a matte finish, which creates a different feel for your bathroom. It can even go on the ceiling. You can also use this in your kitchen if you find that it often get’s steamy. Our paints are now extremely durable and you can use any of our premium paints in your kitchen. Quite a few customers enjoy using a regular eggshell over a matte so you do not see as many fingerprints. [/accordion-item] [accordion-item title="Can I paint the ceiling if it is textured?"] Yes! A lot of times, your ceilings are white because that is the way that they come. The texture on the ceiling does not need to be scraped off if you are painting it. If it has never been painted before, you will need to prime it with an alkyd/oil primer. Here is what to do if you are not sure if it has been painted before: touch the ceiling. If it feels chalky: prime. You can also try dampening a cloth and touching it to the texture. If the texture comes off with the water, you will need to prime. If it doesn’t, then you are safe to paint! If you are painting a textured ceiling, be sure to do the two coats perpendicular to each other, in order to cover all of the surface areas of the texture to get an even finish.

TIP: be careful if you are testing with water. You don’t want to remove too much texture or you may need to touch it up later!

If you would like your ceilings to be flat and they have never been painted, you can take a spray bottle and get the texture moist. Then use a putty knife and scrape the texture off. It is much easier to get the texture off your ceiling before it is painted or primed. Once it is painted, you will need to sand the texture.

How do I know if it is oil or latex?

Alkyds are becoming more of a specialty product. We are not using them in our homes very often any more. Eventually you will need to prime them out and paint with a low VOC latex product. Alkyds are hard & brittle; Latex/Acrylic paints are soft and stretchy. The best way to tell which is on your wall is by doing an “Acetone Test.” If you do not have Acetone in your home, try nail polish remover (but ensure that acetone is an ingredient!) Rub the wall gently with a cotton ball that has the Acetone on it. If the paint comes off easily, it’s latex. If you need to scrub to remove anything, it is most likely alkyd. In which case, you may need to prime. [/accordion-item] [accordion-item title="Can I use the same product that I used on my wall on my cabinets and trim?"] It is not recommended. Typically your trim and cabinets are touched and washed more frequently and need to be more durable than your wall paint. The paint you put on the wall may be an eggshell or matte. On your trim or cabinets, we recommend pearl, satin, semi gloss or high gloss paint. Check out Advance! 

Do I need to paint more than one coat on my walls?

Sometimes you can get away with one. You step back and look at the walls and see that they look like one coat has covered in terms of colour and hide.

But the answer to the question is: YES.

In order to get the best performance and longevity out of both your chosen paint colour and paint product, we always recommend doing 2 full coats. This second coat helps to add film durability to the paint on your surface; gives more accurate, consistent colour, and guarantees that no spots or patches are missed.

Do you have a paint and primer?

YES. Most of our paints are ‘paint & primers’ but that usually means that you do not need to prime drywall before applying. There will always be acceptations to the rule and often times there are specialty primers that will need to be applied.

Usage of an undercoat primer will be based on what project you are working on, and which product has been previously used on the surface. There are some products that will just not adhere to some surfaces, requiring you to use a primer coat first before applying a new finish.

For example: If you have something that has been painted with an oil paint, you would need to use a primer to prepare the surface to be painted over with a latex paint (which we do recommend – oil paints are being phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly and low odor Latex paints).

Also – some rich, dark colours will require a Deep Base primer to be painted underneath the first coat. , This tinted base coat will benefit the full effect and appearance of the colour, more so than if it were just painted on a white wall. See us in-store if you are unsure if you will need a primer for your project.

Tips & Tricks




For The Professional

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