Do you ever puzzle over which type of paint should go where? Flat or gloss for the kitchen? What type of roller for the cabinets? Should I invest in a synthetic or natural brush for latex paint? To prime or not to prime (that is the question). I am always quizzing the paint desk folks at my local home improvement store with questions like these.
This in mind, here’s a cheat sheet that I’ve put together with the help of paint specialists Nicole Jones and Kimberle Greene of Olympic Paint. Olympic teamed up with us to paint the exterior of our home and I have been blown away by their helpfulness and expertise with the project!
This post includes super helpful tips on topics such as how to choose your brush type, when and where to prime, and even stain application suggestions for wood makeovers.
But because I’m all about a visual cheat sheet, if I could wrap all of the paint sheen tips into one graphic that would be easy to pin, print out for a trip to the store or post on my bulletin board, here it is:
Now I need to process all of that through my long term memory asap. But first, let’s jump into the full Q&A with Nicole and Kim!
Let’s start off with a frequently asked question… what are your tips for high traffic areas and living spaces?
Flat to satin for most rooms depending on how busy your home is and satin/semi-gloss for bathrooms, kitchens and kids rooms or even laundry rooms. When choosing the right paint for a project, it is important to consider the durability attributes of the paint and sheen. Typically, the higher the sheen, the higher the durability; therefore, satin and semi-gloss sheens are usually recommended for high-traffic areas where the paint finish needs to withstand multiple scrubbings and resist staining. Super-premium paints like Olympic ONE, however, have advanced durability benefits like superior scrub and stain resistance in all sheens.
What about bathrooms and kitchens?
In high-moisture environments, like kitchens and baths, rooms require paint with mildew-resistance. Some paint lines have kitchen & bath specialty products and some paint lines offer mildew-resistance in all sheens. In the Olympic line, our ONE paint has mildew-resistance in all sheens and is appropriate for high-moisture areas, and we also offer Premium Kitchen & Bath Semi-Gloss.
Lets talk about ceilings and trim work for a moment.
Flat works best for ceilings, however if you’re painting a bathroom, kitchen or kid’s room a semi-gloss may be more appropriate considering the high levels of moisture and or accidents that can occur in these areas. The higher you go in sheen, the easier it will be to clean. Though, if there are problem areas, flat will be best in all cases (glossy paint tends to accentuate flaws such as uneven walls or textures).
Satin and semi-gloss sheens are great for trim. Though if using Olympic ONE interior paint, any sheen could work including flat for those that prefers no sheen.
What type of paint do you recommend for furniture?
A satin to high gloss sheen of paint will work great here. First however, if there is an existing coating of varnish or lacquered paint finish that already exists on the piece, sanding and priming may be required to dull/remove the sealer or glossiness and prepare the surface prior to painting. NOTE: The paint finish should be allowed to cure (dry) fully prior to everyday use.
When and where must we prime, and when can we skip it?
When in doubt of whether or not to use a primer the first test that can be performed is the water test. In an inconspicuous area spray some water on the wall. If the water absorbs quickly, a primer will be needed. If the water beads and rolls down the wall without much penetration a primer may not be needed. However, if not sure whether latex or alkyd paint is currently on the wall, another test can be performed using nail polish remover (acetone). Apply a small amount of the nail polish remover to a cloth and wipe the wall in a circular motion. If the paint comes off onto the cloth, then the current coating is latex. If the paint does not come off on the cloth, then the current coating is alkyd. When applying a latex coating over an alkyd coating, a primer is recommended.
A primer is also recommended when dealing with the following:
-Difficult stains such as water marks or smoke
-Visible debris, oils etc.
-Shifting from an extremely dark color to a n an extremely light color
I’ve recently been experimenting with staining wood to bring it back to its natural brilliance, any suggestions for this process?
Make sure that the surface is clean. If any sanding or puttying is needed, be sure to take care of it before applying the first coat. Always keep a wet edge, in other words once you start be sure to complete the entire area before stopping to take a break (i.e. if you’re staining a chair and you start on the back, complete the back before moving to another section). After applying the stain use a varnish or polyurethane to seal it and provide a protective finish.
If I’m attempting to hide wall stains (not mold or water damage but more of the kid’s marker/previous home owner variety), what do you suggest?
If you’re referring to stains such as dirt, oil, marker etc. spot priming would be fine so that the stains are sealed in and don’t bleed through the paint finish.
We recently tackled the exterior of our home and learned quite a bit from Heather, our Olympic paint rep. What are your thoughts for choosing exterior sheens?
For exteriors, flat and satin are typically recommended for siding. Flat is less likely to show imperfections. Semi-gloss and gloss are recommended for accents (such as shutters) and trim – the higher sheen allows these architectural details to pop. It is also important to consider a paint that will resist dirt, mildew, cracking and peeling to provide a longer lasting finish. Additionally, super-premium exterior paints can “bridge” hairline cracks, helping provide a smoother finish when painting over old paint. In the Olympic line, our Premium Exterior paint features a proprietary technology called Dirtguard™ that helps rain naturally wash away dirt and grime, keeping siding cleaner longer, in addition to offering the other properties that help provide a longer lasting finish.
Lets talk about tools. When should I use an angled brush, foam brush, roller, etc? Natural, synthetic, nylon, foam – there are so many choices?
Use a brush (2 ½” angle brush to cut-in the walls (paint the edges and corners)) or for painting trim. Be sure to use the appropriate brush with the product i.e. if your painting using a latex based paint, then you would not want to use a natural bristle hair brush because the filaments will swell and make it difficult to paint. A synthetic blend or nylon will be best.
Quick brush guide:
-Use a foam brush or roller when painting super smooth surfaces (cabinets)
-Use a roller to paint in the remaining unpainted area once cutting in is complete. The roller will allow you to cover more area and at a faster pace than brushing alone.
-The type of roller will vary by the smoothness or roughness of the substrate. Smoother walls/substrates will require a shorter nap (3/16”, 3/8”) whereas a semi-rough to plaster wall may require a 1/2” nap or more.
-Rags are appropriate for staining. There are also brushes that are specific to staining.
Thank you so much, Kimberle and Nicole!
Images can be found at Olympic.com and BHG.com
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Paint, Tutorial
Posted in Construction, Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Guest Blog, Guest Post, Home, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures, Tips & Ideas | 5 Comments »
The new breakfast nook (shared about here) is on its way! I crossed my fingers, gulped twice and ordered those above-the-fridge cabinets that match the rest of our kitchen cabinetry and are perfectly sized as future bench seats for a breakfast nook. (For reference, they’re cherry wood shaker-style KraftMaid cabinets from Lowe’s in a honey spice finish.)
And then they arrived! And are just as perfect as had hoped. I opted for drawers rather than doors so that as I move my bench pieces around the kitchen (I’d like these guys to serve double-duty as all sorts of seating options) the contents won’t come spilling out. The drawers provide a nice little stash place for tablecloths and runners and such, too.
The drawers came assembled straight out of the box, but rather than add a toe kick to the bottom of the cabinets so that they aren’t directly on the ground, I thought that legs might look a bit nicer and will add a little industrial detail.
Ikea came through with two varieties that I thought would work well – one a solid metal ‘skinny’ leg with a round foot, the other a pewter-painted ‘fatter’ leg with a rubber foot. The skinnier guys won based solely on ease of installation (I could drill the legs directly to the base of the cabinet without the screws interfering with drawer functionality).
You can see that the fatter legs actually require a decently sized pre-drilled hole and something to screw the current exposed screw into (which is probably customary on the Ikea cabinets you’re supposed to buy them for). See how the legs would sit into the underside of the cabinet above and not flush with the bottom (as I had imagined them showing up)? That plan was a no-go.
My skinnier legs are attached to a cabinet by securing each with four small screws, a perfect solution when a drawer must function on a track that is in the way of potential screws. The small screws were about 1/2″ long and didn’t interfere with any sliding motion when drilled through the base.
I totally dig my Ikea industrial legs. They don’t look very Ikea-ish at all and are perfect for the kitchen!
Don’t mind the dusty floors.
Now it’s on to pretty cushions to top these rather uncomfortable drawer cabinets with, and then a table and maybe a few cool chairs. The breakfast nook is coming together!
All kitchen posts can be found right here (we built this space from scratch, at one point in its past life it was actually a den).
Tags: Breakfast Nook, Construction, Kitchen
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
We are making huge progress on the side yard! The goal is a new wall, a new deck and a new flagstone walkway before Europe. Plus, finish painting the house! Which has turned into quite the beast.
Back in the spring we made a goal to really focus on and tackle big projects on the outside of our house this summer – we dubbed it the Curb Appeal Transformation (even though a good chunk of it isn’t visible from the street ) and while it’s nearly fall, I’m so happy with how on target we actually are. Even if that means we’ve had to bring in reinforcements here and there (in the form of friends, family and even a few tradesmen) when absolutely necessary.
A quick reminder on the jungle that was our side yard just a few weeks back:
Here’s where I left you last in the part 2 post on laying the new foundation for the wall that would box in this new space:
Amazing how many details and how much time a project like a cement block wall can take!
Here the boys are slowly building the wall up and up! Two levels…
…quickly turned into eight.
Safely barricaded behind a door and glass, I’m observing some heavy duty cement block slicing to create the very top layer of the wall. This wall is one of those projects that I left to Kevin and was happy to do so.
Finally a “brown coat” (which isn’t necessarily brown) was applied to give the plaster a surface to adhere to, the final layer will be a tinted plaster. More troweling, measuring and leveling ensued:
Woohoo! Now that’s a wall!
Kevin designed the wall so that it stair stepped down from the back of the property to the front of the house, where it is only 4 feet ish high. We can still have friendly conversations with our great neighbors without them being Wilson-style (Home Improvement, anyone?), but the tall back wall will allow us to enjoy the dining portion of the future deck in privacy (and keep music, etc contained).
Here’s where the new wall meets with the existing wall:
A day’s work is done!
The toughest critic was probably our little building inspector…
She questioned the use of gravel over our built-in irrigation system for the future planter box, but was pleased overall.
Speaking of planter box, Kevin applied a watertight sealing over the area that would soon hold veggies and flowers to ward off potential water damage.
The last part of the actual construction of the wall was the planter box itself. Here’s the footing being poured into place:
And the entire cement block process was repeated to build a mini wall.
Sometimes it’s cheaper and more efficient to bring in a big cement truck to help out, like we did here, but sometimes it’s more cost effective to mix up that cement yourself (stucco, too):
Helps to also have a cement mixer in your toolbox (er, garage), I think we found this guy on Craigslist a long while ago and have used it for many, many projects.
The soon-to-be entrance to the side yard from the front:
And here she is! Plenty of room for a big deck and dining space:
Liv approves, and plays with her best friend while we all check out daddy’s hard work at the end of the day.
Bodie is such a good dog. I can’t believe he was just a little puppy when we moved into this house.
Tags: Construction, DIY, Home
Posted in Construction, Curb Appeal, DIY, Our Yard, Renovating Adventures | 7 Comments »