Monday, February 23, 2015

Paint Me Excited!


So, one week from tomorrow my new novel RECIPE FOR DISASTER will finally be released!

The story of a home builder whose life implodes in one horrible day, losing her job, her fiancĂ© and her apartment, forcing her to live and rebuild her life in the half-finished ruin of her current project.  With a schnauzer that hates her. And recipes! I'm awfully proud of it, and I think you will love it, so I hope you'll consider a PRE-ORDER.  And be sure to read to the bottom to find out how you can win a copy.

As I write this, nearly 150 sheets of drywall are being loaded into the basement, and tomorrow, they are going to start rocking out these walls!  I don't know if you can fully appreciate how deeply soul-soothing AWESOME that is.  Because let's be clear.  While I have waited over 21 years to do this project, proving my patience, after 16 months of construction, WALLS ARE FREAKING AMAZING.  Seriously.  9 months living over an empty dirt pit, another 3 above one enormous concrete-floored room gesturing at where rooms would someday be, 4 months looking through framed walls into rooms beyond, being able to walk into an actual ROOM.  With four walls and a ceiling, that is enough to make my little heart go pitter pat like a Gene Krupa drum solo.

And with drywall going up?  That means very soon, paint is going on.  So today, I want to talk about paint as both a part of the design process, and as part of your infrastructure process.

Let's start with the whole "type" of paint thing, since that is less sexy, but frankly, the more important decision.  Because to be clear?  Any major paint company will be able to get you whatever color of the rainbow your heart desires.

But types of paint, quality of paint, that is a bigger deal than most people might think.  I know that your first impulse is just to say "paint is paint, I'd rather spend my money on furnishings!".  Which is perfectly fine if you are re-doing a room that will be done again soon, like a kids room which might need new paint every few years as they grow up.  But if you are doing a single room renovation, or more than one, this is where I am going to tell you to think about the investment of paint.  Setting aside whether you are working with a professional house painter (we are, and I am VERY excited about that, because I HATE painting rooms, and so does my back), good quality paint goes on easier, covers better requiring fewer coats, and ages MUCH better.  Buying cheap stuff doesn't really matter if it takes nearly twice as much paint to get the coverage you want, especially if you are working with deeper colors.  Good quality paint will age well without the color changing, which is important with lighter colors, because you really don't want that perfect creamy eggshell to go all yellow on you in two years.  And good quality paint will resist scuffing and staining when furniture and people brush against it, you can clean it with a Mr. Clean magic eraser without damaging the finish or removing the paint itself.

When researching brands, take into account that ideally?  You want to choose one brand that has a range of product lines that work for every project you have in mind.  It will make your life much much easier.  You'll be certain that all types of paints you choose will work well together.  If you are working on both regular rooms and hallways and bathrooms, as well as ceilings and trims, like we are, you want a company who has paints especially designed for great finishes, one that has mildew resistant paints for use in high humidity areas, one that has paints especially designed for high traffic areas.  We spoke with our painter and our general contractor and our interior design consultant, and did a ton of research, and came up with one clear conclusion.  We are going to be exclusively a Sherwin-Williams house.

They have a huge range of product lines, including many that are paint and primer in one, which is a time and money saver.  They have amazing colors.  Our painter loves working with their products, because they go on smoothly, have terrific coverage, and they really last.  After much discussion with everyone, we made some decisions:

For living space walls, we will be using their Emerald Line of paint and primer in one.  Since a lot of these spaces will get deep colors, this ultra smooth finishing paint will really sing.

For bedrooms, we have decided on their Harmony Interior Acrylic line, because it has zero VOC and actually helps improve indoor air quality!  We want everyone to be able to sleep in the freshest possible air.  This is also a great line if you have pets or kids, or if you smoke.  We will probably also use this in the kitchens where cooking odors can be a problem. Who'd have thought that your WALLS could help keep your air fresh???  Very excited about this product.

For all hallways, plus the vestibule, foyer, and mudroom we will be using their Duration Home line, also a paint and primer in one, and their most durable and stain-resistant paint for high traffic areas.  You have no idea how many guests will come to your house and accidentally brush against your hallway walls, or rub their coats and bags in your entryways.  You want really durable stuff in these areas!

For the ceilings we will be using their Eminence High Performance Ceiling Paint.  It is specially designed for one-coat coverage, with a formula that both hides existing stains and minor ceiling surface imperfections, and helps prevent future staining.  It also has high light reflectiveness, which is really important to make sure that the light in your rooms is bright and warm.

For the bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets and the wine cellar, which are all high humidity areas, we will be using their Bath Paint line, which is designed to be mildew resistant.

And for all of the painted trim and doors, we'll be using their Pro Classic Interior Acrylic Latex Enamel, which will go on smooth and resist yellowing.

While we will be keeping the original finish on all of the current wood, since we love patina, all new stained millwork will use their wood stains and sealers, and when we refinish the current floors, they will get the Sherwin-Williams treatment as well!  When it is time to look at exteriors, while we have few areas on this old stone and brick beauty, they have a full range for those needs.  It is really a one-stop for us, and we have invested in a fan deck so that we can do the fun part which is picking the colors!

Which I will tell you about in a couple of days, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, comment below with your favorite paint-related story or tip or trick, by 11:59pm CST on Wednesday February 26, and one of you will win a copy of Recipe for Disaster!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. When I was in fourth grade, I went to a parish fashion show featuring the two meanest girls in my class. I won a door prize: two cans of Sherwin Williams paint. To repeat, I was NINE.

  2. I tried to paint red once. Three different shades, 12 coats of a cheap paint later, I went to Sherwin Williams and picked a cobalt blue.

  3. 4 years ago we bought a 50-year old house. All interior walls were brown, with the exception of 2 of the bedrooms: one had a fire engine red wall and the other was an awful shade of dark teal. There's only so much that primer can accomplish!

  4. Worked for a very small investment company back at the beginning of the last decade. We had all of the office walls painted the palest peach color - we all looked smashingly fabulous. I know it was a Sherwin Williams color but I can no longer locate the exact name.

  5. I actually love painting - my husband insists we have lost square footage since moving into our house 20 years ago. I have just finished repainting the entire house for the 10th time. It usually starts with a new accessory, or fabric that will jump start a whole new colour palette for the walls. Although our bedroom was done in the past year, I just purchased a new Bluebellgray duvet cover that is sparking a whole new colour choice :)

  6. I had this mad idea a few years ago to paint one wall in the living room red. So I did. But, because of the open plan high ceiling style of our house, I had to carry on into the kitchen a little ways cause there was no logical stopping place. Now - even though I still love red - I am getting the urge to paint out that wall. But I am afraid that it will take many, many coats of primer and color to cover the red. Hubby figures it will just be easier to sell the house and move. Also - my very eclectic daughter has a red couch in her house that I love, love, love!!!!

  7. Years ago, my first "real" job fresh out of college was as a paint chemist. I got to formulate house paint. I learned that the quality of paint really does matter. Recently, my daughter bought an old house, and I told her to buy the best paint she could afford. Turns out Sherwin Williams was having a sale, and now, her house is a Sherwin Williams house as well!

  8. Our house came painted and the previous homeowners left the cans in the basement for us. We went to do some touch ups and discovered the cans had rusted and paint wasn't good. Ok, no problem we'll just go to Home Depot where the paint is from and buy new since we have the cans they can match the formulas. Come to bind out they had changed their base paint and it was now slightly more glossy then it was previously. We tried it on our touch ups and ended up having to re-paint about a third of our house since the sheen difference was very noticeable every time the light shined on it. BTW...did I mention we have 20 ft ceilings! It was horrible and I never want to paint anything ever again.

  9. That awkward moment when teenage me decided to paint my room magenta. Two coats of primer and three coats of paint later I still had blotchy pink walls.

  10. Sherwin Williams really does have the best paint!!

  11. The best tip I've heard is choose colors that look good with your skin tone. You will look fantastic in your house! It's actually really important in the bathroom, where you're looking in the mirror the most and applying makeup.

  12. In one of our past houses, my husband had the bright idea to paint our dining room red. Like a deep, dark red. After a coat of primer and 4 coats of paint, he will never make that mistake again!

  13. I actually like to paint but my husband hates it so I have to love any color I choose because we're gonna have it for years. When he was a kid his parents owned a bunch of rental properties and they would rent to anyone - even college kids - because they had free slave labor. My husband had to paint and fix the trashed houses between tenants. One time some crazy kids painted an entire large room, including the ceiling, midnight black. My husband still has nightmares about that.

  14. I bought my condo 18 years ago, when I was 21. I have lived here alone for 99% of that time. In those 18 years, I've never been allowed to pick out the paint colors. No it wasn't mg husband, CS, or boyfriend who dictated my paint choice, it's the painter I use.

    I have a professional painter that does all my work for me, like you. Now the very first time he came to paint he had a fan deck and I pored over it for a week. When he came back to get my color choices to purchase the paint, I went away for a few days while he painted. When I came home, he had painted it the colors he thought would look good, not what I picked out. This has happened three times now. He finally told me that he was the professional, he knew what looked good and he didn't want his name attached to a bad project. He politely informed me that if he had used my colors, it would look like a box of crayons exploded in the place! So, I always just trust his judgement when it comes to paint.

    Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to your craft Stacey!

  15. My story is embarrassing.. And one I probably shouldn't admit, but…

    My boyfriend was doing work in his house. We started painting the living room a bright blue. We finished one section and were going to call it a night. I decided to paint a square with the words "window coming soon" on the wall where he was planning on installing a new window. Some drinks were involved, thankfully…. The new window wasn't going to be installed for a few weeks. Numerous people came into the house but no one commented on the sign I painted. This surprised me but I didn't give it any thought. I just kept walking by it, barely looking at it. Then my mom came over for dinner and I showed her our handiwork. She was impressed by the paint job, but her face fell when she saw my sign. She rolled her eyes, turned to me and pointed out that I spelled coming wrong. Thankfully I didn't spell it *that* way but still….