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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today In The Paint Store ...

I finally got my new place ... it was official June 1, but it's been slow going getting everything moved in. It's the top part of a duplex ... one bedroom with a small living and entryway and a really tiny kitchen. But the bedroom is huge and has two closets, so I took one set of doors off and set up my workstation inside for sort of a "office alcove." And I have direct access to a storage loft above the garage (which the downstairs neighbor gets for her car ... no biggie), so I can move all my stuff out of storage and have it nearby.

The building owner lives next door, and her "deal" is that I can paint as long as I either a) repaint if I move or b) agree to be charged the cost of having someone else repaint when I vacate (something she's capped at $200).

So that presents me with my current dilemma. Have you been to a paint store lately? There's so many choices ... flat paints to help cover up imperfections ... eggshell formulations (also sometimes called "satin") for a bit ore durability ... semi-gloss and gloss types with higher resin content that creates a soft reflectivity and provides a more cleanable surface.
And then there's primer. Primer, as God intended it, is a layer of pigment meant to help the surface coat appear true to color, alleviate the need for multiple coats of paint, and to make the DIY conglomerate more money. But today I'm faced with primers, undercoaters (meant to prepare irregular surfaces for paint application, thus, in some cases avoiding patching and spackling), and sealers (meant to seal the surface to prevent the substrate receiving paint to actually absorb or leech the pigment into the wall). I think I just need primer, but then I have options of tinted primer (regular primer leaning toward the color of my choice that improves the coverage of surface coats) or even scented primer (primer with added chemicals that mask smells for up to a year, great if you've taken over the lease from a messy family or a recently-evicted "cat lady"). And there's paint options with primer and/or scent in a all-in-one formulation ... not for the faint of heart or checkbook.

Next I have to consider size ... see, guys, size does matter regardless of what they tell us! Of course, we're all familiar with the full gallon of paint with the smear of color on top and complimentary can opener and stir-stick taped to the side. But for smaller projects, there are quarts and even smaller sample sizes. There's even an "oops" bin of customer returns and bad decisions that offer quality paint at a great price.

So, in the scheme of things, color choice can be first or last on the list, or somewhere in the middle. But looking at all the sample swatches can be mindboggling. There are thousands of choices, and you can still bring in something to be color matched or as for a "shade in between" of two selections and the paint technicians with work their alchemy and shake-rattle-and-roll you out the perfect hue.

And if you want to see how colors will work together? ... many DIY superstores have computer stations that will allow you to combine wall, ceiling, and trim selections for a glimpse of your finished room.

I've selected a flat latex in light avocado for my bedroom (and a darker version for the opened-up closet), a warm buttery yellow semi-gloss for the one wall in my kitchen with enough area to even paint, and a rich slate blue-gray eggshell for two walls in the main living area. Also in my cart are rollers, edgers, drop clothes, sponge brushes for hard to reach spots, and a little can of Spackle ... it will look nice on the shelf where I store it, because the chances of me properly prepping for painting ... of PPP ... are highly unlikely.

POINT OF RANT: It might be easier ... and cheaper ... to wallpaper my new place with fresh dollar bills.

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