F.A.Q At The Paint Store

A fresh coat of paint may be the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to give your space a new look but the choice of colours, products and accessories that goes along with the job can often feel overwhelming. This can quickly turn a fun weekend project into a frustrating undertaking.

Not everyone is a painting pro so below I have put together a list of the most common questions our customers ask at the paint store. If yours isn’t on the list or if you have a specific concern you can always leave us a comment below, send us an email to row@northrock.bm or visit our shop.

First up – how much paint will you need? The easy answer is 400 square feet per gallon of paint (that’s the large can you see on our shelf). This is enough to paint an average 12’x14′ bedroom. However, keep in mind that some colours – particular dark or accent shades like red, orange or yellow – may need more than one coat to cover what’s already on your walls so always let us know if you’re making a dramatic colour change.

Which paint sheen is right for you? Walls paints are generally available in three shine levels – flat, matte and eggshell. Remember that the shinier you paint the walls the more imperfections you will notice because of the glare. Generally, I would recommend flat paints on the ceilings or low traffic spaces like bedrooms. Matte paints are my favourite because they’re not shiny but can be washed clean so they’re perfect for every room. Eggshell paints have a soft glow so they’re perfect for high traffic spaces like entries, hallways or kitchens – especially if you have a house full of pets or children. Save satin and semigloss finishes for woodwork and trim.

Let’s talk about primer. Most paints on the market these days are self-priming (our Benjamin Moore products included) which means they have high quality ingredients that help them stick to the walls and cover better. Since these paints perform two jobs at once I often use the analogy of sewing your underwear into your pants. So if the paint is self-priming, do you really need A SEPARATE primer? Usually the answer is yes. Our stone walls often need a little extra help to ensure a long lasting result so you may need a special waterproofing, mold preventing or other specialty primer depending on your needs.

Now that we have the technical side out of the way, it’s time to discuss colour. Most customers will start by choosing a few paper colour swatches from our display to narrow down their choices, make their final decision and pick up the paint. But why does the colour look different when they take it home? First, colour strips are just ink on paper and the colour doesn’t always translate perfectly into paint. That’s why it’s a good idea to pick up a paint colour tester before making a big decision or buying a large quantity of paint. Also, lighting has a huge effect on how we see colour. A shade can look dramatically different in day light than under artificial lighting and can change dramatically from day to night. For example, the colour that’s on our shop can look very different in your living room. Click on the image below to see what happens!

Also, keep in mind that paint colours will often look darker on the wall (and darker colours can make rooms feel smaller). That’s because you see them on a much larger scale in your space than on the chip. If you’re trying to decide between two shades I usually recommend starting with the lighter one.

Finally, how much will the paint cost? These days we are all watching our budgets more carefully and trying to save as much as possible. At our shop, interior Benjamin Moore wall paints range between $40-$85 and exterior paints between $50-$85. That may seem expensive but remember that paints made with high quality ingredients will cover better (which means less coats and less paint) and last longer (so you don’t have to repaint as often). If you’re hiring a professional, more coats can quickly add up to extra labour costs far outweighing the addition upfront cost of a better (though more expensive) paint. And remember that we offer a daily 10% cash discount and volume pricing on larger jobs.

Now that you have your paint let’s quickly answer a few questions on painting SUPPLIES. Which roller is best? For regular stone walls choose a ¾” nap (this refers to the fluffiness) roller cover in a standard 9″ size. This is fluffy enough to get between the bumps in the wall. For smoother walls try ½” nap or for ⅜” nap for ultra smooth walls (like drywall). The best brushes for wall paints are synthetic bristles like nylon or polyester since they will give you the smoothest finish. For cutting in around ceilings, doors, or floors choose a brush that has an angle to help you get as close as possible.

Do you have a paint question? Leave us a comment below, drop us a line at row@northrock.bm or visit our shop at 67 St. John’s Road in Pembroke. HAPPY PAINTING!

There’s more where this came from!  See thousand of our decorating and design Pins on our boards here. If you liked this post don’t forget to check back next week to see what’s new on the blog but if you can’t wait  our Facebook page is updated daily with amazing spaces, design tips and DIY projects.  Or get a sneak peak at life behind the scenes at the paint store (and more stunning rooms) on our Instagram here.

2 Responses to “F.A.Q At The Paint Store”

  1. Kathy

    We have a few damp patches that keep bubbling the paint. Have tried scraping, vinegar wash, seal and repaint. But the bubbles come back. Have now had potential outside issues taken care of so ready to have another go on these patches. The paint/sealer used inside water tanks was suggested to me to seal these spots. Do you have an opinion/any experience with this idea?

    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      Hello Kathy. Since you have damp patches there is water entering your wall through either a crack or a window but it looks like you already took care of that – which is a huge step in solving your problem. I scrape all of the loose paint and wash down that area like you have been with vinegar and water. Often when you scrape the paint the wall is left with a chalky powder reside and nothing will stick to that (think of a floured surface when baking). You can try the sealer for tanks (it’s called Foundation Coat and can be purchased at Bermuda Paint). It’s an excellent waterproofer but it’s not really designed to be painted (water tanks are not) so I think you might be solving one problem but creating another. After you treat the wall, make sure to let it dry for a couple of days. Since it has been really damp lately turn on a dehumidifier. After the walls are dry try applying two light coats of our Montana Waterproofing Primer – with 24 hours between each coat. It’s what we use to fix roof cracks and wall cracks. On top of that I would use a coat of Tite Waterproofing Primer and then the paint. Hope this helps!


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