Mankind has been ‘painting’ for years. Walls have been uncovered from ancient times still bearing brilliant paintings despite centuries of exposure to the elements. Artists have been using oil paints for hundreds of years and women have been painting their faces for thousands more…notably, Nefertiti and Cleopatra both well known for their heavily kohl-rimmed eyes.
I, too, have been painting for a long time. Although I would have loved to paint the images I visualize in my head, I have not been able to make that connection from my brain to my fingers! Also, a career as a makeup artist would have been exciting but that, too, never happened but eyeliner and lipstick have always been my close friends. I have, though, painted walls…many, many walls over the years. My sister used to call me, “Monet, the house painter”, teasing me that I was losing square footage from my house because of the many layers of paint. My kids would groan when they would see the paint tray and brushes in the sink knowing that dinner would not be on the table anytime soon. I have always loved that instant gratification you get from a freshly painted wall.
Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with Leanne Morrow, ”my paint expert”. Leanne works with Benjamin Moore paint and has humoured me many times over the years doing her best to accommodate my every whim. Although many contractors use Benjamin Moore paint, BM retail stores also cater to the DIY customer. Because they are in the full-service business you can expect to get really good information and advice from their sales associates. Benjamin Moore has many paint decks, brochures and pamphlets to inspire especially if you are ready for a change. Every year I look forward to the booklet containing the upcoming year’s trends. The 2018 colour of the year is “Caliente AF-290” (above), a true red…not too blue or not too yellow. I was surprised to hear that these are not new colours. These colours have been in the paint decks for some time but are shown with new combinations that may not have been considered in the past. These colours are chosen by marketing people to reflect current decorating trends, world events, what’s new in fashion and makeup as well as upcoming automobile colours. Over lunch, Leanne gave me a “Cole’s notes” overview of colour, pigments, what to look for in paint and what to use where.
Benjamin Moore manufactures and creates all their own resins and colourants making it possible for all their different paint products to provide the best coverage and durability. They were the first paint company to create an eggshell and pearl interior finish, the computer matching system, as well as a paint low in VOC (low odour with no solvents released into the environment as the paint dries). Natura paint is specifically asthma and allergy friendly. No lead or mercury is present in their paint products. I have been using the Colour Stories Full Spectrum Colour Collection for some time and was surprised to learn that each colour is a mixture of 5-7 pigments without the use of black or grey tints. In my experience, there is a real depth to this paint and the matte sheen gives the walls a velvety finish that disguises any imperfections. Aura does come in a variety of sheens to handle any project.
One of my favourite ways to create a new look in a room is by using chalkboard paint. I talked to Leanne about a chalkboard painted wall I have in my kitchen with a french “Le Menu” written on it. She had a suggestion about doing this on a wall in a dining room. A chalkboard square could be painted in the middle of the wall or in a strip along the end. That way when entertaining you could write the menu (or whatever you want to say) on the wall and when erased it would blend right in with the regular painted wall. Chalkboard paint is available in every colour of the BM palettes. This would be great fun for special occasions or over the holiday season.
Although it’s getting very close to the holidays, there is still time to spruce up a room. The advantage of paint is that it can be picked up at your local store (no waiting for stock to come in), and it’s a job that most of us can do on our own in a day or two. Using quality brushes and rollers makes for a more professional looking job. Small pots of paint can be purchased as testers making it easier to see how the colour will actually look with the lighting in your home. Check out these swatches at different times of the day, especially at times you will be spending most of your time in that room. The right prep work and cleanup are tedious but worth it in the end! Are you game for a change?
***Leanne Morrow is a paint specialist at Kans of Any Colour, 3821-99 St. NW, Edmonton.