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How to Buy the Right Paint

Learn how to buy the right kind of paint from Brushed Interiors founder David Sartori in this Howcast video.


Hi I'm Dave with Thrush Interiors. Let's talk about different kinds of paint. There's a lot of brands available out there. In major metropolitan areas, you have your Home Depot. You had your Lowe's. You've got your Ace Hardware on the corner. You've got Benjamin Moore outlets, Sherwin Williams outlets. All these companies are competing in the same area. The low VOC, volatile organic compounds, is the trend. It's a cleaner paint, goes on with a less odor, and over the years it exudes or dissipates less toxins. So we have here your main brands. Here we have Behr.

A couple examples of Behr, which is available at Home Depot, and the rest are various grades of Benjamin Moore, which of course is widely available. Also at your Home Depot, you'll run in to Martha Stewart. You'll run in to Glidden. You'll have access to fine paints of Europe. There's outlet stores called Janovic, especially around New York City and other metropolitan areas. The Janovic's carry fine paints of Europe. This is some information on the new advance paint by Benjamin Moore and we have more data on Behr. There's also very high end paints out there. You've got your Farrow and Ball. You've got Ralph Lauren, and these are wonderful although you're going to end up spending $100 a gallon whereas some of the Behrs' and these self-priming paints are very good quality now and can be bought starting around $25 or whatever sale's happening. Let's take a look at what we have.

We've got Behr Ultra Premium Plus. We've got Behr Premium Plus, low odor, zero VOC. Incidentally, the deeper the color, like a deep red or blue, is mixed in actually adds a little bit of volatile organic compound. So it's not truly that it'll be zero VOC if you make it a deep color, but it's still a much cleaner paint that years ago. We've got a number of Benjamin Moore's here. There's an Ultra 500, Ultra Speck 500, which has just recently come out, and is eventually to replace some of their other lines like the old Regal and so forth. It is low VOC and self-priming also, and at a lower price point. You get into the Regal Select, which is also low VOC and a little bit higher priced. You now get into the new advanced paint by Benjamin Moore, which is an alkyd. That term is the modern usage of oil paint. However, it's water-based so rather than an oil paint that needs to be cleaned with mineral spirits, you can use this around the house safely and clean it with water. We use this advanced semi-gloss on a lot of the woodwork and molding. Now Natura is very popular. Benjamin Moore's Natura is a zero VOC, very nice to work with, and almost no odor at all. You've got kids around the house or pets, you might want to pick up the Natura.

Of course, the highest end Aura, it's going to be around $60 or $70 a gallon, but Aura is the most beautiful when you're getting into your deep colors like greens, blues, and reds. And they have their own resin technology and of course that's highly promoted. You can make do with the Sherwin Williams and the Behrs if you're doing a simple job, you may want to consider a higher end Bejamin Moore. It depends on what's available in your area, but your'e going to go with, this day and age, a latex water-based paint. So we covered your major brands of paint. What about the sheen or the finish of your paint? We have a variety here of flat, matte, eggshell, and semi-gloss.

That's the basic scale is flat, matte, and you're going shinier here. Eggshell, there's actually a satin in between there, there's semi-gloss and you get into high-glosses. We've got a Behr eggshell. Now eggshell or matte can be used on your walls, and they're going to give a little reflection but not much that you're going to notice. But it gives great durability, great wear and tear. That's eggshell and matte. Flat on the other hand is for your ceiling. Now you don't want to use flat on the walls because you go to wash your wall, it's going to wear off. It's going to come off. But flat on the ceiling is fabulous. You don't get the reflection of the sun coming into the room.

Now you step up to your semi-gloss on your trim and doors. Again, I love the new advance and I've got semi-gloss right here to do all this trim, wood work, baseboard, and doors. I've also got Aura in a semigloss because we've got this beautiful emerald green, and we just wanted the walls in this one small area, this dressing room area, to be a bright semigloss green. So we're doing that with the semigloss Aura, and that's very adventurous. But in the normal case, you can do matte or eggshell on your living rooms, your bedrooms, your hallways, even in your kitchens.

You can do eggshell, where in the past you'd see a lot of kitchens were very glossy, very bright. Well eggshell, in the modern paints, is strong enough that you can put it in the kitchen and the walls are durable and washable. No problem. So in closing, there's a lot of options out there. But this should simplify your process and show you the main brands and the types of paint to get you started.

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