It seems I’m not the only one sprucing up my house this Summer. I have been getting quite a few calls from clients who are re-painting and from some who are ordering paint to touch up after a several years’ wear and tear. I always suggest taking your left over paint and pouring it into an air-tight jar and storing it indoors where it is climate controlled. Unfortunately, most people store the cans outdoors in a garage in the original can. Not only do the cans rust over time, but the extreme temperatures can cause the paint to clump and/or harden. Also, once those metal can lids have been hammered shut a few times, they no longer fit snugly.
I just touched up my ceiling with paint that is over ten years old that has been stored in a jar in a closet and although it needed to be shaken and stirred quite a bit, once the consistency was back to normal, it matched beautifully and you couldn’t even tell it had been touched up. Of course, that is the reason I love flat paint so much! It almost always touches up beautifully, whereas eggshell finishes, although more durable and washable, are a bit more difficult because of the slight sheen.
One of the best sources for the “Do It Yourself” painter I’ve found on the internet says that as a general rule, only flat paint can be retouched without “flashing”, which is a term used by professionals to describe the obvious difference in finish that will occur when retouching old or shiny paints. Flashing is most obvious when viewing a surface from the side. If you’ve hired a professional painter, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on and have an understanding of what’s involved in a good paint job. I am sorry to say that I’ve come across a few so-called “professional painters” who have painted latex over oil without using the proper primer that’s an interface between the two and some who consider only “one coat” of paint a “professional paint job”.
Another element to consider is the application of the paint. While spraying walls may be more economical labor-wise, it does not create a durable, washable finish like rolling does.
When cleaning latex walls, be sure to use a very soft cloth dampened with water and if you use a cleaner, make sure it doesn’t have alcohol in it. Use something non-abrasive like Ivory Liquid or Murphy’s Oil Soap. Alcohol is what painters use to determine if a previously painted surface is painted in latex or oil. Latex will rub off onto an alcohol soaked cloth, whereas oil will not.
For more details and tips, visit: www.do-it-yourself-help.com
On another note, I received the photo below from client Erica Grivas, the writer of the “Passion for Paint” article that appeared in the Winter 2006 Home Living Connecticut. Erica has since moved to Seattle and has been painting her lovely new bungalow with our paints (I am honored that she chose us since Devine Paints are well-known in the Pacific Northwest–of course, they’re not “full spectrum”). We chose “Buttercream” for her living and dining rooms which according to House Beautiful‘s new iPad App, is a color that is both “calming” and “happy”!