Saturday, March 13, 2010


Today I finally re-painted the dining room. It looks beautiful - we picked a color called Deep Poinsettia, and I love it! We had a pumpkin color up, and the more time passed, the more I HATED it. I'll put up photos tomorrow, after I get trim up (hopefully).

I had been debating for awhile what kind of paint to use. Usually, I just run into Lowes and grab a couple of gallons of their home brand. Over the years, we've used all sorts, though, from Home Depot's main brand to Ralph Lauren to Martha Stewart. I've always hated the smell, though, and how no matter how much I tried, the coverage was never very good, and it went on kind of unevenly because it didn't take to the rollers well.

I'd seen several ads recently for low-VOC paint, and have been wanting to try one, but the big box stores don't carry anything like that. This time, I went to the small Benjamin Moore store across town, and checked out their Natura brand. It has no VOCs, claimed no odor, and the clerk said that it went on like a dream, usually in one coat. It's water-based, and is supposed to be 100% scrubbable.

Sure. We've all heard that one before, right? One coat. I was so skeptical that the retailer gave me the paint, which is an eye-popping $60 a can, for the contractor price of $50 - that way, it was actually cheaper than the two gallons of store-brand paint I've had to buy in the past because of the poor coverage. He also told me that if I ended up needing more, to bring my receipt and he'd cut me an even bigger deal on another gallon.

It was true. All of it. I only needed one coat, and one gallon did my entire job - three walls below chair-rail height (about 3ft), and one full wall (with bay window) with plenty to spare. There was NO SMELL. I'm not kidding, there was NO hint that I was painting AT ALL; DH didn't even know I was doing it until he came into the room!!! It went on so smoothly and evenly I didn't even have to roller over areas more than once, and it seemed really smooth and almost creamy. It clung to my paintbrush and roller without dripping all over creation, which is usually a big problem, and didn't fling off when I rolled. It was dry in an hour, and is completely smooth - no roller-bumpies, and there were no bubbles at all, either, even though I had to re-stir it up myself because I'd let it sit for a week. It was pricey, but I will never use any other paint again. It's not like I paint every day, so the once in awhile that I need to do a room, I will definitely get this stuff every time from now on.

To finish my eco-friendliness, I used a recycled-paper paint tray, which worked really nicely and will degrade in 6 months, supposedly (regardless, it'll be faster than the plastic ones), and a recycled roller cover. Benjamin Moore also has a line of eco-friendly stain, but they're closed on Sundays, which is kind of counter-intuitive since most people want to do their painting on weekends, so I'll have to wait until Monday to check that out.


LoriD said...

You had me at 'one coat'.

Marie Green said...

We usually use the big-box store brands too, but recently we used Sherwin Williams, and it too was EXACTLY like you described. Nothing like the "other" paints: thick, one coat, no splattering or dripping...

We haven't tried their low VOC ones, so I'm glad to know they are just as good.

Not Your Aunt B said...

I agree with LoriD. One coat and no smell? SOLD!