Benjamin Moore Paints & Products

Benjamin Moore is a paint manufacturer that has been around for quite a while. The company was established at the turn of the 19th century, located in New York City Benjamin Moore began as a family store selling a single product. Since those days the company has grown hugely and is now one of the top paint manufacturers in all of North America. They have quite a few paint and coating products to offer and solutions for all sorts of painting needs including residential, commercial, and even industrial painting uses.

Benjamin Moore Aura – My favorite paint

enjamin Moore Aura Eggshell
Benjamin Moore Aura

Benjamin Moore paints are highly regarded amongst professional painters, especially their Aura product. My favorite characteristic of Aura is the revolutionary Color Lock technology that allows you to paint very bold colors in only a couple of coats when previously a color might take up to five coats. Aura also dries very quickly, this has its pros and cons however. Fast drying paint means a fast second-coat which ultimately means the job gets completed faster. The negative aspect to this is that the paint job needs to be performed in a specific manner to avoid an ugly finish, although I’ve had decent results painting normally with Aura.

Where to find Benjamin Moore paint

There are times when people aren’t really sure where to get Benjamin Moore paint and for those who have yet to venture beyond the big box home improvement stores this may not come as a surprise. There are not a wide variety of Benjamin Moore stores because typically Benjamin Moore paints can be found in local paint stores, these independent paint retailers have made an arrangement with Benjamin Moore to supply their paint. This may reduce your selection to only a handful of paint stores. These paint stores also tend to be great fountains of knowledge so be certain to speak with the staff. Describe what sort of painting job you’re undertaking and I’m pretty confident you’ll be setup with the best paint or coating product for the job.

Benjamin Moore paint colors – a collection of thousands

Benjamin Moore’s color selection is pretty beefy. There are a lot of fantastic color combinations to consider. If you are really interested in a high-end color theme I suggest you consult an interior designer and have a real one-on-one color consultation. This will hugely improve your end results. Can’t afford that? Well that’s not a big deal the internet is packed with resources, even Benjamin Moore’s website has some great suggested paint color combos and even a color gallery so you can browse and find your favorite paint color from the comfort of your home.

Hiring a Painting Contractor – Which Painter Should You Pick?

Hiring a painting contractor can be a serious decision; due to the cost of house painting there is a lot of money at stake, and of course you want a beautiful paint job. Which contractor do you pick? How do you weigh your options? This is a daunting task even for the most stoic out there. We’ve already touched on this subject some; see our companion posts here, and here. Here are a few things to consider making the task of hiring a painting contractor less risky.

  1. Look online for reviews of their work. Google Places is a good resource; professional local painting contractors will always have a website. There are other resources as well including Yelp, Homestars, and Angies list. This is also a good sign that you’re hiring a painting contractor that really cares about their business and is planning for longevity. The fact that they’ve invested in a website is one indication that they’re a true professional.

  2. Stay away from Craiglist. While it may be that some reputable painting contractors make use of Craigslist to advertise the likelihood that you’ll find a quality contractor is much less using these sorts of free advertising services. Craigslist is notorious for cheap contractors which means contractors with little or no overhead, which means painters who aren’t invested in their company the way a true professional should be. This is a generalization of course but if you want to increase your chances of hiring a painting contractor with high standards I advise you to look elsewhere, even Kijiji will prove a better resource than Craigslist because of this.

  3. Check references. This should go without saying; it’s a must that you check all references that your painter provides you so you can make the best decision. Some good questions to ask their references include:

    • Did they show up on time?
    • Did they complete the work on time?
    • Did the total come to within the estimated price range?
    • Were the employees courteous, friendly and professional?
    • Were there any problems or issues they experienced with the contractor?

    If you’re really very curious you may even ask the painter if there is any of their work you can go and see for yourself. This will also be telling as you can see the contractors reaction to you wanting to see their previous work, Are they open and telling? Or, are they reserved and cagey. Given the time, stress, and cost of house painting you’ll fare best hiring a painting contractor that is open with you. This indicates that they’re better communicators and that means you’ll get the job you want.

  4. Consider referrals from friends. Referrals are a great way to find a quality painting company. Many painters rely on word of mouth as a way of gaining clients and this is for a reason, when someone refers a service or contractor they’re basically putting themselves on the line at the same time. It’s for this reason that your chances of finding a quality painting contractor via word of mouth are pretty high.

  5. Ask your local paint store. Talking to the employees are your local paint store is always a good idea if you’re thinking about doing some painting work and hiring a painting contractors as they can recommend products and also usually recommend a professional painter that can take care of your paint job. This is also a good way to find a worth painter because it’s basically another word of mouth recommendation and they’re putting their reputation on the line somewhat.

  6. Check online resources. With the advent of the internet there are now a huge amount of resources available out there. There exist now services that will save you time when you’re interesting in hiring a painting contractor – you fill out a form and describe what work you want completed and it will be automatically sent to a multitude of pre-approved contractors. This can really help you to save time as you don’t have to research various painters in order to get a few different quotes.

  7. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Think you’ve found them? Before hiring that perfect painting contractor stop by your local BBB website and do a check first. The Better Business Bureau can reveal some useful information such as their track record and if there are any outstanding complaints and whether or not they are accredited by the BBB. If nothing shows up for the company in question don’t take this as a bad sign but if you see negative information remember buyer beware.

  8. Get a detailed written proposal stating materials and all painting work to be completed. Before hiring a painting contractor it’s important that you both have a full understanding of what work to be completed, including what materials will be used. This affects the cost of house painting, duration, and quality of your finished painted home. One mistake I’ve seen a few times is with closets in the bedroom; let’s say you thought the painting contractor was going to paint the closets but the estimate didn’t specifically state it but they didn’t quote it and it didn’t get painted. Well now it’s going to cost more!

    If it’s not listed on the painting estimate double-check with the painter before moving ahead on the job as it may drastically affect the price or time to complete the job. Also, make sure you and the painter clearly understand the quality and brand of paint that is going to be used as this is another area where cost can sky rocket if terms are not clear. After discussing these items the best way to make sure you both know exactly what work is going to be performed is to have all of these items written down!

There are a variety of things you should pay attention to when hiring a painting contractor. This brief list here should really get you off the right start though, for more info you can see our other post on finding local painters that will surely help you in your venture!

How To Use A Step Ladder

This post will look at how to use a step ladder – a step ladder is a very common ladder used when house painting as it allows easy access to areas that are usually just out of reach, additionally the step ladder does not need to be supported by a wall or other object making it very versatile and useful for reaching areas directly overhead. A typical application of the step ladder when first “cutting-in” the room; providing easy access to where the ceiling meets the wall.

A step ladder just about exactly resembles the shape of the letter “A” as it has a cross bar that holds both sides in position and two diagonal sides, one side has steps and other a simple metal support. This allows a person to easily climb up the side with steps. It’s important to note that the top rung or apex of the step ladder should never be used to stand on as the ladder can tip over very easily.

Steps to follow for proper step ladder safety

When considering how to use a step ladder a person should follow these steps:

  1. When opening the step ladder you should always open it up to its maximum width. Only when it is fully open will you be able to push the spreader brace into it’s proper position to support the ladder. Remember to push the shelf on the front of the step ladder down as far as it will go.
  2. Be sure that you have the ladder positioned flat on level ground. Be cautious if the area you are working in has debris on the floor or nearby. When stepping off the ladder, always be sure that you are stepping onto level ground and not an object that might tip or cause you to lose your balance. Be certain to use a rubber mat or other surface such as a rug if the floor is slippery to ensure the ladder will not slide or slip around.
  3. When climbing the step ladder always hold the upper steps with both hands while climbing. It may seem like a good idea to hold the side rails but the safest technique is to hold the steps in front of you.
  4. Again, never sit or stand on the very top rung of the ladder or the step immediately below the top, this is very dangerous. The ladder is not intended to be used this way as it has very little stability to provide when you are perched at the top, tipping the ladder over in these circumstances is not out of the question sending you to the floor!
  5. Never use the bucket shelf to support you in any fashion – this part of the step ladder is strictly for tools.

Step ladders come in a variety of sizes ranging from baby sized 3-foot step ladders to massive 20-foot ladders. For most house painting work a typical 6-foot step ladder will be all that’s necessary. How to use a step ladder should never be overlooked especially for someone who is inexperienced with ladders or painting in general. Play it safe and if you remember to follow the above rules you should have a safe and productive experience using a ladder.

How to Find The Best Local Painters

Finding local painters isn’t always an easy task. Where to begin is a confusing step for the majority of home owners, this is especially the case because it’s not easy to find out how painters operate until after you’ve hired them. That’s why it’s best to take a thorough approach when hunting for a painting contractor, failure to do so can result in lost money, lost time, and in some cases a horrific experience. Let’s take a look at some tips for finding and selecting from the myriad of local painters available in your area.

What’s the best way to find local painters?

The best place to begin looking for local painters is online, this may seem contrary to common belief but if you consider that the majority of painters who have websites also have thriving business or a keen business sense – this is a no-brainer. Typical fly-by-night painters will not have the resources to take this step. It’s also a good place to learn more about the painting contractor, as often you can find galleries or testimonials.

You can use an easy web-based service like this one, or you can do a search for “cityname painters”. Typically a search like this will reveal a number of results and is a good start to connecting with a great local painter. When you begin browsing sites it’s a good idea to jot down the websites of the companies you found the most impressive. Once you have found 3 or 4 that look impressive go back to their websites and either call them or use the form on their site to submit your request for an estimate.

What should you prepare before the painting estimate?

Before calling local painters for bids it’s a good idea to prepare a small itemized list of all the aspects you want painted. This will include what rooms you want painted, any specific details you want the painters to address such as holes, cracks or other imperfections. Also an important thing to do is consider paint choices, if you’re interested in using a specific brand of paint it will be important for the painting contractor to know this since it will affect the cost of the paint job.

Having this information together can really help to sort through the local painters because it allows them to give you a much better, more detailed estimate. This will then allow you to sort through your painters to see based upon cost which you would consider hiring. This leads us to the next stage in your search for local painters …

When selecting a local painter the lowest bid is not the best bid

This may seem obvious to some people, but there are definitely a few of you out there who are keen on saving the most for your money. I can really understand this attitude as times have been tough lately and we all could use a little more cash in our pockets, plus it’s just painting after all, right? It may seem like simple task but you are risking more than just your paint job, you’re risking your home and even your safety.  An inexpensive painter may be priced so low because they’re inexperienced and don’t fully understand the job they’re about to take on.

When selecting from your local painters based on price – drop the lowest bidder if it is considerably lower than the others. This’ll guarantee you’re not dealing with someone who is either inexperienced or expecting to do a less than fantastic job painting your home.  Hopefully, at this point you have 2 or 3 bids from professional, reputable local painters.

Which of your local painters should you give the job to?

So by now you should have a few painting bids lined up; they should clearly detailing the work that will be completed, state terms of the job (such as start date, completion date, hours of work), and cover all aspects of your agreement between the painting contractor and yourself.  Now you should ask yourself which of the local painters made the best impression.  A few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Who seemed to know what they’re talking about?
  • Who did you feel the most comfortable talking with?
  • Who was the most courteous in your home?
  • Which painter gave you the most detailed explanation to your questions?

These are a few general questions which will help you when considering what painter to hire. Remember, these painters and their employees are going to be working in your home for as long as it takes for the job to be completed. Often painters have to move your furniture and move any items you have lying around that may be in the way of the paint job, so you’ll feel more comfortable with this process if you hire a painting contractor that you get along well with. I hope these guidelines will help you in your search for local painters!

7 Tips for Marketing Your Painting Business

I’ve been thinking about marketing lately so today’s blog is 7 tips for marketing your painting business. I find marketing extremely interesting, creative marketing really inspires me and I love to come up with ideas based on other marketing concepts, there are always so many creative ways to find new business or get your name out there. I wouldn’t call these tips break-through by any means but I hope some of you get your creative juices flowing. At very least I hope they can provide you with inspiration or stir up some new ideas on how to approach marketing your painting business.

1. Posters

This is a classic. Print up a bunch of posters and stick them up in areas that have your demographic. There are lots of ways to market your painting business with posters. Black and white, full colour, tear off tabs, QR codes, etc. I’ve had success with a basic black & white poster I made in a graphics program; I printed it out and photocopied it then put it up on utility poles using packing tape. Using posters this way can be extremely inexpensive and you can definitely find some quality leads this way. You could expand on this idea by hiring some local kids to put up your posters.

2. Contact local contractors

Contacting your local general contractors and letting them know you’re looking for business is also a good idea for marketing your painting business. If you develop a good relationship with a busy general contractor you will end up with a lot of work! However, you’ll want to have some good referrals and experience under your belt though before you take this route. Screwing up on a job from a reputable GC can be bad for your reputation. Find a few good contractors that use your services and you’re set.

3. Mail outs

This is a pretty straight-forward idea. Write a letter or create a brochure detailing your company and your services offered then mail it out to potential clients. Potential clients are anybody who can use a painter, for instance; designers, stagers, real estate agents, building supervisors/managers, building management companies, general contractors, etc. Since it can be a little more costly using mail outs it can be a good idea to send them to these businesses that could potentially develop into lasting business relationships such as those listed above. The Yellow Pages can be a good source of information such as addresses or businesses to contact, mix it with Google Places and you’re set.

4. Website

Don’t have a website? You are definitely missing out if you are trying to market your painting business without a website. There are a lot of tutorials on how to get a site up and a lot of hosts now also provide web design services (speaking of hosts; I recommend Hostgator) or very easy to use snap-together web sites you could develop yourself. If this seems daunting paying a web designer to build you a painting contractor website is a good idea. Want to do it on the cheap? Check Craigslist for a web designer and get it made using the WordPress platform. Make sure you see their previous work. This platform is pretty easy to setup and look nice so it’s a better bet you’ll end up with some good results. Request an on-site estimate request form for optimal results.

5. Online classifieds

Make sure you’re marketing your painting business on Kijiji and Craigslist. The leads from these services are of lesser quality because they are mostly people looking to get work completed on the cheap. So you might have to weed out some of these leads but they do occasionally pay off quite well. Make sure you present yourself professionally here to set yourself apart from the less than professional painting ‘businesses’. It may seem contrary to one of my other posts here where I talk about avoiding painting contractors on these freebie classifieds; but we’re on the topic of business marketing tips for your painting company, not on finding a good contractor, and when you’re really looking for work you should leave no options out.

6. Leave something behind

Whenever you do a job make sure you leave behind to be remembered by. One idea is a post-job review form detailing how to take care of their new paint job, some basic information you can grab from the manufacturers website and common knowledge, title it something like “How to care for your new paint job!” and this page is almost always be read. Include your painting businesses contact info on the form or use letter head. The idea here is that when your customers’ friends ask about the new paintjob they have easy access to your information in the case that their friends are also looking for painters. Some other ideas of stuff to leave behind include business cards, magnets, thank you letter, coupons, brochure, folder, etc. Had some super nice customers? Leave them behind a gift card to Starbucks and they’re sure to remember you!

7. Give your customers referrals a discount

This idea ties into the last, you can offer your customers referrals a discount. So if they refer a friend to you that friend will receive for instance a 5-10% discount (maximum $120 discount) deal. Of course everyone loves more business and customers love to refer great work to their friends especially if it’s an inside deal to get an awesome paint job cheaper. Concerned about your bottom line? Consider it this way, normally you have to pay out of pocket for leads, so when they refer someone to you it reduces your expenses associated with that job as it hasn’t directly impacted your marketing budget. Giving a coupon or special card would be an easy to process system.

When running a house painting business you can never read enough tips, so I hope these ideas I had kicking around in my head have helped. I hope this will help you when it comes to marketing your painting business as we can all use some more work!

Why Do Professional Painters Wear White?

So why do professional painters wear white?! An interesting question and perhaps more interesting is that there is no real consensus. This is a heated topic of discussion amongst some professional painters. There appears to be a variety of reasons and if you ask any individual painter you might hear very contrasting opinions. I’m going to list off some reasons I’ve heard of and fire away with my own opinion on the matter! Just before we dig in a couple of painters wear manufacturers in case you’re interested: Dickies painters wear, and Armed painters pants.

Painters wear white because it’s always been that way

Okay, an interesting take, and I believe this to basically be true. Painters wear white today because it’s what expected and what represents the professional painters ‘uniform’. It’s easy for someone to see a painter with whites on and instantly recognize that they are a painter. The problem with this reason though is that it does not address the reason why painters began to wear white in the first place.

It’s easier to clean white clothes

This reason is a decent one and I think it addresses the issue a little closer. Painters will always get their clothes dirty to some degree so the white clothing allows you to bleach the crap out of them to clean them and keep them looking crisp.

painters overalls
Dickies brand painting overalls

Painters can show their precision painting ability with clean white clothes

This is an interesting take on the painters’ uniform. When wearing crisp, clean whites that are free of paint drips or spatter the painter gives off an impression of their precise professional ability. It’s hard for me to say whether or not this is how the general public might perceive a clean painter. The other perspective is that a painter with messy clothes just looks like and the crisp-clean painter is an average to be expected painter, not exceptional in anyway. Anyhow, I think looking clean is always a merit of some kind.

Painters whites separate the pros from the hacks

This is a similar take on the above idea, and I generally agree with it. There are a lot of so-called painters that are wearing just jeans and regular plain clothing. By wearing the white painting clothing a pro-painter can distinguish themselves from these non-pro painters. It’s interesting to note that anyone can basically look like a pro for less than $40 if you know where to go to buy the clothing.

Plasterers wore white

Apparently back in the day people who worked with plaster wore white and so this is somehow a cross-over from that line of work. I disagree with this idea since painters have been around for quite a long time and I do not think extensive plaster work goes completely hand-in-hand with professional painting.

Painters whites because they use a lot of white paint

I think this is also a fairly true statement. If you were to take a look at all the paint that gets used, the majority of it is all white. From primers to base coats (or sometimes the same thing) you are looking at primarily white paint. So it stands to reason that painters who are using mostly white paint are going to wear white clothing to hide any mishaps.

There are probably a lot of other takes and reasons I could list here but that sums it up for now. I can see the reasoning behind wearing whites because painters used a lot of white paint, they are simple to clean, and the white painters clothing becomes a standard uniform. I do know that when you have to get into cramped spaces that require kneeling or going prone to get at places painters whites quickly become painters browns. Perhaps the mystery of why painters wear white will go unsolved; I certainly know it will remain debated!

Applying Stain & Varnish Basics

Let’s take a look at the basics of applying stain and varnish. A careless finishing job can ruin the appearance of the most careful work. On the other hand, a skillful finisher can often make less-than-perfect woodworking look better. It always pays to put your best efforts into finishing.

Why bother to finish wood?

Let’s face, wood grain can be pretty sexy. Staining the color of the wood and highlighting the grain are important steps to gorgeous wood, so much that applying stain & varnish can make even inexpensive wood look like an exotic wild species. Clear finishes let you see the wood and give the even the most boring of grains a rich, fabulous look. Clear finishes, however, do more than just make wood look exquisite. A high quality and effective finish will protect wood from either soaking up or releasing moisture too quickly. When moisture is absorbed or expelled too quickly this spells bad news for wood, leading to problems such as cracking, warping, or even the potential for loose joints. Effective wood finishes also protect against dirt, oxidation, spills, and stains. Also, when you properly finish wood it is easy to clean the surface since you can just wipe off dirt off of it tha tmight otherwise penetrate or stain.

Skimping on the prep work is a bad move

Don’t want your wood to hate you? Make sure you don’t skimp on the prep work. Remember, the final look of a beautiful wood finish is always created through a variety of steps that you can’t see! First meticulously sand to a smooth surface, followed by exacting removal of all dust prior to staining, dying or applying the clear coat. Lightly sand inbetween coats, making sure to remove all of the dust, and be certain to keep your work area spotless while you work.

A good finishing location will help

Should you be lucky enough to have your own work shop you can do the majority of your final preparation at the workbench you most likely have in there, this does for sanding as well. Even so, you must be extremely careful to remove all loose dirt of ther particles before you finish your wood. You can also work in a garage or your basement for these final steps however, stay away from your furnace or heater, as the fine particles or fumes from your finish coat can be flammable or explosive. Always be safe, make sure you have appropriate ventilation and of course bright lighting.

Interior House Painting Tools – The Basics

Interior house painting requires a variety of painting tools – here are some of the ‘must-have’ basics.

House painting certainly requires its share of tools; but before you start your project make sure you have the basic interior house painting tools together. Starting a job without having the proper tools can quickly lead to frustration and time wasted heading back out to the paint or hardware store. Let’s take a look at the absolute must-haves you should always keep close at hand through-out your entire painting project.

5-in-1 Painters Multi-tool

Okay, you can find these tools in many formats, 3-in-1, 4-in-1, and probably 8-in-1! Basically just make sure you find one that can act as a crude scrape, has a sharp or pointy corner you can use to dig out holes in the wall or pop open paint cans, and also has a half-moon style paint roller squeegee. This tool has a lot of uses and I’ll probably write up a post on this tool alone someday.

Multi-Tip Screwdriver

Use this to remove face plates, remove hardware, open cans in a pinch, and unscrew anything else you might run into. Usually you’ll find a screwdriver with a good variety of bits inside of the handle or attached somehow. I cannot stress how important it is to get a good screwdriver; this will see a lot of use even when you’re not painting. Maybe some of you folk out there never lose a bit but it seems no matter how I try, I’m always losing at least one and it’s usually the bit I need at any given moment is the one I’ve lost. So it’s not a bad idea to buy a screwdriver that where the bits retract from the handle, this’ll save you the major hassle of losing or misplacing bits.

Small Hammer

Okay, I am no carpenter so I can’t really give a good analysis on hammers. But occasionally you’ll run into a situation where you need a hammer to give something a good whack. It might be something that’s been stuck together with paint, or something that’s well stuck to a surface. Either way it’s a good idea to keep a small hammer around just in case the need arises.

Measuring Tape

Use to measure surfaces for paint coverage, plot lines for designs, and probably a few other uses that have slipped my mind. Again you never know when you’ll need a measuring tape for a last minute change in plan or to double-check your intended plan. Plotting out designs to mask off will be virtually impossible without some kind of measuring device and a tape measure obviously works wonders. You can also use your tape measure to plan out your drop cloth placement or protective plastic usage if you are very unfamiliar with their dimensions.


Use this for cutting a wide variety of things such as painters tape, protective plastic, and anything else. You can use your knife to dig out cracks before you fill them and also cut a good clean edge out of drywall holes before you patch them. There’s always something that needs cutting open – caulk tubes for instance.

Sanding Block

A sanding blog is a good instrument to wrap sandpaper around. This will help you to achieve an even flush surface when sanding down patches on your wall. Make sure you pickup a few packs of good quality sandpaper. I suggest you buy a few different packages; 80-grit, 150-grit and something 180-grit or above. With a good variety of grits you’ll be able to tackle any surface you might find. This is also a good item to attack extremely stubborn stains with.

Clean Rags

Clean rags are incredibly diverse and useful. From wiping your brow after an intense session with the paint roller, to cleaning off that ‘oops!’ paint drip you’ll find clean rags come in extremely handy. I suggest you pick one a large package of these as I’ve seen them used up very quickly in the hands of inexperienced painters! Definitely use these to keep yourself clean but be aware of where you are putting your dirty rags as they can transfer paint or dirt to other surfaces! One particular problem is hanging a rag from your pocket; if you happen to get paint on it then you can easily paint other surfaces!

You might not think of these as interior house painting tools but just wait until you absolutely need one and you’ll quickly realize their importance. If you don’t have something on the list go buy it. There is an impulse to skimp on these purchases but the reality is that these tools will be kicking around your house for years to come. Be sure your interior house painting tools are of a high quality and you’ll ensure your investment does not go to waste!

Fantastic Paint Ad from Dulux

Let’s Colour is a worldwide initiative to transform grey spaces with colourful paint.
This 2 minute global film was shot by multi-award winning director Adam Berg over four weeks in Brazil, France, London and India. Every location is real and they remain transformed by a palette consisting of 120 different colours. The people in the film are not actors, they are real people who rolled up their sleeves to transform their community with colour.

This is a great paint ad from Dulux, love how this has been together.

How to: Painting A Room and Estimating Paint

Before you begin painting a room it’s important to first estimate how much paint your walls will need. Estimating paint for a room depends on a few factors such as the texture of the wall, your paint application method, the quality of your interior paint, and the paint color you decide upon. First measure the length and height of your walls, multiply these two numbers together to find out the actual square footage of the walls and surfaces in the room you plan on painting:

Ft length x Ft height = Square footage to be painted

If there happen to be large areas of the walls that will not be painted, for instance French doors or large bay windows, simply calculate the square footage of those areas and subtract them from the area you plan on painting. This will allow you to take into account the actual amount of paint needed for your room.

The majority of paint manufacturers label on their paints the expected area of coverage. Since most manufacturers are optimistic about their coating products use this as a rule of thumb and consider subtracting up to 10% from what is listed on the can to ensure you have enough paint. For instance, if the paint can claims it can cover 350 sq ft, plan on it covering 320 sq ft this will give you a better margin for error. The last thing you will want is to drive out to the paint store for more product to cover a few measly sq ft!

Always plan on painting two coats

95% of the time when you are painting a room you will need two coats of paint. It’s rare that one coat will provide a solid well finished wall so do not plan on this outcome. Multiply your total square footage by 2 to get a fairly good measure of the paint requirements for two coats. It should be noted that your second coat of paint can use cover a little more area but it’s a good idea to not get overly optimistic about your paint coverage and use the safe assumption that your second coat will take as much paint as your first. Consider multiplying your initial one coat square footage by only 1.95 if you are feeling lucky on your second coat.

At times a primer will be needed

Primers can do a variety of tasks such as covering an old wall paint color and getting it ready for a fresh coat of paint, and even covering up stains so they don’t bleed through your new paint job. If you’re unsure whether to use a primer you can ask one of the workers at your local paint store and describe your situation. Getting this right can save you a lot of hassle when you’re painting your walls later.

Wall texture will affect paint absorption

One aspect of estimating paint for your room is the texture on the walls. If you have smooth walls you will need far less paint compared with heavily textured walls. A wall with a heavy texture will have more surface area overall because of the grooves or bumps, this will cause more paint to be required to effectively cover the entire surface. Further, sometimes paint will literally soak into these small grooves. In order to insure effective and efficient painting you should also consider your application method, opting to spray or use a thick napped roller sleeve if your surface is very heavily textured. I would consider adding up to 35% more paint if you are painting an excessively textured surface.

Paint application method must be considered

When painting a room your application method can affect how much paint is wasted and thus how much paint will be required overall. When using a traditional paint roller and paint brush do not expect much waste associated with your paint job. Most sprayers require at least a quart to be primed before you can actually use the tool, so remember to keep this in mind. Application method can add up to another 20% of paint requirements. If you are very inexperienced you may want to consider adding 5% as margin of error.

Interior paint quality can affect paint coverage

The quality of your paint will affect the coverage and spread rate. When considering standard conditions, higher quality interior paint will be able to cover more square footage than lower quality paint. This is especially true when considering the usage of bold or deep colors such as red, purple, and yellow. See paint color for more on this.

Paint color will require your attention

When estimating paint for a room the color you decide to paint your room will have an effect on the amount of paint you will need. If you are interested in painting your room a bold or deep color be prepared to paint up to three coats of paint. If you are using a top-end paint product you can expect to paint two coats, for instance Benjamin Moore Aura can create a fantastic red color with only two coats of paint. This is unheard of in the majority of paint brands so it is advised you consult your paint supplier to ensure you have the right product for the job at hand.

Armed with some knowledge, let’s now take a look at an imaginary room painting estimate:

Our imaginary room is a 10×20 room with 8 ft. high ceilings, fairly textured walls, and we plan on using two coats of decent quality paint

First figure out how much area needs to be painted:
10 x 8 = 80 x 2 walls = 160
20 x 8 = 160 x 2 walls = 320
4 walls = 480 sq ft

Calculate extra surface area because of the texture:
480 sq ft x 1.2 (20% extra for texture) = 576 sq ft

We’ll use a straight 2 coat estimate, because of the texture we don’t want to take any chances:
576 sq ft x 2 coats = 1152 sq ft total coverage of paint needed

Now let’s figure out how many gallons we need, our paint claims 400-450 sq ft coverage so again let’s err on the side of caution and use the lower estimate:
1152 sq ft total coverage of paint needed / 400 sq ft paint coverage = 2.88 gallons of paint

Let’s plan on buying 3 gallons of paint to get a good coverage on this room.

As you can see there are a few factors to take into consideration when calculating how much paint you will end up needing to paint a room properly. Estimating paint requirements is a bit of an art form, this is a skill that will develop as you gain experience painting. I hope this write up has been of service and provided you with a good idea of how to estimate paint when painting a room.