I hope you guys have had a fantastic weekend! Welcome to another Paint It Monday!
About a year and a half ago, I posted my favorite paint products and sources on my old “Friday Favorites” feature here. I recently looked through that old post and realized that I have found new products that I like better than those that I shared. I am also using some new resources that I wanted to update and share with you to help you guys as much as possible with your painting projects. As I try new products, I will continue to update my list each year.
With so many paint products and sources out on the market, it’s hard to keep up with what works and what doesn’t. I have pretty much tried everything over the years and yep, I have wasted a lot of money as well. Hopefully my list will save you time, energy and money and zone right on products and sources that are the very best.
Let’s just jump right in!
1) Use a Paint Extender
I’m starting with this tip because it is by far my favorite and the one of the most important things I want you to take away today! A paint extender is an additive that you mix with your paint and it makes a huge difference when painting cabinets, doors, trim or furniture pieces. An extender is a liquid paint conditioner that you just pour into your paint and it greatly helps to reduce paint build up on brushes, extends the drying time, levels the paint to help to create a smooth finish and it virtually eliminates brush marks. It also helps to form a more durable/harder finish.
I use to use and recommend the brand “Floetrol” for a paint extender and while it’s great, I now use XIM Latex Extender because it’s about 50% cheaper than Floetrol and I think it’s so much better (and it’s hard to top Floetrol):
However, I’m still using the oil-based Floetrol for oil-based projects:
My kitchen cabinets were painted 9 years ago with an extender in the mix and you can really see how well they have held up thanks to the extender:
If you can believe it, this was the third time those cabinets were painted and you would never know it. Think of paint as honey and the extender is like adding oil to the honey. By itself, honey doesn’t spread or level out but if you add some oil, it helps to level and spread, which is how brush marks are eliminated. If you want to learn more about how to use an extender, you can check out my tutorial here.
You can pick up XIM at any Sherwin Williams store and you can pick up Floetrol at Lowe’s and Home Depot.
2) Paint Calculator
Paint is expensive and it drives me nuts when I overbuy and have too much leftover. I have found that whenever I ask the guys at the paint store how much paint I’ll need, I end up with way too much leftover. I adore the guys at the paint store but they are just rough guessing and you know, they are trying to sell paint. So now I calculate it out myself and Sherwin Williams has an awesome paint calculator here that I have been using that I love:
You just type in your room measurements and it will instantly tell you how much paint to buy. Since I have been using the calculator, I rarely have leftover paint.
By the way, Jeff Lewis Color has some amazing paint colors that you can also see here on his paint site. I haven’t tried the line yet but I hope to very soon!
3) Purdy Paint Brushes
When it comes to paint brushes, you really get what you pay for. If you buy the cheap generic brands, your gonna get a cheap brush that can ruin a paint job in an instant. Think of it like a great makeup brush.
I always tell people that a great brush is for sure where you need to splurge and not cut corners. My holy grail line of paint brushes are made by Purdy and they are fantastic and they will hold up for years if you take good care of them and clean them immediately after using. I have tried probably every paint brand on the market and Purdy is just extraordinary in my opinion.
3) Using the Right Paint Brush for the Job
Knowing which type of bristle you need for the right paint job is another key to ensuring a beautiful finish. If you just go and grab a brush from the garage, you could be doing yourself a huge disservice because you may be using a brush specifically designed for oil-based (like ox-hairs) on a latex project that could really give you some serious brush marks! Ugh!
Purdy has a section on their website that tells you precisely what type of bristles you need for the job here. They also have this quick chart that tells you exactly what kind of brush/bristles you need for a specific paint job and I have printed this and keep it with my brushes:
4) Scotch Blue with Edge- Lock Painters Tape
There is nothing more frustrating than working so hard on a beautiful paint finish only to pull your tape and see that it has seeped all over. I use to use and recommend Frog Tape but over the last year, I have discovered and love Scotch Blue Edge Lock Tape because time after time that I have used this tape, it has never failed me and lines are so crisp.
Frog Tape is fantastic too but it’s so much more expensive than the Scotch Edge-Lock and I think this Edge-Lock is even better. However, make sure the blue tape package says “Edge Lock” on it because the regular blue tape without the edge-lock is not good.
4) Velvet Finishes Paint
In my four years of blogging about paint, I have never endorsed a paint brand. Up until recently, there has never been a furniture paint that has come close to impressing me enough to make me comfortable recommending to you guys.
Recently, I started using a new line of furniture paint called Velvet Finishes that has blown me away in every way:
So far, I have painted three pieces of furniture using three different colors and each time I use it, I simply cannot believe the flawless matte finish that I’m getting and how easy it is to use. Most projects require no priming and sanding! Two weeks ago, I shared a before and after project using the new Velvet Finishes:
You can read more about my review about Velvet Finishes and why I think it’s a revolutionary new paint line here. If you have a piece of furniture that you want to paint, I am highly recommending Velvet Finishes because its so easy and the finish is probably the prettiest finish I have ever seen! I can’t wait to try some new techniques with this line and see what all it can do and I see so many endless possibilities. Stay-tuned to follow along and learn as I go!
*** FYI- You do not need to use a paint extender with Velvet Finishes. The brush marks disappear with this paint and it self levels!
5) 3M Sanding Sponge
I have used the 3M Sanding Sponge for years and it makes roughing up a furniture piece so easy and it saves so much more time than regular sand paper. I always use the finest grit and can rough up a piece or sand primer in less than 10 minutes with this and never see sanding lines. It’s just so much easier and they last so much longer than regular sandpaper. You guys will LOVE them! You can pick them up at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
I hope this little list of products and sources helps you out as much as it’s helped me. If you have a favorite paint product or source, I would love for you to share it in the comment section. I know so many of you are veteran painters and have products that are your holy grail as well! I would love to hear!
Thanks for stopping by with me today.