Favorite Paint Products and Sources {Paint It Monday}

Favorite Paint Products and Sources {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange


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


XIM Latex Extender.  Best paint extender on the market and if you add a capfull to your paint, it eliminates brush marks and extends drying time. {The Creativity Exchange} Paint It Monday


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):


XIM Latex Extender.  Best paint extender on the market and if you add a capfull to your paint, it eliminates brush marks and extends drying time. {The Creativity Exchange} Paint It Monday

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:


Painting Tips


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:


Source: Sherwin Williams

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.

Jeff Lewis Color from Dunn Edwards also has a great quick chart on their site here for quick estimates that I like as well:

Chart showing how much paint you need for painting a room {Jeff Lewis Paints}

Source: Jeff Lewis Paints


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

Purdy paint brushes.  Favorite paint brushes {The Creativity Exchange} Paint It Monday


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

Purdy Paint Brushes are the best paint brushes on the market {The Creativity Exchange} Paint It Monday

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:


Chart showing which paint brush to use for a specific paint job. {The Creativity Exchange}

Source: Purdy

4) Scotch Blue with Edge- Lock Painters Tape

Scotch Blue Painters Tape with Edge-Lock {The Creativity Exchange}

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:

Velvet Finishes- Favorite Furniture Paint Line {The Creativity Exchange}

Source: Velvet Finishes


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:


Bookshelf painted with Velvet Finishes. A new paint line for furniture. Tutorial from The Creativity Exchange


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 

3M  Sanding Sponge- The best for paint projects {The Creativity Exchange}

Source: 3M


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.



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17 Responses to Favorite Paint Products and Sources {Paint It Monday}

  1. Lisa Carll says:

    I want to paint my kitchen cabinets white. Did you use an oil base paint for the fabulous finish on yours?

  2. A Coburn says:

    Do you have a finishing product that you recommend? This is the part I always struggle with myself. Getting a nice protective finish for furniture is hard! I’ve tried brush on, spray on, rub on poly and none have ever been perfect.

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes, I have a favorite right now that I use and its Min-wax polycrylic and it doesn’t yellow. What I do is use the finest grit sanding sponge and ever so lightly take the edge off the top coat to get it even and pretty after it dries. Hope that helps!

  3. debbie says:

    This is fantastic and very helpful info. Thank you so much for sharing. I always look so forward to your blog. I have learned so much from you.

    Take care

  4. Cyndy you are speaking my language! I love reading about painting products that work for others. I am in total agreement about Purdy brushes (one good 2″ or 2.5″ angled brush is a must for anyone) and I am DYING to use the Velvet brand of paint since you posted about it recently. I will have to look into this extender – I haven’t seen that brand yet. I also always keep razor blades in my paint tool kit – a fresh blade is great for scraping dried paint off windows or floors, cutting painters tape perfectly straight when need be, and a million other little uses.

  5. Kimberly says:

    Cyndy, I look to you, out of all the blogs I follows, as the “paint expert.” Thank you for this information, it is extremely helpful. I just got a package of Frog Tape, and you are the first person to say that the Scotch blue Edge Lock is a superior product – everyone seems beholden to Frog Tape and go on and on about how wonderful it is, which is of course why I bought my roll!

    I am interested to know if you’ve tried any of the other boutique paint lines for furniture, such as Annie Sloan, CeCe Caldwell, Kathy van Gogh, or any of the other chalk and/or clay based paints, and if so, what your opinion of them is? I purchased a bunch of Annie Sloan sample pots, but haven’t gotten around to painting with them, and am now interested in possibly using the Velvet Finishes to re-do my bedroom set.

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh Kimberly, your note just made my day! You are so kind and I’m thrilled to hear that my crazy obsession with paint has helped you! Thank you so much girl! Oh yes, I have tried probably every boutique line of paint on the market and I have never been overly thrilled. Most of those chalky paint lines are just something I can reproduce at home and its still not really a great finish. I have always felt that what I was looking for in a paint finish did not exist on the market. I could get close to the finish by spending hours layering, buffing, layering and it still wasn’t extraordinary.

      When Kellie sent me the Velvet Finishes line to try, I couldn’t believe the finish. It’s so unique that it is hard for me to truly describe. It’s not a chalky paint but it has a very subtle chalky feel and its not similar to a conventional paint either. It is a very highly pigmented paint that is thick but even after 2-3 layers, it still feels thin. I just finished a hot pink piece for my daughter and because I was painting Glamorous (Velvet Finishes hot pink) over a white dresser, naturally it took 4-5 coats because of the pigmentation. It was like butter when I was done. Had I done 4-5 layers with benjamin moore paint, I would have a thick mess with layers of ugly brush strokes. With Velvet Finishes, the brush strokes disappear and it looked like one coat!

      Velvet Finishes is truly revolutionary and I am so excited that she developed it because I think its exactly what we need. I would highly recommend it for your bedroom set because you will not believe this finish girl! Please keep me posted and I would love for you to send me pics and feature! Thanks so much again for your kind note!!

  6. Staci Roe says:

    Do you have recommendations for painting steel/metal front doors?

  7. Joyce says:

    Love reading “Paint it Monday”…always great tips and inspiration! What would you suggest for painting the chrome legs on a butcher block kitchen table. I really dislike the chrome look! Thanks!

  8. Mary SC says:

    Hi Cyndy,
    I am loving my flat finished walls that you encouraged me to move forward on. I had my trim painted fresh white and my wooden railings stained darker. So much better!
    Now I need to repaint my kitchen table top (which I had already changed from white and maple to back and crackled top)and chair seats. The color just doesn’t go now. I’m thinking of keeping the black legs and chair backs and wanted to use the Velvet Finishes paint for the top and seats but the color I want (grey/turquoise) is not in their line up. I could mix them…..or go with another paint and the extender. Do you think they would both be durable enough? And would any other paint do? Thanks for your advice!

    • Cyndy says:

      I knew you would Mary! So glad that you emailed me first before you changed your mind! Makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? Yes, you can certainly mix and I have mixed the Velvet Finishes colors on three different projects and they mix beautifully. If you email me a picture of the color you are looking for, I can forward to Velvet Finishes and get a paint ratio for you to mix just the right color! I hope that helps and you will just love this paint!

  9. Lorraine says:

    Where is Velvet Finishes sold?

  10. June says:

    Hi there! I found your site and I’m in love!

    I’ve been a DIY-er for a few years and have slowly become braver and braver. I’ve redone the bathroom cabinets and am ready to move onto the kitchen. I have tile that I’m not thrilled about. Is there any paint and/or technique that I can use to transform my builders grade white porcelain tiles? They’re in good shape so I hate the idea of ripping them out.

    Although, with your site and help, I think I’ve found that I have more options that may help bump up the appeal of the tile I currently have. 🙂

  11. jodi says:

    I am new to your blog TONIGHT and so excited that I found it. It is so informative and I LOVE painting walls and furniture. I have never painted a kitchen table before and I am having some trouble picking the right kind of paint. What do you recommend for a nice smooth finish that is durable enough for a table? Thank you so much. I may be up half the night reading your blog now.

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