All posts by Bryan Heming

Choosing the Sheen

Paint sheen can be a confusing topic and we are often asked “Which sheen should I use?” Sheen is, simply put, how shiny a paint is. The higher the sheen, the more shiny a paint. Sheen also affects a paint’s durability and longevity, as well as its performance when being applied.

Low sheen paints will hide many surface imperfections and is generally easier to apply. Brush and roller strokes will be harder to see, and damaged surfaces or old paint is easier to cover. However, a lower sheen paint is usually less durable, easier to damage, and can be very difficult to clean.

In contrast, high sheen paints are more durable. A higher sheen will be more resistant to moisture damage, small bumps and scuffs. However, a higher sheen paint can be difficult to apply.  Brush and roller textures can be visible and the paint may require more coats to get the perfect finished appearance.

Sheen from flattest to glossiest:


  • Flat
  • Matte

Most commonly used for ceiling paints, to avoid drawing the attention upwards. Also good for low traffic rooms and covering mistakes.


  • Low Lustre
  • Eggshell
  • Pearl
  • Satin

Eggshell is the most popular middle sheen for walls. Eggshell generally strikes a good balance between the durability and  cleaning of a high gloss paint with the coverage and easy application of low gloss paints. The sheen varies between products and companies. Satin tends to be used for doors, trim, and cabinetry.


  • Semi-Gloss
  • High-Gloss

High glosses are best used for high use areas with difficult conditions such as higher humidity. Glosses are easier to clean, more resistant to moisture and direct abuse like touching and scuffs. These are best on cabinetry, trim, doors, bathrooms and kitchens.

There are not hard rules about applications for paint sheen, in fact, several Benjamin Moore products are specially engineered to have low sheens but high durabilty, such as the Aura: Bath and Spa (534) a Matte paint specially engineered to be mildew resistant as well as Waterborne Ceiling Paint (508) which is specially Ultra Flat, and others like these.

Please feel free to stop by your local Mallory Paint Store and check out our different sheen displays and get expert advice to help you get a better idea what will work best in your home.

Last Minute Painting

As family arrives in droves, December can become a chaotic battlefield. As we move between shopping, family gatherings, long term guests, and the surprises of the holiday season, getting a room ready for family can feel stressful. Whether you only have a few days to prepare, or, a few hours, Benjamin Moore is here to help you get your room ready for guests.

When you absolutely must have a room ready to use same-day, look to Natura® (513) and Ben® (W626). Natura® is a Benjamin Moore’s Zero-VOC, zero allergens, and zero smell paint line. It is self priming on most surfaces, and splatter resistant. Its to-touch dry time is 30 minutes, and it can be re coated after just an hour.

For a more budget focused repaint, we also have Ben®, an outstanding easy to apply paint. It has high hide and self priming for most surfaces. With very low smell, and a dry time of 2 hours and can be recoated in just 4 hours, you can have a room ready for your family same-day.

Maybe the family room chair has scuffed your paint, or, the family dog has a favorite back-rubbing spot that has left the paint greasy. A youngster and a box of markers might leave your walls needing a quick fix, or, simply a kitchen accident has left permanent evidence… We here at Mallory Paint have the tools to fix these emergencies before guests arrive! Why not avoid the embarrassment of  damaged paint and invite compliments for a new beautiful winter-themed family room!

Color Trends for 2017

bmc_coty_article_03_sunsetlight_desktopEach year, Benjamin Moore produces a catalog to define the year. Last year, 2016, it was Simply White (OC-117). It brought with it a simplicity and clarity. The defining color of 2017 is Shadow (2117-30). Color Trends 2017 is defined by the adaptability of Shadow, and its complimentary colors.

For 2017, Shadow is a color of ambiance, enigmatic and allusive, its hues adapt and change with its environment and lighting. From soft velvet purples to smokey charcoal, the Color Trends of 2017 use Shadow as an accent, seeking to evoke a longing for colors gone.

bmc_coty_article_02_afternoonlight_desktopCome by your local Mallory Paint Store to talk with our Color Experts for samples and advice on using the 2017 Color Trends. Bring a complexity to your bedroom with Shadow, one that shifts from calm cool mornings to complicated and evocative evenings, with this year’s Color Trend.

Paint Samplers

Color chips are good for comparing and contrasting different color combinations for projects, but nothing beats the actual color on the wall. Benjamin Moore has several options for those projects that need a careful touch to see how the light will affect the walls.

Color Samples are a pint of eggshell sheen waterborne paint,  able to be tinted to almost any color available in our catalog.  This sample can cover a space of 8′ x 8′ with two coats and dries quickly.

Aura Eggshell is also available in pint size, allowing even Color Stories, the Aura exclusive color palette, to be easily sampled and tested.

Arborcoat Stain also comes in pints, available in several samples, from solid to semi-translucent. These samples can be tinted to any of the Arborcoat colors as well.

Our Color Experts at your local Mallory Paint Store can help be sure you get a good selection of paint chips and color samples to remove the stress of picking the perfect color.

Tools for a New Paint Project

The ramp up for first time painting projects can be difficult. After finally choosing the perfect paint product, color, sheen and quantity, it can be difficult to remember everything you will need to actually apply the paint!

20160711_105951Here is a short and simple list of what you might need and why:

  1. 2″ to 4″ Angled Sash “All Purpose” Brush – As we’ve discussed before, modern brushes (poly/nylon) will handle just about anything you will paint with. 2″-4″ sized brushes have good coverage for edges and hold enough paint so you don’t have to keep going back to the bucket often.
  2. 4″ to 9″ Roller Covers and Roller Frame – For a wall, a thicker nap on a roller is good at holding a large amount of paint. Larger rollers may have trouble fitting into buckets/trays. Try to buy your rollers and trays/buckets together!
  3. Bucket + Bucket Grid or Tray – New painters usually don’t consider buying a bucket and grid for their projects, relying on trays to get the job done. When painting a large area, like a living room, a 2-3 gallon bucket with a lid and a bucket grid can eliminate a common mess: Refilling and pushing around those light plastic trays.
  4. Drop cloth – There is a wide variety of protective covers that might fit your project. From cloth tarps, or just a roll of paper, protecting your floor from drips is easy.
  5. Tape – Try to pick up painter’s tapes instead of just masking tape. Painter’s tapes have weaker adhesive that doesn’t leave a mess when removed. They also tend to be resistant to bleeding.
  6. Small Disposable Brushes – As a last ticket item, small inexpensive brushes can be a life saver and time saver, for quick touch-up work. It’s often easier to just use a foam brush and throw it away, then to have to clean a larger more expensive brush!
  7. Paint Stir Sticks and Paint Can Openers – We will be happy to give you stir sticks! Just ask if you need more!

Our friendly staff at Mallory Paint Store can help you out with tips and tricks for your projects, and guide you through the different tools your specific project might need.

Color Matching

The most common type of color matching is done using a spectrometer, which reads the different wavelengths in a color. For many companies, this is the beginning and end of their color matching: A computer’s eye that tries to pick a color from their system that is as close to the target as possible. This type of matching is superficial, and loses depth and tone of the color.  You cannot use paint produced this way to touch-up damage, the two colors will be visibly different.

Mallory Paint Store’s color experts do not simply find a ‘similar’ color. The color matching process is an intensive step by step processes, with a spectrometer only representing the first step in matching.

Our color matching process takes in several color formulas from similar colors and compares them to find a starting mix point. Once our color experts have found a formula they like, they begin adjusting the color drop by drop, mixing and remixing the paint. Each phase adjusts the color.

Each phase, our color experts will carefully observe their formula in multiple light sources, exterior and interior. This allows them to have a comprehensive view of your color, allowing the experts to adjust down to the smallest hues.

Darker, brighter, more blue, less blue. With a strong understanding of how colors interact the color experts will eventually find a perfect match – in any Benjamin Moore product! Whether its copying your favorite pillow, or producing true touch-up quality matching.


Painting a Floor

Refinishing a floor isn’t always feasible. The floor could be concrete or laminate, the wood could be too poor of quality, or its simply cost prohibitive. Painting a floor is a cost effective way to spruce up a difficult room, covering up mistakes, stains, or an ugly floor. The difference between painting a floor and a wall starts by understanding that a floor needs to be far more resistant to damage. This means additional prep work and a special final coat of clear polyurethane.

Painting a floor requires extra time, as the paint must be given plenty of time to dry before additional steps are taken!

1) Preparation- Preparing a floor starts with a thorough cleaning. Sweep and mop the floor vigorously, especially in the edges and corners. After cleaning, the floor should be sanded. Ideally, the entire space that will be painted should be sanded, to better help the primer to adhere to the surface.

2) Prime the Surface- Pick a primer appropriate to your flooring. Allow ample time for the primer to ‘set’. Priming a floor is essential to a lasting and durable coat.

3) Paint the Surface- Painting a floor should be done in at least two full coats of paint, allowing time for each coat to dry before starting again. Coats should be done in smooth thin layers, with no drips or unevenness. Smooth with a roller or take extra care with a brush or the floor will develop an uneven surface.

4) Polyurethane Coat- Once ample time has been allowed for the surface to dry, we seal the paint with a durable polyurethane finish. Clear polyurethane finish is essential to the long life of the floor. One or two coats will give you a long lasting and durable surface.

When choosing the right paints and primers, its important to read the can! Be sure that they match your floor, and as always, your friendly Paint Experts at Mallory Paint Store will be happy to give you advice on which products and tools you need to be sure your project goes smoothly!

Painting with Designs and Stencils

Using a stencil for a project will be a lot more work then just a simple paint job. We’re here to give you a few tips about how to choose, prepare, and use stencils for your household projects.

Whether you are buying a design or creating your own, its important to choose the right kind of material. A thin plastic or construction paper may work for small projects like stepping stones or furniture, but adding a design to a child’s wall will require a durable and slightly thick material, a rigid plastic, a laminated paper, or a wood stencil. Heavier wall paint may bleed through light or fragile materials, and thick brushes may simply damage or destroy them.

When preparing to use a stencil, take into consideration the size of the stencil, how much white space it has on the sides, and how many times you’ll need to move it to paint the wall. If your stencil is big, use painter’s tape to hold it in place on the wall.

When painting over an existing color, you should probably prime it. Even if you’re using a similar color to the already existing color, a darker blue on a light blue, priming will make sure that the color is vibrant and there is limited paint bleeding or color bleeding. When using a different color, always prime the area.

Take care how much paint your use on the edges of your stencils, when moving and remove the stencil from the wall as cleanly as possible. Nothing would be worse then carrying a drop of paint to new parts of the wall, ruining a unique design!