Category Archives: DIY

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!

Starting a Large Painting Project?

When using more than one can of paint for a particular job, “boxing” paint ensures color consistency.

Boxing paint is the process of combining all the paint you will be using into one large container. This is especially important when painting a large surface area, such as a home’s exterior, where even a slight color variation from one can of paint to another is markedly visible.

For most interior jobs, an empty 5-gallon container works fine. To use the paint boxing technique, simply pour all cans of the same color paint into the large container, and stir to combine. Whether you are mixing 2 or 20 gallons of paint together, the key is to make sure all the paint is combined to ensure a single, uniform color. Once the paint is combined, you can pour it into a smaller can or paint tray for ease of application.

Be sure to talk about your project with our paint experts at Mallory Paint Store, we can help ensure your paint color is consistent and ready to apply!


Spring Painting

Warm weather is returning and with it comes a buzz of activity! Spring cleaning is in full swing, and with it, repainting! Its time to match the flowers in color, and work like busy bees.

Now that we’re out of winter we start to finally see dry days. For spring painting, its best to start earlier, before plants begin to really pollinate. Exterior painting should be cleaned thoroughly as trees and flowers will soon release particulate that will make painting difficult.

Spring’s colors are shades of blue, bright yellows, pinks, and all kind of green. Life is bouncing back from winter and exploding into activity. Trees are getting new leaves, flowers are blooming, and the whole world comes alive anew. Spring’s colors bring a bright new energy to the home, verdant and excited.

Its the best time of the year to start painting! Your local Mallory Paint Store is waiting, and our color experts are ready to help make your home into a field of colorful flowers or a wild green forest!

Painting Exterior Furniture Early

Getting ready to spruce up your outdoor furniture? With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add that touch of vibrant color to your life. Maybe its time to start capitalizing on the bright sun or you just want to turn over a new leaf with the seasons. Although the pacific northwest sees plenty of rainfall this time of year, it doesn’t have to be a barrier to your projects.

Benjamin Moore features several types of exterior paint, tailored to your specific situations, such as Aura® and Arborcoat®, which are designed to be durable above all else. Some types of paint will be more resistant to Washington’s weather, drying quicker and being more tolerant to sudden changes in temperature and weather. However, rain should always be watched for.

Preparing a space indoors is easy, and helps to skip Washington’s weather. Any room can be a painting studio temporarily. Make sure to clear enough space for not just your project, but you as well. Pets tend to ignore any sort of rules or warnings, so make sure the space can be properly gated off or closed up to prevent animals and day to day traffic from damaging the paint while it sets.

If working indoors, the importance of protecting your work space can’t be understated. Drop cloths or tarps should be laid out to catch drops of paint or flecks while working. If you’re working in a tighter space, be zealous with covering furniture nearby with extra tarps. Painters tape should be used to hold down the drop cloth, and, if you are using multiple cloths together, you should overlap the tarps and tape them together.

We’ve talked before about the steps to clean up and revitalize your outdoor furniture, but we’ll give a brief recap:

  • Vigorously clean the areas you will paint
  • Sandpaper down any loose or peeling paint
  • Prime the surface with outdoor primer to help long term durability.
  • Most paints only require one coat
  • Allow your paint time to dry, or cure completely. Refer to directions on the paint can or ask for help

Your local Mallory Paint Store Color Experts will be able to give you all the help you need picking the right paint for your project, and being sure you don’t leave without every tool you need to prevent accidents and complete your project!

Painting Furniture

Painting furniture is a great way to reuse and invigorate older or unattractive pieces in your home. All painting projects require preparation and cleaning, but you should expect preparation for furniture to be the hardest step.

1) Rough Sanding – Use a medium-grit sandpaper to roughly polish the surface as furniture may have residue polish or wax and other production-related chemicals as well as grime from regular use.

2) Repairing – Any existing damage to the furniture, such as cracks, joints that have expanded, or nail holes should be filled in with a wood-patching compound.

3) Fine Sanding – Using a light-grit sandpaper, smooth the surface around bare wood you intend to paint, and areas still bearing furniture finishes used.

4) Priming – Prime all areas you intend to paint. If you are painting over already existing paint, you may not need to prime, but, bare wood should always be primed. This will prevent the wood from soaking moisture from the paint and causing an uneven or damaged coat.

5) Painting – Choosing the right paint for the surface is important, and, recognizing if you are painting something that will be decorative or functional. If your looking to make extensive use, a protective-gloss or semi-gloss finish will ensure your furniture lasts through wear and tear. Painting furniture is straight forward – paint large areas first, and, start with a corner working your way across. Paint the edges separately and with care to avoid accidents.

Fall Painting

The hot days have finally passed, giving back the rainy days. We’ve still got a few days left of warm dry weather as summer ends and fall begins. We’re coming up to the holiday season and we can look forward to Halloween.

As fall begins, it’s important to be sure to check the weather for outdoor painting projects. Extra water can greatly damage a drying coat of paint, so it’s important to keep an eye on both humidity and the week’s forecast. Also keep in mind that fall brings debris that can disrupt any new painting projects. There are lots of different particulates that build up on our houses, such as falling or decaying leaves, summer pollen, and even dust or dirt kicked up in wind. Be sure to clean thoroughly before starting any exterior repaint!

Fall’s colors are yellows, reds, oranges, and browns. As the trees turn colors in preparation for winter, we can help your home stay in tune with the seasons. Autumn colors lead to a warm, rich atmosphere in the home and the colors are associated with harvests, change, and nature.

Mallory Paint Store’s color experts are here to meet your needs for this fall. If you happen to see the perfect color for your living room in the falling leaves, don’t be afraid to bring it in and share it. Let us color match it and bring your fall dreams to life!

DIY Hiring a Professional Painter

Ready to refresh or update your home?  Using a professional painting contractor can help make your vision a reality.

dresser and chairA professional painting contractor can help achieve the look you want without having the additional investment in equipment and supplies needed to do the job right.  Hiring the right professional can make your home painting project go smoothly with less stress.  But it is important to hire the right painter for your project.

Here are some important guidelines for finding a high quality painting contractor:


Probably the most reliable way to find a high quality painting contractor is to use referrals from friends or neighbors who have recent good experiences with painting contractors in your area. You can also get referrals from your local Mallory Paint Store.

Get Estimates from at Least Three Contractors

When you receive contractor estimates, ask the contractor to include specific information about what will be done for the painting project.  This will help determine the value differences if you receive widely differing estimates.

Interview Potential Contractors

Consider asking the following questions:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have a current Washington State contractor’s license? (Homeowners can verify the contractor’s license on line.)
  • Is the contractor bonded and insured? (This helps determine whether your contractor and any hired workers are insured for injury and liability.)
  • Are you a member of any national or local painting contractors’ associations?
  • Will you subcontract this project or perform it yourself?
  • Can you provide references?
  • What kind of written guarantees do you provide with your work?
  • What products do you use?

Walk-Through the Project Area

Take each potential contractor on a walk-through to view the areas (indoor or outdoor) to be painted while discussing the work you would like to have completed.  Be specific about which surfaces you want to have painted (walls, trims, moldings, ceilings, etc.) and the paint colors and finishes you want used.  Stop by your local Mallory Paint Store for help with color combinations.

Finding a Professional Work Style

Part of hiring a high quality painting contractor includes ensuring professional work habits:

  • Does the painting contractor talk about your project in a professional way?
  • Is the contractor courteous?
  • Is the contractor busy? (Good ones usually are.)
  • Does the contractor return your phone calls and provide estimates in a timely manner?
  • Is the contractor on time for appointments?

Check References

Ask for references and when talking to references, ask about timeliness, quality of outcome and also how the contractor treated their home. If possible, visit references to evaluate the painter’s work in person and to see how well it has held up over time.

Review the Contract

Once you’ve settled on a contractor, ask for a written contract and review it carefully. As a consumer, you have the right to ask detailed questions about any issues you need clarified. In particular, be sure to verify the following:

  • What exactly is being painted (house, trim, walls, molding, etc.)
  • Details on preparation and cleanup
  • Paint colors for each area to be painted
  • How the contractor will protect your plants, patios, furniture, or other items
  • How much time the project will take, from start to finish
  • When and how the contractor will be paid

With these guidelines, you’ll be ready to hire the right painting contractor for your home painting project.

DIY Painting an Exterior Surface

Last time, we talked about preparing an exterior wall for painting. Remember that in order for your paint to dry properly and be long lasting, its imperative to thoroughly clean and prime the surface you intend to paint. Avoid painting after a rainy or foggy day, or when the temperature is too low. Its also important to read up on the differences between exterior and interior paint. Your local Mallory Paint Store can help you figure out how much paint you need. For an exterior coat, its almost always best to do two coats of paint. This well ensure the paint is longer lasting, richer, and more complete in its coverage.

Again, we will repeat that to ensure the highest quality workmanship, a painting professional should be hired, especially for larger jobs like a complete exterior repaint.


  • Paint – Measure the area of the painting project: Length * Width * Height = Area. A paint can will say its effective coverage area, but remember, you need to do a double coat, so divide that area in half and compare to your project’s needs.
  • Drop Cloths
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Step Ladders/Ladders
  • Paint Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Buckets

For setting up, ensure that the area around your workspace is covered with drop clothes, including plants, air conditioners nearby, etc. Ensure painters tape is in place to protect any windows or areas that should not be painted.

  • Hand painting the exterior should be done quickly.
  • For best coverage, ensure there is ample paint on the brush, dipping it at halfway into the can. (Tap to avoid excess paint instead of wiping on the edge of the can)
  • Feather the brush by gently starting and allowing the brush bristles to spread out before beginning the stroke. Start new strokes at the end of the previous stroke.
  • Reapply paint to your brush or roller frequently to prevent thin patches.

Remember, your local Mallory Paint Store has tools and painting experts who can give advice and tips for your specific project!

DIY Preparing an Exterior Wall

I’d like to preface this DIY series by saying that a complete exterior repaint of a house is time intensive and tool intensive. There are many tools out there that can help speed up the process, but may not be feasible for a simple home project. Your local Mallory Paint Stores are a good place to go to find painting professionals with good recommendations who have everything needed to get the job done right. Many painting contractors and specialists have been featured on our website!


  • Sandpaper
  • Wire Brush/Scraper
  • Bucket and Sponge
  • Caulk and Putty Knife
  • Exterior Cleaning Agent
  • Drop Cloth

Preparing an exterior wall requires extensive cleaning. As it has been exposed to the elements, it can be very difficult to gauge how much cleaning is necessary. A garden hose with a good nozzle can be an adequate pressure wash for a house, being sure to control how strong the stream is. Use a cleaning agent to go over the surface to remove any dirt that may have accumulated.

Any mildew or mold should be removed, and the area should be cleaned carefully with a 1 part bleach and 3 parts water and then rinsed off thoroughly afterwards.

Observe the project area for any cracks, blistered paint, or worn thin paint areas. Use the wirebrush or paint scraper to remove all affected paint as thoroughly as possible. Sandpaper the areas thoroughly. Clean all areas around the surface you intend to paint as well, gutters, downspouts, or eaves around the area.

All problem areas (mildew, damaged paint, exposed wood) should receive a coat of primer.

Putty and caulk should be used to fill in any imperfections or surface damage that has formed. Nail head depressions and cracks should be filled and carefully leveled. Old or damaged caulk should be removed, the area should receive a coat of primer, and new caulk applied to ensure proper adhesion.

Summer Painting Ideas

With June ending we’ve reached the midpoint for summer. With summer at its peak, it’s the best time to get outside. It’s time again for Mallory Paint to share some summer painting ideas!

With 4th of July just a week away, it would be a good time to get out and touch up paint on outdoors furniture. If you are looking to add some seasonal feel to your painting projects, remember that summer’s colors are yellows, oranges, pinks, and reds! Warm colors and off shades can add some intensity to a room’s life, and bring new energy to a yard.

It’s not all about painting chairs and tables for outside ideas. If you are looking for a family project, don’t forget our previous article on stepping stones. Let each member of your family express themselves and leave a mark on your home! Make use of Chalkboard Paint and refurbish a table into a creative space outside!

Starting a new painting project outdoors in western Washington brings several challenges to be aware of. Our summers are fairly mild compared to other states, but our rainfall is something to plan for. If your project is going to be outdoors for long periods of time, like deck chairs or tables, or a shed, you will need to use primer for your painting projects. We want to protect our work from the rain of the Northwest and leave a lasting expression!