Category Archives: DIY

Talking Paint: Fresh Start Primers

With summer underway, the weather is perfect for small projects, like repairing damaged or stained paint. Last time we talked about the composition of primer and the reasons behind it. This week we are going to talk about the Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primers. The Fresh Start Primer line is focused on ensuring ease of use and flexibility for whatever project you’re working on.

The Fresh Start line is focused on ensuring that old paint is hidden well. By coating the old surface, it creates a new layer that allows paint to bind thoroughly and prevents bleed over, peeling, and general damage from painting directly over an old coat. The Multi-Purpose Latex Primer(N23) is noted for its fast drying speed and low odor/VOCs and is great for most interior painting projects, alongside  Multi-Purpose Oil Based Primer(024) which adheres to most surfaces, including acrylic and latex based paints.

For the tougher stains, or more dramatic color changes, Benjamin Moore High-Hiding All Purpose Primer(046) you can protect from bleed through and ensure that our new colors don’t have an unusual mixture with your old coat.

You can find the Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer line at your local Mallory Paint Store. Talk to our friendly Paint Experts, and they can help you find the right primer for your project this summer.


DIY Understanding Primer

Recently, we talked about the make-up and use of Interior and Exterior paint. Now, we move on to talking about primer, or the undercoat. The primary purpose for primer is fairly simple, it is to make it easier for paint to bond to surfaces. A more accurate description is that primer uses superior bonding agents to hold onto different surfaces, such as plastic, metal, or wood. Once dried, primer allows paints much easier bonding, so the paint goes on smoother and last longer. In some cases primer is also important to protect materials from the elements, such as wood.

Primers are composed of similar components to paint, only engineered for a different purpose.

  • Binders are the parts of primer and paint which bond to the materials. These remain when solvents evaporate, creating a lasting strong bond between the material and the primer.
  • Solvents are the chemicals which evaporate when they contact air. The process of drying is the chemical reaction that we can smell when paint is opened to air. Oxygen is reacting with the solvents and becoming a gas, leaving behind the other components.
  • Additives  show up again. Additives affect the overall nature of the primer, and can affect which surfaces it adheres to and what sorts of paint will bind with it.

Primers are equally as complicated as the paint we use. They are highly specialized in their roles, from protecting wood from moisture both in the paint and from the environment to forming bonds on difficult to adhere things like plastic.


DIY How to Paint Over Water Damage

The Pacific Northwest is wet, and wind is windy. Winter has left and one of the major rainy seasons has gone with it. But, with lots of rain is one of the facts of the Northwest. Water damage. This is a common concern, and it can lead to a lot of stress over how to take care of the mess. Today’s paint talk is focused on the simple steps to paint over a water damaged wall.

The first important step is to NOT paint over the spot without preparation. Water damage can stain new paint, even if the wall itself is dry.


Start by observing the wall for any sort of mold or rot. Sand the area with a fine grain sand paper to remove small chipped paint and growth. If there is any sort of mold or smell to the area, it should be gently cleaned with a water-bleach solution. Take care with this step to ensure a thorough cleaning.


It’s important to prime the location to help the paint stick and to create a barrier between the damaged area and the new fresh paint. Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start® Premium Primers will help ensure that you have a proper foundation for new paint. They come in both in-door and out-door specialties, and low VOC variants are also available. Gently feather the primer out to the undamaged paint to avoid an uneven or raised area.


Make sure to consult with our Mallory Paint Store’s Color Experts to find the exact match and simply apply an even coat of paint.

Talking Paint: Chalkboard

With spring well under way and summer just around the corner, it’s the best time of the year to start new home projects. Not every painting project is to clean up old furniture. This week, we are going to talk about the Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint (308). This eco-friendly paint can give your spring and summer a wave of creativity and convenience.

IA_chalkboard_pink_table_540x395Chalkboard Paint can really open up a new world of easy to clean art and note keeping for a home. Why not change a wall into a center for artistic expression for children? How fun would it be to tell them that they CAN write on the wall? A whole room could be converted into the best playroom imaginable, with every surface open for creativity. Or, maybe a kitchen needs a new calendar. Paint a permanent chalkboard where the calendar used to sit, and make the days and dates your own for this spring!

But, don’t limit yourself to just the walls. An old damaged table can be cleaned up and made inIA_int_chalkboard_list_540x395to a new drawing pad. Convert cabinet doors into a To-Do List, or a shopping list. Chalkboard Paint creates re-useable surfaces that can adapt to your needs. Maybe frequently re-used storage boxes need labels that can just as easily change with that unique flair that a chalkboard can bring!

For best results with Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint, make sure to thoroughly clean the area before you apply the paint. Some surfaces require priming. This paint is best to let cure for at least three days. It’s highly recommended that you use wet clothes to clean the chalk off, rather than a normal chalkboard eraser. Come to a Mallory Paint Store near you to find this unique way to make your home artistic, and leave a unique impression on guests!

DIY Choosing Brush Shape

Once you’ve chosen the type of paintbrush that is best suited to your project, you may want to choose different brush shapes for the bristles to help paint more precisely and help avoid other surfaces.

  • The most common sizes for brushes vary from 1” to 4”. A small brush is more precise and easier to use in tight corners and fine edges, while broad brushes are useful for flat surfaces.
  • Square Trim brushes are good brushes for painting large areas. The bristles will be cut into a flat rectangular shape and the shape naturally holds the most paint.
  • Chisel Trim brushes have a flat and narrow head, much like a chisel. This is an ideal brush for painting accurate straight lines and edges.
  • Angled Trim brushes have their bristles cut to form a slope. The shape makes it easier to paint unusual angles with the brush, such as window edges or ceilings corners.
  • Rollers are designed to paint large areas very quickly while brushes are better suited to painting details and edges. Some painters prefer to use only a brush for painting projects due to the natural ‘roughness’ that a paintbrush creates.

Many different variations on these three shapes are available. For example, a combination of an angled and chiseled brush shape will work best when painting a straight line that should be very accurate or for painting hard to reach corners.

The best part about choosing a brush is that you have a lot of flexibility and the choice of a paintbrush shape is not going to make or break a project. It’s easy to experiment with the shapes of brushes to see what works best for you!

DIY Choosing the Right Paint Brush

red painted living roomHaving the right tools are important for getting the best results from your paint project. We’ve talked about the different types of paints in Exterior and Interior Pain and now we can talk about different paintbrushes and when to use them. Paintbrushes can be made using different kinds of materials with different benefits for using them. We will be talking about two different types of brushes here:

  • Natural – Animal Hair brushes are used for oil based paints, primers, and varnishes. Softness and stiffness vary between brushes based on the kinds of hair or bristles chosen. The hairs natural flagging (split ends) hold more paint and ensure a smooth coat is applied. These paintbrushes should NOT be used with water-thinned paint as the bristles can absorb the water and become permanently damaged.
  • Synthetic – Polyester, and Polyester-Nylon are common synthetic paintbrushes. These brushes are great for ‘water-thinned’ paint. These brushes are easy to clean, and with care they last for a long time.
    • Polyester – These brushes provide a very smooth finish and are very easy to clean.
    • Nylon – These are long lasting brushes with very stiff filaments, well suited for painting rough surfaces.
    • Poly/Nylon Blends – These are the most common paintbrushes on the market due to the high level of flexibility between softness and stiffness as well as ease of cleaning.

Choosing the right paintbrush for your paint project is easy.  Just follow these easy suggestions: Stiffer brushes are good for thicker paint or rough surfaces while softer brushes are good for thin paint, fine finishes, and delicate work. There is a happy medium between the stiff and soft paintbrush types for every project.  You can also talk to our Paint Experts at your local Mallory Paint Store to get the best brush for your project.

DIY Understanding Exterior and Interior Paint

New painters frequently ask if Exterior and Interior paint are interchangeable, more durable, or in some way superior to each other. The short answer is that the differences between Exterior and Interior paint are formulated to resist different conditions and potential problems. Exterior paints will resist mildew and intense changes in temperature as well as moisture. Interior paints will be more resistant to physical damage such as nicks and finger prints and allow cleaning.

To explore this question more deeply we look at the four components of paint:

  • Binders are the portion of paint that forms a film layer and gives the paint adhesion to a surface.
  • Solvents are the wet portion of paint allowing it to stay spreadable.  The solvents will begin a process of curing or evaporating when they meet air. This is the Volatile Organic Chemical (VOC) portion of the paint.
  • Pigments are primarily the colored portion of a paint but they are also a key component in the texture and durability of a paint as well as providing the fade resistance.
  • Additives are a wide category of paint components added to  change a specific property of the paint. They may help support pigment, change paint wetness, ease of application, final paint texture, adhesion, as well as many other parts of the paint.

Formulating paint for each unique application is a difficult task. Benjamin Moore is dedicated to ensuring that a paint will perform at its absolute best, but it is important to be aware of how different paints are specialized. Each paint component plays a critical role in ensuring the final quality and appearance of your paint project. Exterior Paints will not be designed for the challenges of the interior of a home and will use more solvents and different binding agents meant for the challenges of rain and sun. Interior paints are designed to cure faster, and have less chemicals that interfere with day to day life while still remaining more durable.

If you have any questions about your specific paint needs, talk to the paint experts at Mallory Paint Store.

DIY Odorless (Non-VOC) Paint

dresser and chairWith Holidays ahead, there may be a last minute rush to finish up home decorating projects including repainting a room to prepare for guests. The last thing you’d want would be for the smells of holidays to be overpowered by the smell of drying paint. Choosing a non-smelly paint is choosing a paint that has no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are the components of paint which produce the fresh paint smell.

VOC’s are chemicals which react at room temperature or when they come into contact with air. These are a common component in most paint. VOC’s play an important role in how the paint dries, how the paint pours, long term durability, performance, and how easy it is to work with. Some parts of VOC’s can be irritants and one of the reasons you need good ventilation when painting.

Alternatives, such as Benjamin Moore’s Natura Interior Paint are Zero-VOC and Zero-Emission paints. Natura can be a good choice for painting a room with uncontrollable high activity, or preparing a guest room in advance with no odor or irritants. A good choice when you don’t want your guests to feel like a lot of work was done on their behalf!


With Halloween over, we can already feel winter’s chill. With the holidays on the way, we wanted to share a few painting ideas and color tips for the new season.

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away on November 27th. Many families have relatives and friends visiting, and would like to present a welcoming home. A good way to help your home feel clean and refreshed is to add new colors to your dining room. Although the fall season is nearly over, fall colors can add warmth to a room.

December brings a whole new set of decorating challenges as the Holiday Season begins. It’s good to get started early on shopping as well as preparing your home for the cold seasons themes. Decorating your living room with a white theme can bring a feeling of snowy calmness to your family gathering, even if you live in an area where it always rains.

Remember, when looking for the right holiday theme you can always ask your local Mallory Paint Store’s color matching specialist for advice and don’t forget to look over our previous DIY on colors!

DIY Paint Talk: Preparing a Wall

The first step to preparing a room for painting is to clear furniture away from the areas that will be painted. A drop cloth will help protect floors from any sort of drips or accidents. Plastic or canvas drop cloths both have advantages, but Benjamin Moore recommends canvas due to their ability to absorb paint and not become slippery.

Walls naturally gather dust which can affect adhesion for the paint and primer and should be cleaned before painting begins. Use a light detergent and follow up with a wet cloth to ensure that all detergent is removed before starting work. All marks, such as those left behind by pen, crayon and any water stains should also be removed by a wet cloth if possible. Anything else should be spot primed with Moore’s® QD 30® or Fresh Start®.

Finally, any holes and loose paint should be taken care of. Holes can be spackled with Moorlastic® Lightweight Compound and Moorlastic® Vinyl Spackling paste, by pressing spackle into any holes or cuts in the wall and smoothing them with a putty knife until they match the surface around them. Loose paint should be removed with a putty knife to take off any chips that may peel after painting and then edges should be sanded so that there is no visible difference between the two surfaces when painting over them.