Paint Colors 2012 – Buying The Right Paint

A  Paint Palette from Martha Stewart – image from

Paint Colors of 2012 have so much to offer – too much, if you have to take it all in at once

The last few days I have offered some perspective on accessing and personalizing the color trends of 2012 (and beyond). But Friday is all about DIY so with the weekend ahead let’s get ready with some resources and tips for using them to get you started!

The palette (above) includes what I feel has spoken not so much to the color forecasts of 2o12 / 2013 but (thus far) to what real people like you and I have embraced in real home settings and chosen as personal statements reflective of not only today’s lifestyle but their own personal interpretation of the way they like to live. Here are the colors by number order:

1. Buoyant Blue, No. 6483, Sherwin-Williams,
2. Dragonfly, No. AF-510, Benjamin Moore,
3. Gray Horse, No. 2140-50, Benjamin Moore,
4. Blue Fir, No. MSL124, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
5. Cooking Apple Green, No. 32, Farrow & Ball,
6. Titanium, No. 2141-60, Benjamin Moore,
7. Punch, No. MSL014, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
8. Stonington Gray, No. HC-170, Benjamin Moore,
9. Babouche, No. 223HC-170, Farrow & Ball,
10. Heath, No. MSL212, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
11. Natural Twine, No. MSL217, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
12. Lancaster Blue, No. UL34, Ralph Lauren Paint,
13. Makaha, No. 19-32, Pratt & Lambert,

Let’s stack up some of the paints generally available and look at color and performance combined so you know how to avoid some of the painting pit-falls.

Some history: Martha is one of my color heroes – she coined the style of composition of simple cleaned-lined photography that dots the pages of Pinterest and Etsy today. She has been on the map since the ’80’s and she and team have a great deal to teach about the successful use of color. Way back when her signature paint line was released (I forget it was so long ago!) her paint was unparalleled – no, not the paint that premiered at Sears and Kmart – her FIRST paint. A gallon back in the early ’90’s cost about $100 and it was an infinitely enduring application – this is to say it was capable of out-living you! Her paints had from 54-65 pigments PER gallon – most mainstream paints average 6 pigments per gallon. The price kept it from catching on…but it was like painting with spun gold…..

When the paint moved to Sears, it was homogenized for a larger market. The biggest problem it had was poorly trained mixers – you could try 3 times and not get a mix identical to the chip. It’s much better at Home Depot.

‎But color isn’t everything – There is Viscosity. Time for SCIENCE again –

Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear stress or tensile stress. In everyday terms (and for fluids only), viscosity is “thickness” or “internal friction”. Thus, water is “thin”, having a lower viscosity, while honey is “thick”, having a higher viscosity. Put simply, the less viscous the fluid is, the greater its ease of movement (fluidity).

Valspar striping colors in $3 sizes from Lowes

Martha Stewart, Valspar (above, whose color palettes I adore), and Sherwin Williams (HGTV Paints) and Glidden (whose color selections have vastly improved in the past 2 years) all share poor viscosity – this means that a) they splatter and b) they take extra coats – extra coats means extra $$$

TIP: To enhance the use of any of those brands and get all the benefit of their unique color selections, pop your paints 1.5 – 2 hours before you paint and leave the lid partially off – don’t do this with paint that has sat for a few days post-mixing; remix it first. If the paint develops a thin skin (it probably won’t) peel it off. You will notice a great difference in the way it goes on…

Candice Olson color collection – images from Benjamin Moore Paints

Benjamin Moore Paints are hands down my favorite mainstream paint for viscosity, endurance (viscosity also effects its ability to clean) and color.If you love Candice Olson’s Designs, which I know a number of you do, you have all her favorites at your finger tips!

TIP: Benjamin Moore Aura paint is $50 per Gallon. It has no VOC’s, causes -0- off-gassing, and is great for asthmatics or extremely environmentally sensitive people – however, Benjamin Moore Regal Select has only a 4% variation in formula from Aura paint and it’s $15 less per gallon! My son suffers from severe allergies – he is the canary – and a living and breathing testament to the innocuous virtues of BM Regal Select paint.

If Paints were cars, Benjamin Moore would be a Toyota Prius which is a great, common sense and Eco-friendly (so far as cars are Eco-friendly) choice – but Farrow and Ball would be an Infinity….

Farrow and Ball Paint Colors

Farrow and Ball is not a choice for everyone. Retailing at $90 and up a gallon, it is to painters what Louis Vuitton is to window shoppers with a dream – if you have the budget for a luxury drive or a killer bag, this is the paint for you!

One more tip, before I let you roll up your sleeves and get going. This one may really surprise you, but being green is a great deal about minimizing waste. If you buy rollers with plastic inserts, you can pull them off the roller carriage when you’re finishing painting with a plastic grocery bag. Throw then in a low setting was (no need to waste water) by themselves and wash on normal at 6 minutes. Then toss them in the dryer with a dryer sheet – good as new!!

Happy DIY!