Selecting Paint Essentials: 5 Tips for Picture-Perfect Walls

Looking at a blank wall is like looking at a blank canvas. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by selecting paint. Picking the right color is hard enough, but there are other factors to consider when picking the right paint.

There are five essential things to consider and I will cover them all!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know my parents’ home was gutted after Hurricane Ian and we have been busy building the home back. It’s been a very long year but when you get to the paint, things get fun!

When we started, the home was gutted. We let the professionals do the electricity, insulation, and drywall.

Mom and Dad's home gutted after Hurricane Ian

Then, we stepped in with the priming and ceiling paint.

Surface Preparation: Setting the Stage

Before we get into how to select paint, there is something I have to mention. It won’t matter which paint you choose if you don’t prep your surface. You want everything to go smoothly, so take the time before you crack open that first can of paint.

Holes and Cracks

You want to fill in holes and cracks and sand any rough spots. It’s really hard to get the same finish if you try to do it after and then touch up.

Interestingly, up north, a smooth drywall finish is the norm.

Down south, textured walls are the thing.

Not sure why. It’s just the way it is.

The textured walls are more forgiving to hide flaws, so just take into consideration your surface and what you need to do to make your walls as perfect as possible.

To Prime or Not To Prime

That is the question!

We started with raw drywall, so there was no question. We had to prime.

Priming walls and ceilings

If you have a pre-painted surface, you might not need to prime, especially if the new color is the same or darker than the original and you don’t have any major stains to cover.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to selecting paint for picture-perfect walls!

How To Select Paint: 5 Essential Things to Consider

Disclosure: After my parent’s home was devastated by Hurricane Ian, Benjamin Moore came through and donated/gifted 10 gallons of paint for my parents. We cannot thank them enough! *The ideas and opinions are all my own.

Finish/Sheen: How brilliant do you want to be?

If you are new to painting, you might think you grab a can of paint and start painting…that’s what I thought years ago.

But no…no…

When selecting paint here is sheen to consider. There may even be more than you realize…there is matte, eggshell, semi-gloss, satin, and gloss.

What is the difference, you may ask?

Well, it’s like the difference between matte and high gloss lipstick. Both add color but the effect is totally different.

Benjamin Moore cans lined up

Matte is the ultimate subtle look and gloss is quite dazzling. Just remember that the glossier the paint, the more it highlights the imperfections.

It’s as unforgiving as my bathroom mirror in the morning.

Paint finish can be a little bit of a double-edged sword. The matte finishes are more subtle and hide flaws better. However, it is a surface that is harder to clean and doesn’t wear as well.

A gloss finish shows your flaws but is easier to keep clean, like wiping off those fingerprints.

When selecting a finish for Mom and Dad’s home we went for the satin. That’s my typical go-to finish.

We used Benjamin Moore’s beautiful Satin/Pearl finish which was the perfect compromise between the gloss and the matte!

Easier to clean than matte but hides flaws better than gloss.

Color: Cause beige is boring. Right?

Okay, let’s take a minute to discuss color. Is beige boring? Is gray over?

I say No and No. I think whatever speaks to you is the right color for your home!

You might get overwhelmed when you walk into the paint store and start wading through the sea of color swatches.

Benjamin Moore color swatches fanned out

Selecting a paint color is not as easy as white, beige, or gray.

You will quickly realize there are 50 shades of white, beige, gray, and every other color. Once you start comparing them, you’ll see subtle hints of blues, yellows, greens, and pinks that you didn’t realize were there.

You ARE going to overthink it!

You are going to walk out with 10 or more paint swatches and take them home to narrow them down and think about them.

Benjamin Moore Sample Paints are very useful when selecting colors

Keep in mind that you are looking at very small pieces of paper that have a color on them.

Two major things that will impact the colors you are looking at:

  • You will be covering large areas with the color – it won’t be a tiny rectangular swatch.
  • The color will look different at your house than it does in the store but also will change throughout the day as the lighting in your house changes.
Beige paint colors on wall

The best thing you can do is purchase sample paint in the different colors you are considering. Do it on different walls and in different rooms. Then, decide on the final color.

You don’t want a peaceful blue oasis to end up being a neon nightmare when you get it home!

Which it can.

Painting aqua samples on the wall

We went through quite a few paint colors and Mom finally decided to go bolder with an aqua in the bathrooms and a nice fresh neutral on the walls in the rest of the home.

She landed on the color: Barely Teal in the bathrooms.

Bathroom in Benjamin Moore color Barely Teal

She wanted it to be as bright and friendly as it was before in the rest of the home.

I think she nailed it with the color: Collectors Item.

Kitchen painted with Benjamin Moore color Collectors Item

Gosh! I just love it!

The pics are a little sneak preview. I can’t wait to tell you about the flooring and show you the home when it’s finished!


Quality When Selecting Paint

Quality paint is like a trusty friend that has your back and never lets you down.

Sure, it might cost a little bit more but if you think of it as an investment, it’ll pay off in the long run.

When my husband built his first house, 40 years ago, he used a designer to finish off the interior. That designer said the only paint he would ever use was Benjamin Moore. My husband has sworn by it ever since that day.

In the 30+ years, we have been together, that is our go-to paint and we have never been disappointed!

Benjamin Moore Satin Pearl paint cans stacked

Quality paint has better pigments and binders and all of that plays into the longevity of that paint and the ease of the application.

Be sure to check out the difference in the lines of paint within Benjamin Moore. They all have different characteristcs to better fit your needs or the needs of a specific room.

You might want to upgrade to a paint that is more scrubbable for a family room or kitchen that gets high use versus a guest bedroom that only sees light use a few times a year.

Benjamin Moore paint cans lined up

That’s what we did at Mom and Dad’s house. We used Ben Interior Paint in less used rooms and upgraded to the Regal for rooms that might benefit from the higher washability and will withstand scuffs better.

Application and Ease of Use

Application and ease of use go hand in hand with the quality of the paint. The best example I can give is when my father had an estimate to paint the interior of the home, the painters said the ceiling would take two coats.

We assumed they were right. We planned on doing two coats. Turns out, Benjamin Moore’s ceiling paint covered in one coat!

Saved time, money, and our backs! That’s priceless!

Benjamin Moore ceiling paint

My sister moved down to Florida almost two years ago now. Before they moved down, she painted the entire interior of their old house.

When she helped paint our parent’s house, she kept saying how beautifully the Benjamin Moore paint went on and how well it covered compared to the paint she used.

She’s a believer.

And how can you not be? The paint is fast-drying and has unbeatable flow and leveling. When you try it, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

I know I sound like a commercial but my Dad (the anti-painter), who is 81, actually enjoyed painting.

Go figure.

Environmental Considerations

In today’s world, we are all more environmentally aware than ever. And isn’t it great that there are paints that don’t contain lead, have low to no VOCs, and aren’t toxic to paint with?

Benjamin Moore’s website gives you all of the information so you can easily make your decisions for a better environment and your health!

Get Started!

Now you know what to look for when selecting paint. Don’t get overwhelmed! You got this!

If you ever have any questions, jump online or head over to a Benjamin Moore retailer. They answered all of our questions and helped make decisions on ceiling and trim paint and we can’t be happier with the results!

I’ll be updating you soon!

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Remember: Life’s too short not to shimmer, so grab your glue gun and your glitter!™ Stay safe!


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