4 Paint Myths Busted

We debunk common painting myths so you can start your next project with confidence.

green can of emerald paint

Myth: I have to use paint with a high gloss finish if I want to be able to wash my walls.

Truth: Paint continues to evolve to keep up with today’s homeowners. While gloss finishes typically were the ones to choose for cleanability, other options exist for washable paints. Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Interior paint now comes in a flat finish. This paint-and-primer in one boasts a stain-blocking technology that hides stains and leaves a smooth finish. Washable with long-lasting coverage, Emerald® also resists streaking and spotting from water.

Myth: I have to prime my existing walls before I paint.

Truth: Don’t let the lag time between priming and painting deter you from starting a project. Luckily, new technology makes it possible to offer paint and primer in one can. Sherwin-Williams offers many products with paint-and-primer in one, all of which provide great coverage in fewer coats. What’s more, the paint helps to cover old stains and resists rub-off when washing. Your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams store associate can help you make sure you’re getting the right paint for your project.

Woman painting wall next to window with brush

Myth: When painting a wall, I have to “cut in” a whole room before I go back and start rolling.

Truth: You do want to paint a two-inch to three-inch strip along the ceiling, baseboards, trim and inside corners where two walls meet. But you want to only “cut in” as much as you can roll to keep a wet edge. While the paint strip along the wall edge and trim is still wet, switch to a roller and apply paint overlapping onto the wet edge. Remember to roll in a W-pattern, beginning in a dry area of the wall and working back to the area you just painted. The result will be a seamless, uniform look.

Dining room, glass table with green chairs, peach wall

Myth: I have low ceilings and there is no real design trick to make them seem higher.

Truth: Never fear; paint is here. When you want to create a sense of greater height in a room, consider these options:

  • Paint vertical stripes on the wall using dark and light colors.
  • Choose a light paint color for the walls and consider painting trims and accents in the same color.
  • Give the illusion of high ceilings by bringing the ceiling paint down approximately 4” into the wall.

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  1. I find that when painting with a satin finish on the walls, which is what most people want these days, I have to use a small roller to get close to the ceiling. I usually paint the trim that most people want done in white semi-gloss and cut back to it with the wall color. I leave the baseboards for last and paint the wall color down onto the base. After it dries I paint the white baseboards creating a uniform line across the entire baseboard tops. Taping the baseboards create problems with leaking underneath because of an uneven base top. Also, I have to always roll a thinned second coat on the walls for an even finish regardless of the brand and type of paint. Thinning with water gives it more fluid ability so it will stay wet and flow out.

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