Brushing Up: Tips, Tools and Trends for a More Efficient Paint Project
By Jud Walford, Pro Paint Merchant, The Home Depot
Paint plays a key role in a wide variety of pro projects, from large interior room remodels to small touch up work. Regardless of the job, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends, materials and technologies to make sure your team is painting efficiently.
The following five developments represent the latest evolution in the paint space and are worth storing in your mental (or physical) toolbox as you prepare for upcoming jobs.
A Projected Vision
The first step of any successful paint project is understanding the exact look your client wants. Even the slightest variance in color shade or paint texture can upset clients and lead to potentially expensive and time-consuming rework.
Thankfully, advanced planning technologies can now drive a smoother consultation process, and ensure that every room, exterior or piece of furniture matches your clients’ vision. With The Home Depot’s Project Color app, you can take a picture of a room or surface and virtually review different looks with your client. If he or she has a specific shade in mind, the app also allows you to extract colors from a saved photo and identify a corresponding paint product. Bring your “sample room” into any Home Depot store, and the paint team will prepare every needed color.
In addition, The Home Depot now offers in-store digital matching technology that saves and leverages exact chemical configurations for easy duplication of any color at any retail location, no matter the brand. This is a great resource to conveniently replenish supplies for touch up projects that require precise color matching.
A Stroke of Creativity
Paint color selection offers pros a chance to use their imagination and serve as a trusted, creative resource for clients who are unsure of their optimal look. Ask your clients what feeling and energy they would like for each renovated room or component. For instance, bedrooms, bathrooms and other “refuge rooms” will warrant a calmer color scheme than a busier area such as a kitchen or living room.
Color trend awareness also can guide client conversation and deliver a room that shines. BEHR’s Color Currents provides a quick snapshot of popular shades and is a great resource for valuable creative insight. The annual Color Currents collection features 20 limited edition colors that are interchangeable for every space, and offer “composed,” “comfortable” and “confident” color buckets to match a variety of room styles. For example, the comfortable palette features muted pastels like “Peek a Blue” and “Life is a Peach” for a sophisticated, feminine feel, while the confident palette features adventurous, bold colors like “Jade Dragon” and “Fired Up” for accent walls and other dramatic points.
A Primer on Primer
Primer is a vital component of a uniform, brilliant and durable paint job. Without the correct primer as a base, you risk a paint application that either does not adhere to surfaces or lacks the proper sheen.
During the initial consultation, check surfaces for any significant alterations. For instance, water stains and knots in bare wood may require customized primer formulations to ensure consistency. Also, take desired paint coloration into account when purchasing primer. More vibrant paint colors tend to require a gray primer or one tinted with a small amount of the topcoat color to improve coverage.
Many new primer products not only reinforce paint applications, but deliver complementary aesthetic benefits. Notably, several brands have introduced primers featuring integrated odor- and mold-killing agents. When applied, these reinforced primers offset smells from pets, smokers, mildew or other airborne unpleasantries that may have seeped into the wood over time, and are particularly useful for older properties.
A Customizable and Safe Application
Different jobs require different types of paint, and it’s important to be mindful of the exact product necessary for your current scope. For a full-scale remodeling job, choose a top quality option like BEHR’s Marquee brand. This versatile paint requires one coat and provides advanced dirt and fade protection, preventing the need for follow-up applications and return trips to the job site. For smaller jobs and touch up work, choose a more budget-friendly option like BEHR Premium Plus, which seals both uncoated and previously painted surfaces to create a finish that resists mildew, stains and moisture.
Beyond improved color and performance, paint also has become significantly safer in recent years. Clients in occupied spaces, especially those will children, may have questions about the environmental safety of paint, such as Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels. According to the EPA, VOCs include chemicals that may have adverse health effects. The good news is that all of The Home Depot’s latex-based paints are low- or zero-VOC, and ensure healthy indoor air quality for homeowners and their families.
A One-Stop Shopping Experience
Whatever your project, time is of the essence. That’s why The Home Depot has upgraded its paint offerings and services to make the evaluation and purchasing process more convenient. You can secure all essential job supplies – including mill work, paint and complementary tools – easily within a single location. More than 200 Home Depot stores also now include BEHR Pro Paint Specialists dedicated to answering your questions and ensuring you receive the right products and guidance for your needs. For orders larger than 24 gallons, The Home Depot will deliver purchased materials straight to the job site, easing transportation and logistics concerns while improving order accuracy.
Chances are that your upcoming project load will involve paint in some capacity. Keeping aware of the latest paint trends will allow you to better guide your clients and crew, and ensure an efficient job that stuns and satisfies.
By Jud Walford, Pro Paint Merchant, The Home Depot
Jud Walford has more than 34 years of experience in the home improvement industry, including more than two decades with The Home Depot. He held various roles, including store manager, district manager and regional merchandising manager, before assuming his current duties as the company’s Pro Paint Merchant – a position he has held for the last three years.