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J & A Master Bedroom, Day 4:: Painted Board & Batten (and a Case of Live & Learn)

Yesterday, I primed all of the board and batten walls in John & Alice’s bedroom, and then painted one full wall, and then parts of two other walls.

The color I chose is Alabaster from Sherwin Williams.



I really do love the color (although the blue on the upper wall still throws me a bit–it’ll eventually be painted a neutral color and then wallpapered.) But what I’m not sold on just yet is Sherwin Williams paint.

I know this is the brand of choice for many, many designers, but this is my first time to use it. I’m pretty loyal to Behr for latex paint for walls, and Kelly Moore for oil-based paint for cabinets and trim.

However, for this particular application, I was conflicted. Do I treat this as “trim” or “walls”? Of course, there’s plenty of trim work, but between the trim, there’s lots of wall.

I weighed my options.

If I used oil-based paint, I knew the finish would be gorgeous, but I would have to hand-paint everything–even the wall portions between the battens–as rolling oil-based paint is pretty messy. And over time, the paint would yellow a bit, as oil-based paint naturally does, and since I was using a light color, that might be an issue. There’s also just the pain of the smell and the clean-up.

If I used latex paint, of course clean-up and smell wouldn’t be a problem, and I could roll the wall sections between the battens, but latex paint is less durable, shows brush strokes more, and is just more difficult to get a smooth, beautiful finish with.

I thought my problems had been solved. When I was in Sherwin Williams the other day looking at wallpaper, the little sales girl came over and I shared with her about the board & batten paint conundrum. She said something like, “Oh, well we have a product that is great! It’s latex, but it works exactly like an oil-based paint!”

I bought it. I should say, I bought them–both her line about it being “exactly” the same, and the product, which is called Pro Classic.


Let me just say, this is nothing…NOTHING…like oil-based paint.

This is not the first time I’ve had a chipper, young little sales person tell me they have a latex paint product that’s “just as good as oil-based paint.”

The last one that told me that at Home Depot got an earful from me. I have no idea why I fell for this one. I would be willing to bet money that these young, fresh-out-of-high-school sales people have probably never, EVER, even painted a darned thing with oil-based paint. And I can’t help but wonder if they’ve ever painted anything at all.

Here are my two issues with this product: (1) I see brush strokes. Sure, it’s not quite as bad as with a regular ‘ole latex paint, but they’re there. (2) It will require two coats…AT LEAST. I have never, ever, EVER had to use two coats of paint with Kelly Moore oil-based paint.

So basically, by using this product, I’ve just created a lot more work for myself. I’m a little bummed.

Not only is this a case of “live and learn,” but also…

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!

EDIT: Okay, it’s possible that I judged the Pro Classic paint a little too hastily. I went today to Alice & John’s house to put a second coat of paint on one wall. I just needed to see what it was going to look like.

I will say this…the Pro Classic really does do a fantastic job at hiding brush strokes, so in that way, it’s very much like oil-based paint. I am still disappointed that it took two coats of paint, and I’ll have to see what it looks like when I go back on Tuesday, but there’s a possibility that the wall sections between the battens may even need a third coat.

There’s just something that’s not looking right to me, though, and I think it’s the sheen. Because I had never used Sherwin Williams paint before, and I absolutely didn’t want the paint to be too glossy, I selected the satin finish. But honestly, it looks more like flat paint. It just has a very dull look to it. I may end up going back over it with a semi-gloss. I’ll make that decision on Tuesday.



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10 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen
    May 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    The wall looks great! It's really going to look stunning when it's done! (I'm watching this project closely, as I'd LOVE to do something like this to our dining room walls someday…)

    Also, here is my painter-in-a-previous-life (he had an interior faux finishing business…) husband's idea about your conundrum: "First of all, my favorite paint is Benjamin Moore, hands down, and the store here in Waco is GREAT! Second of all, for the board and batten idea, I would take the best product and run with it – even if you have to hand paint the walls, the finished product drives the decision for what you do and oil based paint is going to be better overall."

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janet
    May 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I have a previous sworn devotion to Behr paint. I have always used it and it has always been the best for wear, application and clean up. I recently tried Valspar Latex (Lowe's didn't have small cans of Behr) for a small project (my black door) and it is wonderful, application was easy, the gloss finish is absoulutly amazing and clean up quick and easy. I love it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim @ A Creative Spirit http://onecreativespirit.blogspot.com/
    May 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    WOW, I try to avoid oil based paint at all costs and use latex enamel when a gloss is needed. You have made me think it is time to try the oil based…. :o)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    May 30, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Kim, I try to warn everyone that there's a definite learning curve with oil-based paint. The first time I used it, within the first ten minutes, I was convinced that I hated it and had made a huge mistake. But as I continued, and got used to it, I realized how much nicer it was to use. The brush strokes just disappeared, and one coat covered beautifully. That's been my experience. I can't guarantee that everyone will have that experience, but I really do prefer oil-based paint for cabinets, trim and doors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anna Simmons
    May 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Hi, I own a Benjamin Moore store in Toronto. Not that it helps you now, but there's a new water-reducible alkyd coming out this year called Advance. It uses alkyd resins, but allows for water cleanup, is low VOC. Really great product – I tried it at one of the trade shows and the flow was beautiful. It really leveled out well too. And, yes, I have painted with oil – I'm definitely not fresh out of high school 😉 – so I know what you mean.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jedbel
    August 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Hi,
    I was wondering what sheen you ended up using for the last coat on the board and batten. I have a lightly textured wall like J & A and want to make sure I use the right sheen on my rooms board and batten. The room receives lots of natural light, if that makes any difference

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    August 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Jedbel, I ended up using a satin finish. Honestly, I'm still not sure that I'm pleased with it. Even though the wall had texture, I still wish I had used a semi-gloss. But in this room, the texture doesn't bother me so much because the wall above is papered. If the wall were exposed above with the texture showing, then I would definitely want to reduce the appearance of the texture on the board and batten.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan Graham
    December 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Ah! I bought the exact same shelves from Target and had the EXACT same problem! I actually tore up my receipt from Target, rolled it into a few small balls and shoved it in the holes on the back of the shelf. Worked like a charm. Great minds…. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jedbel
    April 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Hi,
    I was wondering what sheen you ended up using for the last coat on the board and batten. I have a lightly textured wall like J & A and want to make sure I use the right sheen on my rooms board and batten. The room receives lots of natural light, if that makes any difference

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anna Simmons
    April 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Hi, I own a Benjamin Moore store in Toronto. Not that it helps you now, but there's a new water-reducible alkyd coming out this year called Advance. It uses alkyd resins, but allows for water cleanup, is low VOC. Really great product – I tried it at one of the trade shows and the flow was beautiful. It really leveled out well too. And, yes, I have painted with oil – I'm definitely not fresh out of high school 😉 – so I know what you mean.

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