• October 21, 2014

Color design expert Sharon Grech on outdoor paints, stains and colors

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Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014 4:30 am

Sharon Grech, color design expert for Benjamin Moore, was the guest last week on Post staff writer Jura Koncius’ Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt:

I want to paint a piece of furniture an orange color. Do you have any recommendations on the color and finish? I was thinking of using your Advance product.

How about my favorite orange, Buttered Yam (AF-230)? Assuming it’s wood, scuff up the previous coating if there is one and paint away.

I have outside-facing bricks that look a bit dull with age. I want to freshen them up with a coat of appropriate paint, but my husband insists there is no such thing. He thinks that bricks should be able to breathe and paint will restrict their breathing. I painted some internal brickwork around the fireplace. It was a very hard process to paint the grout. Can you freshen and paint outside brick and, if so, with which paint product? What is the easiest way to paint brick and get the best coverage?

Paint can be applied to brick, as you have tested yourself! Just a few things to keep in mind: Once you paint it, there is no going back. You want to ensure there are no underlying moisture problems before you commit. If the brick is in great shape, be sure it is dry (no rain for a few days). To avoid primer, I always use either Benjamin Moore’s Aura Exterior or Regal Select Exterior paint. If you can spray it, that’s the easiest.

The nails that hold the siding onto the front of our house have begun rusting. There are rust dots in rows across the siding. Is there a coating I can apply to the rust spots that will stop further rusting and prevent the existing rust from “bleeding” through when I repaint the siding?

Yes. You first want to remove any loose rust spots with sandpaper and then immediately spot-prime with a rust-inhibitive primer. Just prime those areas. If the rest of the siding is in good shape, I recommend painting with an exterior latex paint. My preference for painted siding is low-luster.

Does painting a deck work or should a deck be stained?

I would recommend staining the deck surface to maintain breathability and get the best wear for your coating. Even if you want a more opaque look (as with paint) you can choose any color in a solid stain.

Look at Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat product for the variety of finishes, colors and transparencies.

What do you think about painting a ceiling in a color other than white? For example, a light sky blue?

I love that idea! Think of the ceiling as the fifth wall, so don’t ignore it. Sometimes white is the best choice, but even then, look through all the whites to choose the best one to complement your space. A light blue, such as Benjamin Moore’s Breath of Fresh Air (No. 806), looks so refreshing.

I am touching up my home’s exterior with an exterior, solid-colored and oil-based stain. I have some leftover stain, but the brand and color are no longer readable. Can I bring in a sample and get the color matched?

I would recommend finding a few retailers close to you. Give them a call to find one that specializes in color matching. Keep in mind that even with the same brand, product and color you probably won’t get a perfect match, as the exterior color will have seasoned somewhat over time. You may want to consider painting and staining the entire area.

I have a question about paint color for the front door and garage. My house is white brick with a charcoal-colored roof and white trim. The door and garage are currently white. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, should they be primed first, and should I use acrylic or oil-based paint?

Seems like you have a blank slate. Perfect. I would consider keeping the garage door an off-white that blends in with the brick, and then accentuating the front door with a color. If you want a pop, try a red such as Benjamin Moore’s Salsa Dancing (AF-280), or for a more serene look, try a nice blue-gray such as Atmospheric (AF-500). I would suggest water-based paint as opposed to alkyd; it’s far more environmentally friendly and easier to work with.

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