The reality of paint projects—the preparation, the mess, the headaches—often differs greatly from the glossy television version of those “easy” faux finishes and perfect ceiling “touch-ups.”
Donovan Bezer is all too familiar with that harsh reality. The attorney from Jersey City, N.J., tried a project he saw on HGTV’s Web site, and excitement turned quickly into frustration.
“I was disappointed, because I’d been thinking about it for over a month,” Bezer explained. “I originally wanted to paint these squares, these overlapping squares—I got the idea off the [Web site]. But my wall was kind of bumpy…and it was going to take all of this measuring and leveling.”
Bezer said rather than deal with the trial of a high-design project, he just mixed the three cans of Behr paint he had purchased together and painted the walls in the resulting color. Luckily, he liked it, but he was surprised at the amount of work the online project would have taken.
At this year’s National Hardware Show, numerous new products were aimed at fixing the woes of the DIY interior paint job. Companies have cast an eye to consumers like Bezer who have been stymied in their pursuit of a finished product that looks as great on the wall as it did on television. Topics from choosing the right color, to priming, to doing ceilings, to spackling nail holes all were covered—so to speak—by companies at the NHS.
Why such a keen eye to helping the consumer decide, and eventually use, paint? According to research firm Yankelovich, consumers say they are more likely to do interior painting this year than any other DIY project. A full 51 percent of DIY consumers surveyed said they planned to paint, spending an average of $200 per project.
To help them choose, paint giant Sherwin-Williams launched under its Dutch Boy brand a new 17-inch by 22-inch paint chip. The goal, representatives said, was to let consumers put the poster-sized chips up in their homes and get comfortable with a color before committing. The chips are displayed as 8.5-inch by 11-inch sizes and are being rolled out at Menards stores this spring. Dutch Boy also launched a new clean laundry-scented incarnation of its “Ceiling Solution” paint—which goes on violet (and dries white) so painters can see whether they have missed a spot without straining.
At Valspar, the company launched a further