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Martha Stewart Paint Chart

By Laura Fisher KaiserSpecial to The Washington PostThursday, July 8, 2004; Page H01

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As home advance projects go, painting seems like a allotment of cake: Grab a besom and a can of acrylic and go, no?

That's afore you absorb a weekend abrading window sills, lugging gallon cans, boring a roller beyond the beam and dabbing drips, alone to acquisition that what looked ambrosial on a tiny acrylic dent looks alarming on four walls.

But manufacturers, acquisitive to animate do-it-yourselfers, are aggravating to booty the affliction out of painting.

"It's a bulk of competition," says John Stauffer, abstruse administrator of the Acrylic Quality Institute. "As companies are aggravating to accumulate up with the Joneses, acrylic achievement has been accretion for several years. Now it seems every architect and banker has added new top-quality paints to their curve because bodies apprehend them and are accommodating to pay."

Along with bigger acrylic has appear an arrangement of articles -- from high-tech blush selectors to easy-to-use roller pans. Consider some of the contempo innovations.

Screen-test your colorOne of the best alarming genitalia of painting is not accomplishing the assignment but acrimonious the colors. Interactive accoutrement on manufacturers' Web sites let consumers agreement with blush bottomward to the trim, beam and backsplash. Benjamin Moore, Behr and Glidden accept three of the best sites.

Benjamin Moore's Personal Blush Viewer provides sample "rooms," breadth you can acrylic walls, trim or ceiling, acrimonious colors by name or from a blueprint (www.benjaminmoore.com). The aggregation additionally sells software that includes added than 3,000 blush schemes application sample apartment or you can upload a agenda photo of your own house. The affairs can be ordered at www.eisoftwareinc.com.

Behr's Blush Smart arrangement creates palettes of accommodating paints for you and again lets you try them out on assorted rooms. Its "Sheen Solutions" blueprint abstracts which accomplishment is appropriate for which apparent (www.behr.com).

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Glidden's Color@Home Acrylic Visualizer is the best user-friendly, alms the widest best of apartment and paintable capacity -- bottomward to the central of kitchen cabinets. The armpit displays added colors at once, authoritative it easier to aught in on the adumbration you appetite (www.glidden.com).

One chat of caution: Online blush samples are aloof an approximation. There is no acting for aggravating a sample on the wall.

Bigger, bigger chipsRealizing how bare tiny blush chips are, a bunch of absolute acrylic retailers, the Coatings Alliance (www.c2color.com), has created a band of paints alleged C2 marketed with the Ultimate Acrylic Chip: a acceptable 18-by-24-inch sample that sells for $4.99 each. The dent is fabricated application absolute acrylic -- not a printed facsimile archetypal of accepted chips. They are accessible locally at Alexandria Acrylic Co. (703-379-5800) and at Monarch Acrylic and Wallcovering in Chevy Chase, D.C. (202-686-5550).

Devine Color, acrylic fabricated by an Oregon firm, sells 8 1/2-by-11-inch cards, additionally with absolute paint, for $1.99 apiece (www.devinecolor.com). The band includes colors formulated for specific bounded regions; it is awash through Blush Wheel in McLean (703-356-8477) and the Abundant Indoors in Gaithersburg (240-599-1330).

The flush British architect Farrow & Ball sells cards assuming the company's absolute palette fabricated with absolute acrylic for $25; single-color sample chips are free. Both are accessible at www.farrow-ball.com. (Printed brochures of Farrow & Ball colors are accessible at Blush Wheel, which carries the paint.)

Martha's Fine Paints, produced in accord with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, offers 4-by-8-inch acrylic chips in swatch books of commutual colors. For $60 you get all four accommodating blush collections additional coupons for four-ounce sample pots Accessible locally at Monarch Acrylic in the District, or through www.finepaintsofeurope.com.

Another able innovation, from Glidden, is a Blush View advertisement with blush chips that accept adhering on the aback so you can bark and stick them on walls wherever you want.

Smaller, simpler samplesEven back you anticipate you've activate the absolute color, audience the paint: Put it on the bank and alive with it for a few canicule and nights. Buying analysis cans by the gallon or quart, however, can be big-ticket and wasteful.

Restoration Hardware -- one of the few places breadth you can buy both acrylic and couches -- sells four-ounce pots of the company's focused palette of 12 colors for $2.95 anniversary (800-762-1005 or www.restorationhardware.com).

Fine Paints of Europe, a Dutch aggregation that articles Martha's Fine Paints and added lines, sells half-liter pots for $6 each; chargeless samples are accessible through www.finepaintsofeurope.com. The acrylic is awash at Monarch Paint, Arlington Acrylic and Decorating Center (703-534-4477) and the Acrylic Shop in Warrenton (540-347-4484).

Devine Blush will mail you a two-ounce accessory of acrylic that covers about four aboveboard feet; $15.80 covers a four-pouch minimum and includes shipping. Farrow & Ball offers five-liter tins for $5 at Blush Wheel or online additional shipping.

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Benjamin Moore is introducing its own sample program: 260 of the manufacturer's 3,300 colors are accessible in two-ounce jars. The little ablaze artificial jars, evocative of corrective packaging, are advised to address to women, who accomplish 70 percent of all autogenous acrylic selections, according to the company. The $3.49 jars should be in all Benjamin Moore dealers in September; they're already accessible at Monarch Paint.

Take it offPros will acquaint you that the key to a abundant acrylic job lies in the basic work. That can crave removing layers of chipped and gatored acrylic that accept accumulated for decades and may accommodate lead, application baneful chemicals or calefaction accoutrements and propane torches that can atom fires and actualize advance dust from old paint.

The Swedish-made Speedheater is an electric apparatus that uses bittersweet calefaction to access through the acrylic into the wood, so assorted layers can be aching off with little accident to the wood. Unlike a calefaction gun or torch, which can bake wood, the bittersweet application calefaction acrylic to no added than 400 degrees -- able-bodied beneath the temperature at which copse ignites or advance effluvium are released. The tool, acclimated in Europe for added than a decade, is accessible to hire ($22 a day) or buy ($435) in the Washington breadth through Eco-Strip in Reston (www.eco-strip.com; 703-476-6222).

Meanwhile, actinic strippers accept been accepting beneath baneful and easier to assignment with. Several non-caustic acrylic removers -- acrid and non-phenolic -- are now accessible to alter phenolic strippers, which absolution acerbic effluvium and airy amoebic compounds (VOCs) that accord to blast buildup. Removall 210, a water-based stripper, is odorless, non-toxic and non-flammable, so the bathe baptize is safe for the accessible arising arrangement (available from Boston Restoration, 866-988-1177; www.restorationproducts.com). A soybean-based stripper, Soy-Gel, is an odorless, biodegradable artefact that, according to the manufacturer, removes paint, varnishes and urethane from wood, brick, metal and fiberglass (800-538-5069, www.franmar.com).

Problem-solving paintsSome new paints amalgamate the benevolence of a collapsed accomplishment with the washability of glossier paints. The acrylic is formulated to abbreviate scattering and besom and roller marks while convalescent attrition to clay and stains. Benjamin Moore calls its adaptation Regal Matte, with a appropriate retail bulk of $35.99 a gallon.

Ace Hardware food accept alien Ace Sensations, the aboriginal acrylic to accommodate Scotchgard. This exceptional acrylic acrylic collapsed acrylic resists accepted domiciliary stains such as coffee, crayon, fingerprints, lipstick and grease, as able-bodied as bane (www.acehardware.com for locations).

For exteriors, Sherwin-Williams, which afresh bought Beltsville-based Duron, offers acrylic advised to angle up to UV application and acrid weather. Exterior Accents is accessible in added than 1,000 shades. The blueprint can additionally be activated at temperatures as low as 35 degrees, which extends the home advance division (www.sherwin-williams.com).

Glidden has developed a acrylic for the messiest, best backbreaking allotment of the job: the ceiling. The acrylic goes on blush again dries to a ablaze white in beneath than 30 minutes, so you can see breadth you missed. It sells for $15.99 to $17.99 at Home Depot stores. Ace offers a agnate "invisible ink" product. You add a dejected cast to its Simply Magic beam paint, and the blush disappears afterwards 24 hours.

Color-Prime, a gray-shade album band by Sherwin-Williams, pairs album and top covering so deep, active emphasis colors become bolder and brighter with beneath coats.

Some new paints accommodate few or no VOCs. Water-based articles such as Benjamin Moore's Pristine Eco Spec, Duron's Genesis, Glidden's Lifemaster 2000 and Sherwin-Williams's Harmony Autogenous Acrylic Acrylic don't accept the drawbacks of acceptable oil-based counterparts -- aerial odor, flammability and bread-and-butter cleanup. The bulk is commensurable to that of approved paint.

Cool accoutrement to cycle withTo abate spatters, Stanley offers a microfiber Max Accomplishment acrylic roller advised to authority about alert as abundant acrylic as the boilerplate roller after throwing off droplets. The roller is declared to afford beneath than accepted models too ($5 for two at some Wal-Mart stores; www.stanleyworks.com.)

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The boxlike one-quart Handy Acrylic Dustbin from Bercom Inc. is advised to be easier to handle than abundant cans. It has an adjustable band that slides over your hand, four liners fabricated of recycled plastic, four battery cap-like dustbin covers to assure acrylic while you booty a breach and a allurement to accumulate your besom from coast into the goop. About $9 at Home Depot.

Dutch Boy's Twist & Cascade artificial acrylic containers affection a twist-off lid, ancillary handle and cascade spout. Accessible in gallon and quart sizes, the lightweight, aboveboard barge eliminates the charge for spiral drivers or can openers to pry off lids, while accouterment a bound allowance to bottle extra paint.

In August Dutch Boy is to activate affairs acrylic in a aboveboard artificial dustbin with a congenital roller tray. The Accessible to Cycle alembic holds 2 1/2 gallons -- the bulk bare to acrylic an boilerplate allowance -- and has a snap-on lid for extra storage.

The SealPro Reusable Acrylic Tray by Prazi USA food roller and acrylic with an air bound allowance so if you stop for a brace of hours or alike a brace of days, acrylic and roller are accessible to use back you return. The able tray holds up to a gallon of acrylic and is accessible for $19.95 (800-262-0211, www.praziusa.com.)

Scott Rags Painter's Wipes are 14-by-7-inch, able disposable towels pre-moistened with a charwoman abettor that removes grease, oil, acrylic and ink. The textured ancillary of the polypropylene bolt can be acclimated for ablution tools, easily and splatters, while the bland ancillary is advised to bathe the skin. A pop-up dispenser of 30 wipes sells for $3.97 at Home Depot.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company


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