View Full Version : What is your favorite interior latex paint?

09-22-2005, 05:43 AM
Have been doing a bit of painting around the house - 2 accent walls in the kitchen and now the master bath. I've used several different brands of primer and 2 brands of latex paint - Behr and Sherwin Williams. Seems to me the S-W paint flows better and is easier to work with. The Behr paint seems thicker, maybe gummier is the word. All the paint is fresh and well stirred. I am applying with a 4" brush to cut in the wall/ceiling, followed by 3/8" nap rollers.

What are your folks opinions on this? What is the Rolls Royce of interior latex paint? Needs to be something a homeowner, such as myself, can buy.

09-22-2005, 05:46 AM
As long as you're using a quality name brand, have a good surface, use a good primer, and quality equipment (no $4.00 brushes) you won't go wrong. Personally, I prefer the S/W for spraying..... and buy the bear (behr) for brushing/rolling.

09-22-2005, 05:57 AM

On the subject of brushes, I picked up a 2" thin sash brush with black china bristles for painting alkyd on trim. Works great. What is a "china" bristle?

On cutting in at the ceiling/wall intersection, what brush and technique do you recommend? I have been using a 4" Purdy nylon bristle brush, it does an OK job. Or maybe it's the operator that is just "OK". lol ;)

09-22-2005, 07:35 AM
Benjamin Moore is the professional standard around here. I tend to use Behr with no problems. I used a Glidden (less expensive) semi-gloss which I really liked as well. The only brand I consistently hear horror stories about is Ralph Loren.

09-22-2005, 07:48 AM
I can't find a reference to tell me exactly what "China" bristle means, but any bristle brush is generally natural fibre, i.e. hogs hair. They are excellent brushes, but can only be used with oil-based paints and varnishes. Use with water they absorb and swell up. Also should not be cleaned with water. A quick soapy rinse is ok after solvent cleaning, but then they should be set aside to dry thouroughly.

I prefer the white china bristle.

For all paints, but especially latex, a premium polyester brush is preferred. Every painter will have his own preferences. I personally love my angle sash brushes for almost any application. Many painters will prefer a straight trim brush for casings and mouldings. Best advice: you cannot spend too much for a brush. A top quality brush will save you so much time and agravation! Eventually, you will fall in love with one of your brushes. Treat it like a newborn child because it will give you years of joy!

Nylon brushes are most useful for applying varnishes. For paint they will not brush as easily or give as neat a line.

09-22-2005, 09:52 AM
I like Benjamin Moore Paint. It's thick and aheres well and covers up a lot. Behr is good too. I didn't like Lowes brand and their primer was horrible too!


09-22-2005, 10:22 AM
ben moore also. i like the purdy brushes and 1/2" lambs wool rollers.

09-22-2005, 11:46 AM
I agree on the brushes. I like Purdy. I do not know when it is ever ok to go cheap, but a good brush just makes things so much easier.

09-23-2005, 02:57 AM
...or I would say you shouldn't be painting. :-) Once you can clean a brush right, it will last for a long long time. I know this seems simple, but my girlfriend for example prefers not to spend the energy and so spends money on all kinds of mediocre disposable gadgets. Buy a good Purdy and treat it right, and it'll do well for you.

BTW, for things like trim, the best trick I've seen recently is to add some Floetrol to the paint, it will help the bristle marks "lie down" as the paint dries and give you a nicer finish.

09-23-2005, 05:50 AM

I'm a Purdy fan also.

Good point about cleaning brushes. Sometimes I have a hard time cleaning brushes after an hour of cutting in ceilings with latex. The paint dries on the middle of the outer bristles. What's the best way to get the brushes clean in this situation? Would a wire brush to remove the paint also tear up the bristles?

Cleaning brushes used with oil paint is alot easier IMHO with the use of turpentine. I don't normally use a solvent other than water when cleaning brushes used with latex. Does anyone use a solvent like turpentine, acetone, mineral spirits or anything else for latex cleanup?

Does anyone use a bristle comb while cleaning up?

09-23-2005, 06:04 AM
A definition I found:
Natural - fiber bristle brushes are made from animal hair. The most common is hog hair, which is labeled "China bristle." These are used for oil paint and solvent-thinned finishes only, since water-based paints will absorb into the bristles and leave them limp and mop like.

09-23-2005, 07:18 AM
Yes, a brush "comb" is essential for cleaning. It opens up the brush and helps the cleaner get deep inside. It is important to get the brush clean all the way to the ferrule. If you don't, the brush will get harder and shorter each time you use it. Jasco and Frazee, among others, make brush cleaner fluid for latex paints. I prefer the Frazee. This stuff is not cheap, but if you have a $17 brush which can practically trim a window all by itself, I am willing to spend what it takes to keep that puppy happy!

By the way, it is OK to hang a brush in a can of cleaner with 3 caveats:

1. Drill a hole in the handle of all your brushes so you can stick a piece of wire coat hanger thru and it will hang at the right depth in a coffee can.

2. NEVER just leave it soak. A 15 to 30 minute soak is all you should need. Longer is bad for the bristles.

3. NEVER stand a brush up in a can. Very bad.

After cleaning and shaking out, I carefully wrap the brush up with several turns of paper towel and LAY it aside to dry out.

09-23-2005, 08:02 AM

Thanks for the cleaner suggestions. I think I found the Jasco brush cleaner product on www.jasco-help.com. Couldn't find anything on the Frazee product. Also seems like neither are sold/distributed in Pennsylvania.

Anyone from east of the Appalachians using a brush cleaning solvent for latex paints?

Bob's HandyGuy
09-23-2005, 05:13 PM
I've never been able to paint a satisfactory line at the ceiling/wall intersection with a brush. I use an old, very specific tool called a "Shur-line". It has wheels on top and a removable pad. They have made many imitations of this tool over the years but none of them paint the line as well. I dip a brush in the paint and apply it to the top of the pad, rather than putting the pad in the paint tray. You have to keep the paint on the pad and off the wheels and tool. It will paint a nice, straight line quickly. Once the line is painted, I run a roller as close to the ceiling as possible. Next, I roll the walls from baseboard on up using a pole. I've found that you always miss little spots no matter how careful you are. I usually paint one wall or section of ceiling then go back ane roll it again right away. I can almost always get one coat coverage this way. You can touch up those missed spots sometimes on a wall but not a ceiling. Oh, yeah, I prefer Dutch Boy paint and ditto avoiding the "designer" paint. It's expensive, runny junk.

09-23-2005, 05:20 PM
This is an "old painter's trick". I have done it. You can get away with it with latex paint, but not with an alkyd, which of course we don't use anymore anyway.

I use a brush with a lot of paint on it to flow the ceiling/wall line. Usually comes out OK.

09-24-2005, 12:46 PM
Just got done painting the master bath walls. I found that using a fair amount of paint on a 3" brush will give you a nice line at the ceiling/wall because the paint flows slightly ahead and above the brush.

Also used the Klean Strip Roller and Brush Cleaner. It works great. It removed dried-on latex paint on my 3" brush that I thought would never come off. It smells like acetone, and is a dark yellow color. First I washed the brush with water and dish soap, then wrung out the water. Then poured the Klean Strip over the bush and worked out the paint with paper towels, repeat 3 times. Then wash again with soap and water to get the solvent and gummed up paint out of the brush. Brush came out looking almost like new.

Bob's HandyGuy
09-24-2005, 03:25 PM
I expect you need a steadier hand than I have to use a brush at the ceiling line. I used only a brush when I first started painting so I know it can be done. The tool just seems so much quicker for me. That is what most customers see first so it has to look good. I can usually tell the expertise of a painter just by looking at that line. Yes, Klean-strip does the job, even on paint that's been on a while.

09-24-2005, 07:19 PM
Found some good articles on Purdy's website: http://www.purdycorp.com/pro/paintcorner

Would like to spray paint my heat registers with the same latex paint I am using for the master bath walls. It is Sherwin-Williams "Oriel Gray". It is a flat eg-shell latex paint. What are the chances my local paint store can put this paint into an aerosol spray can for me?

My other option is to use my Wagner power painter, but would have to do this outside, less convenient, etc.

09-25-2005, 08:24 AM
I bought a brush spinner to use on my good brushes. It clamps onto the handle and spins the brush at high speed in a bucket to get it dried quicker then you just comb out the brush and let it dry out. I like the purdy brushes that the others mentioned here also.

09-26-2005, 10:03 AM
Chalk up another for the Purdy.

I clean latex paint off my brushes and rollers with plain water and then do a little soaking in mineral spirits. I find its good for accumulating all of the 'watered down paint' at the bottom of the jar and really cleans out the brushes. Does a good job on almost clean paint trays too, swish a little around and pour out the paint w/ it. After soaking, rinse out w/ water. Works for me.


09-26-2005, 06:05 PM
Stopped by the local Harbor Freight and picked up one of the pump pressurized aerosol cans. Had mixed success spraying the electrical switchplates and a/c register. Tried spraying the latex and while it did spray, it was not atomized very well. Paint was thinned pretty well (I thought) with water. Next time I'll thin it further. Can you thin latex with mineral spirits?

During cleanup I sprayed mineral spirits through the mechanism and the spirits atomized very well. Seems like the solution is to get my paint color from Sherwin-Williams in an oil base, then thin it down with spirits or turpentine and spray it that way.

Of course the *real* solution is a big compressor and an HVLP gun, but for spraying a dozen switchplates per year, don't think the wife will go for that one. :D

09-27-2005, 07:09 AM
Sometimes you can find automotive touch up aerasol paint cans that closely match your wall color. Costs like $4/ea and should do all you need.


12-17-2009, 08:26 PM
After the brush is clean, I wrap it in a paper towel, securing it with a rubber band at the butt so the rubber band doesn't crush the bristles. If the bristles have 'flared' from improper use or storage, this will bring the bristles back under control when they are dry.

I drill holes in the handles of all my paint brushes so I can hang them when they're ready to dry (after I've wrapped them in a paper towel). If there's any paint left in the brush, it will drain down to the tips of the bristles and drip off, instead of accumulating in the butt of the brush. (If you lay brushes flat to dry, the paint will go back into the butt of the brush, which makes the flexible part of the bristles progressively shorter.) If I don't have a nail handy to hang them from, I put a 'twistie' through the handle to make a loop, and hang it from a handle on a cupboard, or tie it to a door handle or something similar so it can hang down.

12-17-2009, 08:41 PM
The best sprayer I've found for small items such as metal registers & light fixtures is PREVAL (brand) Sprayer. Available at paint stores, it's a little 4-oz CO2 cartridge that screws onto a small reusable glass bottle. You can buy the whole kit (cartridge and jar), or just the cartridge. You really only need 1 jar unless you're going to work on several projects at once.

There's a chart included that shows how much to thin different paints, i.e. varnish, oil base, latex. I've used them all, followed their proportions, and had terrific success. I even sprayed PVC louvers on vertical blinds to match the trim around my windows. Talk about custom made!! One of my greatest successes was a very basic ceiling fan -- I sprayed the entire ceiling fan (disassembled, of course) to match the ceiling -- it just fades away into the ceiling but adds a little class up there, ever so subtly. Fun.