You are all well aware by now that I have a slight obsession with wallcoverings and that includes wallpaper, tiles and paint. Now that we own our flat I can actually consider using wallcoverings rather than just pinning them on my ‘Wonderful Wallcoverings‘ pinterest board. Surprisingly though, despite my love of wallcoverings, I don’t really know that much about paint, or is that so surprising considering I’ve never been able to paint my home before? I’ve used Dulux paint in the past when we decorated Matylda’s nursery and I’ve painted some furniture using Farrow & Ball but that’s about the extent of my painting experience. So when I was contacted a few months ago by Valspar Paint, I had to admit that I had never heard of the company. But I was definitely interested to learn more about it and I was super excited to be invited to my local B&Q store in Torquay to meet with a Valspar representative who could tell me all about it.
My visit was so insightful and I was actually really impressed by what Valspar has to offer consumers. It was also a really timely visit as I was just in the process of selecting paint colours for my hallway and my bedroom. As I explained in my post about my bedroom inspiration moodboard, I had every intention of decorating my bedroom in yellow, that was until I spied the Valspar colour mixing centre and was immediately won over by the deep blue that we have now decided to go with. Luckily I was able to ask all sorts of questions about my paint choice and I was given some really great advice about colour selection and matching, surface preparation and maintenance and achieving the best finish. I was even allowed to test the paint out in store. I left B&Q feeling really confident about my plans to decorate my hallway and my bedroom thanks to the wonderful support that I was given by Melanie, the Valspar rep and I couldn’t wait to get home to test my paint out. In fact, I started painting my hallway that evening and I will share my hallway transformation with you guys in a post soon. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with how it has turned out. But I don’t want to keep my new found knowledge to myself so I’m going to share it in an interview I did with Miranda Knight, a colour expert at Valspar and I hope that you find it as useful as I did. After all, it’s always great to discover new products, right?
Can you give us a little bit of background on Valspar Paint?
Valspar is actually over 200 years old. It was established in America in 1806. The first transatlantic flight, the Spirit of St Louis had Valspar coatings and you will find our paints and coatings on brands such as Coca Cola, Caterpillar, John Deere, Budweiser, WD40 and Yamaha grand pianos to name a few.
Valspar believes that your home is an expression of you and that you shouldn’t have to compromise on colour. That is why we offer our quality paint in over 2.2 Million colours – No compromise.
What makes Valspar Paint different from other paint brands?
As well as offering the largest colour selection in Europe, we are changing the way consumers shop for paint. Currently, colour choice is limited by paint manufacturers and merchandised by brand not colour. We understand that consumers often have to compromise on the colour they love.
These compromises include:
- Being unable to find the exact colour you are looking for so choosing the next best.
- Discovering that colours appear different once dry in the home but not wanting to paint again. Colour brochures are rarely accurate.
- Colour being limited to certain products, for example, you may see a colour you like but it’s only available in bathroom paint.
- Using more paint than you thought you needed as coverage isn’t what you expected.
- Attempting to buy a colour that has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
- Buying another tin to touch up a previous project which no longer matches the wall as the paint has faded.
By using Valspar you no longer have to compromise.
Working in Partnership with B&Q, we train staff to take the consumer through their painting journey and offer advice on colour, lighting, surface preparation and applicators. The team will guide you through everything you need to consider ensuring you leave the store armed with the knowledge you need to stamp your personality on your home with the best possible finish.
When you buy Valspar paint you choose the colour as it will appear dry, we will then show you how that colour will look in different lighting, we can offer you that colour in any paint and as it is made using the best ingredients available, you can be assured that coverage is the best in its class.
Why did you choose B&Q to be your only UK stockists?
B&Q were looking to offer their customers a brand new, fresh and exciting paint service which until now has never been offered in UK. The partnership was the perfect opportunity to bring a service which consumers in the USA have come to expect, to the UK.
What are the main benefits of using Valspar paint over any other paint brands?
Valspar uses the best quality ingredients. Our premium products are 100% acrylic and you can actually scrub them clean – even the matt! The Wall and Ceiling range is a paint and primer in one. This makes painting quicker and easier, saves you money and gives the best coverage.
We offer the largest colour choice in Europe. With our colour matching service over 2 million colours are available. Valspar paints are water based, making them low odour and easy to clean up. Our tins are made from recyclable material and you can recycle the tins once your project is finished.
What advice can you give people with regards to choosing paint colours for their decorating projects?
When choosing colour you should consider the desired finished appearance because different sheens can affect the final look.
No sheen (Matt) is best for accent colours as the lack of sheen makes brighter colours easier on the eye.
Medium sheen (Mid- sheen, Soft Sheen) is best for light colours as it captures the subtle shades of colour, especially neutrals.
High sheen (Silk, Gloss) brings out the depth of colour and gives a liquid look when used with dark colours (high sheen should be avoided on imperfect surfaces as it can draw attention to these details)
Think about fixed items in your room (sofas or carpets) as these should be your starting point for colour choice.
Is the room south or north facing? How much light the room gets should be a factor when choosing colour.
Also think about who is using the room and for what purpose?
Lastly, consider the feel you wish to achieve in the room. If it’s a bedroom you may prefer a relaxing feel, but for an office perhaps a colour to stimulate the mind etc. Colour can have a big impact.
If after having considered all these factors someone is still unsure of what colour to choose, what kind of support can they expect from Valspar advisors in store?
When you come to Valspar at B&Q, teams are trained to offer all the advice you need for your project. This includes colour selection. Advisors will show you the Valspar chip rack, which is unique to B&Q and contains a large selection of Valspar colours to choose from. Each colour chip has been painted and shows the exact colour of your paint once dry.
If you are looking to create a unique colour, we have a colour matching service. Using exclusive technology which has the ability to mimic the human eye, we can scan an item and recreate that colour exactly. You can even name the colour and save it so it’s yours forever!
You then need to consider how light will affect the colour. Using the light box situated in the centre of the chip rack you will see your colour under fluorescent (blue), daylight (clear white tone) and incandescent (energy saving, yellow tone) lighting.
For customers who need some inspiration, or lack confidence in picking their colour, advisors can use colour harmony technology that will suggest colours that complement each other and will talk you through different schemes you may wish to consider for your project.
What preparation if any should we do before painting our walls with Valspar paints?
Surface preparation is 80% of the paint project. By skipping preparation you risk a poor quality finish. B&Q staff will talk you through everything you need to know but there is some general advice.
Walls must be clean and dry so any dirt, dust, grime or other contaminates must be removed. You need to ensure you have a smooth surface.Before you start painting make sure you protect carpets with dust sheets. Always use a primer when painting newly skimmed plaster or under bright vivid top coat colours and prime all stained surfaces with an appropriate stain blocker/sealer.
In bathrooms or kitchens the surface needs to be free from grease, soap, and hand marks. Sugar soap is great for cleaning walls but ensure this is rinsed off and the walls are dry before painting. Mould and mildew must also be removed. A solution that is 3 parts water 1 part bleach is great for this although you can buy removal products.
When painting wood and metal you must repair any damaged areas before you start painting. Ensure the area is dry and remove any old, loose or flaky paint. If there is any mould present this must be removed before painting. Always prime bare wood or metal. Glossy surfaces should be de-glossed. If painting over oil-based paint with a water based product, you should sand back to bare wood and prime.
For masonry always ensure a clean surface before you start and remove any flaky, peeling paint. Remove any mould or algae with bleach and water or removal product. If a wall is chalky, a stabilising solution will be needed before you paint. Avoid painting in temperatures below 10 degrees and always consider weather conditions and avoid painting during wet spells.
What tips can you give us for getting the best finish when using Valspar paint?
Choose Premium, it will give you the best coverage and long lasting results. Always use good quality applicators. We recommend a good quality roller (Diall, Hamilton, Harris) and a synthetic brush as these will give you a better finish when using acrylic paints. As Valspar is water based, ensure you use water based primers if needed for your project. We recommend two coats as this will bring out your colour and make the finish more durable. Always allow correct drying in between coats. Valspar paint dries in 1 hour and needs 2-4 hours between coats.
Using the correct paint for your project will ensure you get the best finish and durability. Always use kitchen and bathroom paint when painting these rooms as the paint has added ingredients to protect from high humidity.
Grey primer/ undercoat should be used under a bright, dark colour. If you have a white (white is the most reflective colour) or light colour, applying a grey undercoat will create a neutral base and allow you to achieve the saturation of colour in less coats. Valspar can tint your undercoat to ensure you choose the right shade for the colour you have chosen.
What about maintenance? Is there anything we can do to keep our Valspar paint jobs looking like new?
As you can scrub the paint, colours will last longer as the top layer will not come off when cleaning. You can scrub with cleaning products and the abrasive side of a sponge. Although, you should allow 7 days for the paint to cure and harden before scrubbing
The correct preparation will ensure a long lasting finish.