Before I start in on this post, a little background: A got an intriguing proposal from the Dutch Boy paint company earlier this summer — coincidentally, at the same time we began to contemplate redecorating our sons’ bedroom. They contacted me, asking if I were interested in reviewing their paint on my blog in exchange for them providing the paint at no charge. They emphasized that they only wanted an honest review, and not an advertorial. So, since I was in the market for paint anyway, I agreed. Now I will proceed with the review.
Before Dutch Boy came into our life, here are the before pictures of our sons’ room, which my 8-year-old declared was too “baby,” and inviting his friends to the house would be out of the question until he had a more appropriate look. The 5-year-old didn’t seem to care one way or the other.
Now, here we go with the transformation. About a year ago, Henry (the 8-year-old) and I ended up at this cool little quilt shop in Sperryville, Va., called Beech Spring Gifts and Quilts. He spotted some really great twin-sized quilts in dark Navy blue and khaki. They became the inspiration for the new room. I also found the perfect new rug from Dash & Albert at The Red Barn Mercantile in Alexandria, in the “Tobacco Ticking” style — the colors are great match to the quilts.
Those staples in hand, I went about choosing paint colors, with astute advice from my friend, designer Dana Tydings. Dutch Boy allowed me to choose four colors, which I did for the ceiling, trim, walls, and book cases. You can see the colors in my “after” pictures, but oddly, there are no swatch images on the Dutch Boy Web site.
I would say overall that the painting process went very smoothly. We especially liked the gallon-sized plastic jugs with a built-in pour spout and a twist-off lid. My husband wondered why every paint company does not do this.
The paint dries extremely fast, we found — which can be both good and bad. Good, because you can paint a second coat fairly soon after the first one, but bad, because it tended to glop up at times, forcing you to go back over details with a brush to smooth it out or pick off tiny glop balls. I would say this was the case when we were painting the louvered doors more than when we were rolling paint onto the walls.
I had never used Dutch Boy before, which is a division of Sherwin Williams, and I was pretty satisfied with the result — especially because I think the paint chips accurately represented the true color once it was on the walls.
The only problem we had was with the bookcases. Both had been painted before, so I will say that we didn’t use any primer. And maybe it was because we were painting in the hottest, most humid time of year. BUT: After painting the cases, we left them to dry for more than two weeks before we put anything in or on them. Nevertheless, items were still sticking to the surface — so much so that even now when I take a book out, it sticks. There are several scuffs in the paint as a result, which I have no intention of fixing, because they are under books and objects on the top surface.
I really don’t know if this was because of the paint quality or the time of year, but I just need to put it out there. More than a month later, I can now put my hand on the top of the case and not feel any tackiness on the surface. I should have heeded my husband’s advice to wait a full month before I put the books back, but I’m sure anyone reading this will agree with me in that I just wanted to get the room done!
So, I think for painting walls, Dutch Boy performed well, and I would certainly buy it in the future, considering its price points are much lower than other well-known competitors. Perhaps I won’t paint furniture with it though.
Here are some other notes on the room. I wrote an earlier post this summer soliciting advice on window treatments, and after considering all the comments, which were overwhelmingly in favor of white over brown, I finally found this fabulous “Primitive Stripe” fabric at Calico Corners, and it was on sale! I think the rough texture, along with the blue stripe, will go great with the room. I await the store’s semi-annual sale in September to have new Roman shades fabricated:
In addition, I was delighted to get some designer hand-me-downs for the room: I was recently at the home of another dear designer friend, Debbie Wiener of Designing Solutions, who had decorated the media room/ sports lounge for the Washington Design Center’s Design House in 2009.
She got some huge cardboard cutouts of DC sports figures from Fathead for the room, but when she had taken down the room at the end of the Design House, she took them home, and had simply leaned them against the wall in her office. I saw them there, and asked how much she wanted for them. She said she’d be pleased if I would just take them off her hands!
Here’s how they looked in Debbie’s Design House room (much better, I know!):
Thanks, Debbie, for letting the boys have the sports figures. And thanks, Dutch Boy, for kindly letting us play guinea pig with your paint. We had a great time with this room, and the new Roman shades, as a result of all your great comments, will cap it all off.