My deep passion for the power of colour and the near miraculous transformative abilities of paint are abundantly clear if you read my Blog, What’s Hot Postings or Online Magazine. It is for this reason that I became incredibly excited when I had first heard that Stark Carpet had teamed up with David Oliver (The Design equivalent of a Rock Star colour specialist) to produce a new line of zero-V.O.C. paints in a stunning and beautifully edited Designer colour palette that works equally as well for historic home restoration projects as it does for urban, modern or smaller spaces. The colours are rich, timeless and have a stunning visual depth that affords them the ability to work in every and any Design scenario. In a classic design they add depth and allow architectural details to pop, while in a modern space or loft the visual depth to the colour makes the walls themselves act as the Art in a space, especially when you use them in colour blocking.
The care, passion and research Oliver took in creating the palatte is obvious, but for me I love that his original inspiration for the Stark Paint line came from classical detailing and existing eighteenth-century homes throughout England to which he then gave a fresh and vibrant spin. The result is a stunning collection of 240 colours (SO much more useable than some all encompassing desperate 4000 chip palette) which are available in 3 finishes including velvet emulsion, porcelain shell and lacquer gloss. What sets Stark Paint apart from other eco-friendly paints is that both the base and the colorants are 100% VOC free (this is not typical in the industry where the norm is only a zero VOC base and any color will include VOC ingredients). Priced under 80 dollars a gallon it is slightly less expensive than Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion and more than Benjamin Moore’s standard paint line priced around $50.00. Sample pots are only available in the Velvet Emulsion finish.
Another unusual aspect of the Stark Paint line is that both the paint and the cans are manufactured in the USA (most paint manufacturers use overseas produced cans or base ingredients for their paint) and as an added touch, the cans are lined to protect the paint, so when it comes time for a touch up, the paint stored in the basement or garage will be as good as new and maintain the same consistency and colour tonality as when it was first used. (The benefit of this apart from having your touch up paint always ready to “perform” is that this reduces excess paint and cans ending up in landfills due to spoilage.
S E C R E T S T O S U C C E S S F U L P A I N T I N G with STARK PAINT
i. This one sounds obvious but trust me we ALL overlook it… Read Instructions. Before initiating a project, read the instructions on each can of STARK PAINT, colours by DAVID OLIVER finishes and refer to the detailed instructions on our Technical Data Sheets. This simple step will enable you to prepare properly for the task ahead.
ii. Use the best quality brushes or rollers you can afford. Cheap brushes shed bristles, which is very annoying. Equally long bristles can apply too much paint, resulting in sags and drips. Long handled rollers substantially reduce the effort in painting walls and ceilings. The leverage provided allows the smooth, even application of all finishes. Please note that rollers usually apply a thinner coat than when brushing and therefore it can be necessary to apply additional coats to reach the desired colour standard (I recommend 3 coats for rich or deeply saturated colours and 2 coats over a new primer for pale tones). The benefit of these successive thin coats assures even drying and precludes running, dripping and sagging.
iii. Don’t be afraid to call for Professional Advice. In the event that you have a question regarding
Stark Paints or proper painting procedures or anything related to their paint, believe it or not, they actually answer their toll free lines, are helpful, curteous AND give great advice!
iv. The key to any Great finished paint job lays in the Surface Preparation BEFORE you paint. Although the degree of preparation will vary from job to job – be it cleaning, sanding or stripping – the ultimate quality of the finish will be determined largely by the care taken in the preliminary stages. When interior washing is necessary, use a solution of a mild, powdered detergent and water, as liquid cleaners leave a film that interferes with the proper adhesion of paint. Approach preparation in a systematic, thorough fashion (start from the top and work your way down).
v. Primer or Undercoat (think of them as the equivelant of Designer Spanx to a great paint job) . Although not always necessary, the appropriate primer or corresponding undercoat greatly enhances the coverage, appearance, and durability of Stark Paint finishes. A good primer and undercoat will provide a uniform, opaque foundation with enough bite to assure an ideal surface for bonding.
vi. Sand between coats. Professional painters always sand lightly with a fine sand paper (220-320 grit) between coats to produce sheen of the highest quality. This step maximizes adhesion and buffs out the surface imperfections. On walls and ceilings, this work can be done quickly and efficiently with the use of a conventional pole sander. Walls and ceiling should be vacuumed or wiped prior to the next coat; woodwork should be vacuumed or wiped.
vii. Touch-up Paint. A good paint application can be expected to retain its beauty and appearance for several years. Accidents do occur, however, so retain a small amount of paint in a tightly sealed container for touch up purposes. By being able to touch-up damage in high traffic areas, you will increase the longevity of the finish.
The goal before painting is to find Inspiration in your space and to enhance the best attributes of your home while encouraging the best possible usage and enjoyment of the space. Colour is all around us and is often the first thing people will notice when they walk into a room, so your choice of colour is possibly the most important decision you will make when decorating your home. The first hurdle is finding inspiration: Collect cuttings: Fragments of fabric, paper, china, tapestries, paintings, flowers anything at all. Identify the colors that you would be happiest living with and then create your colour selection from those, however make sure to throw in a few unexpected pops of colour in smart and powerful bursts. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of sample pots to help avoid a catastrophe. Until you get a certain colour up you can’t really predict how a color will change under different light conditions. Try out this stunning collection of paint by Stark Paint and send me photos of your results.