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In the midst of my family news that I shared with you here, that same week I was also getting an education on Paint.

The short story is that through a series of events and several trips to hardware stores around the Portland area, I discovered that I got some bad advice on the paint that we used on Tyson’s office bookcase.

Remember this 12 ft. wide, 7 ft. tall guy that I just finished painting?

Yeah… it started to chip as we were moving things on it.  And I wanted to cry.  Seriously… there was an actual moment when I was standing in an aisle between paint rollers and tarps, on the phone with Tyson trying to not burst into tears after dealing with a rude sales associate who told me no matter what I did (priming, sanding, oil base, sealant), they would ALL chip.  It wasn’t very encouraging.  Especially since this was the same store I had received the original paint recommendation from.

But I’m stubborn.

So I went home, took a deep breath and did what I should’ve done from the beginning… read and read about paint.

There is so much great information online, but it can definitely become overload.  I quickly realized I wanted to hear from individuals with real life experience; who have used products that have held up and they were satisfied with the results.  So I started digging through my favorite blogs.

My criteria was simple: I needed a highly durable paint with an ultra smooth finish.  After much discussion, Tyson and I had decided that we would install a melamine counter top and paint it black to match the rest of the bookcase. Durability was going to be key.

Surprisingly, not everyone includes what they use for their projects on their blogs.  Some had used the Glidden paint that was originally recommended to me.  This is great for walls, but didn’t have the durability we were needing.  Young House Love said that they used Benjamin Moore Advance Paint for their desk and kitchen with amazing results.  I started there.

After a few more trips around town, I found Pacific Paint in Tigard which carries the Benjamin Moore paint.  They were a fantastic resource and I learned even more from them.

1. The right primer is important.  The primer I mentioned here is a great stain blocker, but since I wasn’t worried about the wood underneath (we were working with white melamine) the guys recommended a primer that would lay down smooth.  This Pratt & Lambert primer was truly flawless.  Easy to work with and awesome coverage.

2. High durability comes with a price. The paint and primer I used runs about $15 to $20 more per gallon than other brands like Behr and Glidden.  However, it is so worth it when you save on applying numerous coats and repainting/touching up chipped paint.

3. It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

Step 1: Prime.  Wait 4 hours.  Lightly Sand (220 Grit).

Step 2: Paint.  Wait 16 hours. (Yes, 16 hours.  It takes that long to fully dry and self-level.) Again, Lightly Sand (220 Grit).

Sorry, no in-between photos.

Step 3: Paint Final Coat.

That’s it!!

Being patient was the hardest part.  That and not over brushing.

4. Don’t Over Brush.  The guys had warned me to apply the paint and then avoid going back over the paint to smooth out any paint strokes.  The paint needs to be able to do it’s thing and self-level.  You mess it up by going back over it.  (I might know a little about that first hand, but luckily it was minimal.)

The results were EXACTLY what we were looking for.

5. Call in the experts.  I love Pacific Paint and now consider them my “Go-To” guys. When I arrived in the store, they listened to what my project needs were and directed me to products that would help me successfully accomplish it.  Before I left the store, they made sure I knew what I was doing and how to apply the paint to get the best results.  I know that if I have any questions on projects in the future, I can call on them and get reliable advice.  If you are planning on doing a lot of DIY projects, it’s so worth finding knowledgeable people who can really help you get the results you want.


I can’t even tell you how happy and relieved I am with the new paint.  The paint label said to wait about 5 days from final coat for it to fully cure.  We waited about a week before we started really using the counter and climbing on it.  Told you it HAD TO be durable.  More on that to come.  And it’s all holding up beautifully!  Not a single scratch…  Yay!!

PS. Pacific Paint and the paint brands mentioned above have no idea that I’m singing their praises.  There was no compensation involved… just wanted to share my huge appreciation!