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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Selecting A Paint, and Paint Colors

clock November 17, 2009 17:03 by author Donny Kemick

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I was the designated painter for our new house.  I’ve done a ton of painting, particularly at our old house.  I don’t hate it, as long as I have some peace and quiet to do it.  That wasn’t a problem in the new house, as my family wasn’t there :).

Which Paint Should I Use for New Construction?

In the past when I’ve painted, the best paint I had ever “paid-up” for was Behr from Home Depot.  I don’t remember the specific Behr paint that it was, but it was Behr brand.  I’ve never been one to buy expensive paint because Color Place from Walmart has always served it’s purpose.  This time I would need to prime everything first, and do at least 2 coats of the final color.  In the past i had lucked out and painted rooms that were lighter than the color that I wanted the walls to be.  I had never painted fresh drywall either.

As I started looking at the task before me I decided to look into having a professional painter do some of the harder rooms, which I defined as enormous or very tall.  The first 2 rooms that came to mind were the foyer and the family room.  Both of these rooms were approximately 17 feet tall and the family room is the biggest room in the house. 

When speaking to the best local painter, he recommended that I try the Aura paint by Benjamin Moore.  He said it was pricey, but it saves an entire labor step of having to prime everything first because it’s self-priming.  He also said that it covers much better than your typical paint.  After some research I found the following benefits:

  • Self priming, even in bathrooms and spas
  • Coverage was well beyond average after the first coat
  • The paint doesn’t “flash” when you touch it up due to some color-lock technology they have
  • It washes with out leaving marks in the paint
  • You can use a matte paint in a bathroom as opposed to a semi-gloss
  • 1 hour recoat time, with superfast drying
  • Low VOC, low odor

Sounded good to me, but how much $$!!!!

Turns out it was a little over double what I was used to paying for a gallon of paint.  There was definitely some sticker shock.  Then I did the following:

  • Calculated how many gallons of Walmart’s Color Place I would need per room
  • Calculated the cost of primer for the whole house
  • Calculated the extra time it would take to prime and paint

I came to the conclusion that I would need less paint per room, no primer, and spend a third less time.  Since I was already taking a whole week off of work to do this, the time saver was very important in my decision making process.  I found that Aura paint goes for anywhere between $48/gallon to $60/gallon depending on where you look.  Because of the quantity of paint that I had to buy, I was able to get it for around $48/gallon.  It was well worth the extra money.

Colors We Chose: (how many shades of beige can we fit in one house? :) )

Benjamin Moore Aura AF-130 Truffle Benjamin Moore Aura AF-310 Subtle Benjamin Moore Aura AF-370 Citrine Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan
Foyer and Upstairs Hall
Truffle – AF-130
Living Room
Subtle – AF-310
Dining Room
Citrine – AF-370
White Chair Rail and Wainscot
Kitchen/Breakfast Nook
Manchester Tan – HC-81
Benjamin Moore HC-80 Bleeker Beige Benjamin Moore HC-84 Elmira White Benjamin Moore Aura AF-420 Agave Benjamin Moore Aura AF-165 Kona
Family Room
Bleeker Beige – HC-80
Mud Room
Elmira White – HC-84
Agave– AF-420
Office Accent Wall
Kona– AF-165
Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan Benjamin Moore Aura AF-95 Hush Benjamin Moore Aura AF-85 Frappe Benjamin Moore Aura AF-310 Subtle
First Floor Bath
Manchester Tan – HC-81
Master Bedroom
Hush – AF-95
Master Bath
Frappe – AF-85
Spare Bedroom
Subtle – AF-310
Benjamin Moore 2022-60 Light Yellow Benjamin Moore 2012-70 Soft Pink Benjamin Moore OC-122 Cotton Balls  
Eldest's Room
Light Yellow – 2022-60
Youngest’s Room
Soft Pink – 2012-70
Kid’s Bath, Laundry Room, Play Room, Closets
Cotton Balls – OC-122


As I mentioned before, I had never painted fresh drywall before.  The biggest difference for me was how much paint was absorbed on the first coat.  I was also used to getting away without sanding between coats.  That wasn’t really an option with fresh drywall.  The paint feathers up the drywall paper a bit creating rough patches on the wall.  I got a much better finish by pole sanding between coats.

In the past I’ve always used tape on edges, trim, etc…  I tried one room without taping and it took me forever to cut-in.  I went back to the tape, and it flew right along.  The biggest issue with the tape was that it didn’t pull away clean.  It tore the paint in some spots.  I had my painter cut-in again, and all was good.

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A Barden Home Walkthrough 5 Months Into Construction

clock November 11, 2009 17:05 by author Donny Kemick

As I mentioned in my last post, we were held up for almost a month thanks to Columbia Gas.  Again, I would avoid them like the plague if you have an option.  I unfortunately did not.

Anyways, I thought it would be a good idea for me to do a walk through to share some photos and video of the progress.  I couldn’t fit each room into the video due to youtube’s 10 minute constraint, but here’s a good look at where we’re at:

DSC00878 DSC00879 DSC00880 DSC00881 DSC00882 DSC00883 DSC00884 DSC00885 DSC00886 DSC00887 DSC00888 DSC00889 DSC00890 DSC00891 DSC00892

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Did Your House Project Stop?

clock November 7, 2009 17:55 by author Donny Kemick

NO!  Although it felt like it for about a month, thanks to the gas company’s delay in making the tap for my house.  You’d think they would have wanted the business, but they took their good old time.

No Heat = No Progress

With fall here, the inside house temperature was swinging up and down quite substantially causing a huge variance in moisture.  The carpenters informed me that hanging doors and trim with such a cool, moist internal atmosphere would result in gaps and negative results when the house dries out and heats up.  So, we waited, and waited, and waited, and harassed the gas company, but ultimately they took over a month to make our connection.  I would never recommend Columbia Gas to anyone, if they have a choice.

Where Were We?  Aaah Yes, Drywall!

The drywallers finished up very quickly.  They have some work left to do in the way of fixing up some corners and small dings, but they were done much quicker than I thought they’d be.

They did a great job and did some very cool texturing on the ceilings that we requested.  The owner of the drywalling business does free-hand designs in the joint compound, leaving a very cool, and custom medallion around light fixtures.  I will admit, they are very hard to photograph due to their depth and lighting. 

Here’re some shots and a video:

DSC00729 DSC00730


Although the carpenters weren’t around, I was able to paint the house in about a week.  I had some help from a local painter on the trim and some big areas of the house, but I painted over half of the house myself.  It was quite a job, especially with one person.  All together, I painted:

  • All upstairs closets
  • The play room
  • My oldest daughters room
  • The laundry room
  • My youngest daughters room
  • The spare bedroom
  • The kids’ bathroom
  • Master Closet
  • Master Bath
  • The study (my office)
  • The mudroom
  • Downstairs bathroom
  • The dining room
  • The living room

It was a ton of painting and really late nights, but I got through it.  If I’d have known that the gas company was going to take so long, I would have taken it a bit easier.  I had the painter do:

  • Family room
  • Foyer
  • Downstairs closets
  • Upstairs hallway
  • Kitchen
  • Breakfast nook
  • Trim & doors
  • Some outside painting

Aura Paint By Benjamin Moore Is The Best

The painter I hired to help also has a paint shop in my town.  He’s a Benjamin Moore dealer and was really excited about their new Aura paint.  This paint is said to coat any room, even unprimed, fresh drywall in 2 coats.  It’s supposed to self-prime, and never flash when repainted or touched up. 

It has a color-lock technology that is supposed to be very durable and washable without flashing.  I was intrigued by the product, especially if I could save going around each room one time, by not having to prime. 

The paint is NOT cheap, but if you figure in no primer, and 1 less trip around the entire house, it’s really not that expensive.

This paint is quite honestly the best paint i have ever used.  It covers like you wouldn’t believe!  I highly recommend it!

More to Come

Now that the carpenters are back, hanging doors and trim, along with setting the stone on the fireplace, I should have more regular updates…  I hope.  My job is really busy right now.  I’ll try my best!

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