Bedroom Painting

Martha Stewart Paint Review

I used Martha Stewart’s new line of paint for The Home Depot this weekend to paint the bedroom. Since I shared a preview of the colors with you a while back, I thought I should now share my experience with the paint. I used flat/matte interior paint in ‘Zinc’. And before you start your next painting project, take a look at the guide I wrote recently: DIY Painting Tips, Tricks, and a Step-By-Step Guide.

Martha Stewart 'Zinc' Paint

Martha Stewart’s paint is Low VOC. I actually like the smell of paint (I know it’s bad for you), but this had hardly any odor. I did notice a slight (not unpleasant) scent when I first opened the paint can, but that was it. What I did notice right away though is that the paint is very thin. Behr is the thickest I’ve used, and I still prefer Benjamin Moore, but the Martha Stewart paint was by far the thinnest. I was a bit concerned but apart from being messy to pour, it wasn’t a problem.

The first coat of paint gave me beautiful coverage and I adore the color. I’m a perfectionist and I always put a second coat on, but I think many people would have been happy with just the first. I painted the ceiling as well as the walls, and I experienced absolutely no splattering (which is often a problem when painting celings). Maybe it’s because of the thin consistency? The only problems I had while painting were the occasional drips from loading too much paint on my brush or roller. I just had to adjust my technique and wipe off more paint before applying to the wall. One gallon was enough to paint my 12’x12′ room.

At first I thought that the paint was fine and that I would use it again without hesitation, but now here’s where the hesitation comes in. We leaned our mattress against the wall while we were bringing furniture back into the room, and when we grabbed the mattress to put it in the bed frame, it slid against the wall a bit. The paint was fully dry, having been finished 36 hours earlier, but the mattress left a few scuff marks. They’re only visible if the light hits the wall in just the right way (I didn’t even notice them until the next morning), but they are there.

I should also note that I have received very mixed reviews from readers. A few people have mentioned using Martha Stewart’s new line of paint and loving it, but a few have absolutely hated it. My final thoughts? There are some beautiful colors to choose from, and I liked the paint a lot, but I didn’t completely love it. Honestly? I would consider using it again, but I’d be just as likely to have it color-matched.

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  • Danielle
    June 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Good advise! I was considering try this paint for our next project.

  • Shanon
    June 3, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I would assume that the scuff marks are because it is a flat/matte paint. I’ve seen chairs just slightly back into flat/matte paint, that is of high quality, and it’s left a mark. There is hardly any give or kindess with that finish of paint when it comes to traffic against it.

    Love that you painted the ceiling. I bet it will be really relaxing to look up at it. =)

    • Making it Lovely
      June 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

      True, flat paint is more susceptible to marks. I have used the finish in other brands though and they have proved to be more durable.

  • Brandie
    June 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

    That color is stunning!

  • Leslie @ {Tiny Wings}
    June 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for the info!! I just picked out the perfect MS color for our living roomm this past weekend . . . but I think I’ll take my swatch and have it color matched instead!!

  • rebekah
    June 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    we just used the new MS paint in our bathroom and LOVED it. that said, we used a semi-gloss finish not matte, so that could have partially made a difference in our final satisfaction b/c we used paint from her old line for lowe’s in our hallway last year–in an eggshell finish–and it also scuffs. so perhaps it’s best to use her paints for shinier projects?

    we about to starting painting the nursery for twin boys and are again using the new MS paint b/c i was able to exactly match the blue of an octopus wall decal i bought, so we’ll see if we’re equally happy with the results in that room.

  • jennifer@nicolejanehome
    June 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Good to know. I’m going to be painting my bedroom and I was considering the Martha Stewart paint too. I appreciate your detailed description.

  • Meghan
    June 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Have you tried restoration hardware paint? Hands down the BEST we have ever used- worth the few extra bucks and the colors and the richness of the finish is so amazing. I really love it. we have had no negatives–plus they now have a low VOC line for kids. Behr paint looks good but it always clumps on us because it is so think and the top starts to dry while it is still in the tray! Anyway- I love the color you chose- it looks good.

  • Kate
    June 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I actually had a MS paint color matched to another brand when I painted my bedroom. I really liked the color, but I wasn’t sure about the quality since I’d never used it before. Your review is really helpful!

  • Jen
    June 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Loving the color choice and thanks for the advice about the quality. I’ll be painting my living room soon and was considering going with a similar color but I just might have to switch to the “Zinc”.

  • robyn blaikie collins
    June 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

    i have been told to always choose flat paint because you can touch up without leaving evidence, unlike semi-gloss and gloss paints which show the difference.

  • Ashley
    June 3, 2010 at 10:52 am

    You can’t beat the quality of Benjamin Moore paint and they can match anything!!! It’s hard not to buy the less expensive stuff at the home improvement store when on a tight budget though!
    Love the wall color, can’t wait to see the finished room!

  • SFDC
    June 3, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I am definitely a tried and true Benjamin Moore fan. The Aura paint is so amazing — low VOC, super thick, excellent coverage. It is pricey, but really worth it.

    Love the color! We did a similar but much darker grey in the bedroom (Iron Mountain).

    • Damien
      July 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      All you Ben Moore fans should check out BEHR’s new Ultra line of paint…it is simply the best paint I ever used. BEHR markets it as a paint and primer in one. I have personally talked to a BEHR rep and it is not just paint with primer in it. It is a completely reformulated line of paint that utilizes a patented technology that BEHR calls “nanoguard”. If you look at the consumer reports you will find that even 3rd party reviews have rated it #1 overall…very good paint and much less money than either Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams! :)

      • Mike
        September 11, 2010 at 2:49 am

        Damien, you sound alot like a Behr Rep, did you talk to yourself? Its amazing that a “new” category of products would out rank just regular old paint. Look deeper into the ratings and you will see several other “regular” brands within a few points but for more than $10 less.

  • kandice
    June 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

    This paint is pretty awesome. I just tweeted about it a few days ago. I had some left over from when I had someone paint my bedroom 2 months ago. I used the left overs a few days ago to paint a dresser. I loved it. However you are right, when I moved the dresser to a new place in the room, after completely drying, it scrapped up against a table and the paint totally peeled off in that spot. Today I was gonna touch up that area, but was kinda disappointed that I have to do it. And also when I moved another piece of furniture out of the room, it scrapped up against the wall and left those black scuff marks you’re talking about on my wall as well. Apparently after this paint is applied it is for looking at only, not touching :D

  • Lauren
    June 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I have never used the Martha Stewart line of paints but I’m glad I read this first before considering them. Either way, that is the most gorgeous shade of gray I have seen! The hunt for the perfect gray is oddly difficult (I would know, I’m on the hunt!). Great job!

  • Anne
    June 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Hi Nicole! A friend sent me a link to your blog since I also just tried the Martha paint. I too had mixed feelings about it. I think Benjamin Moore is wonderful paint but usually go with Behr since it is so much cheaper and very good quality too! I thought the Martha paint was thin and runny…I had lots of drips that I actually had to go back and sand between coats. I’ve never had paint do that before and I am now at the stage where I am re-painting rooms in my house so I’ve been around the block a few times with a paint brush. As for the marks…I have two extra chairs in my dining room that were pushed up against the wall about a week after we painted and they left marks. I went with the eggshell finish. One of them actually stuck to the paint and pulled a chip off. However despite all this I have totally fallen in love with a color for my kitchen so might give it a second try. It is so tough because you hit the nail on the head…her colors are awesome!! You’ll have to let me know if you give good ol’ Martha a second chance.

    Here is more about my experience if you are interested…

    Here is more about my experieince if you are interested…

  • Christen Frederickson
    June 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for this post. I was considering using Martha’s new paint, too, but after reading this, I think I’ll just stick with my trusty Valspar Signature Colors paint. I’ve used it in several of my rooms and it seems to work the best for me. It’s also love VOC, etc. But, I do love some of Martha’s color options, so I’ll probably do color matching.

  • Sylvia
    June 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I was forced to test out the Martha Stewart paints when Home Depot stopped carrying Ralph Lauren… and my entire house is painted in RL. However, they did try to colour match, which turned out two shades darker than it should have, but is still a nice colour and had excellent coverage.

    I’ll be painting my new desk in MS’s Seal in a semi-gloss and will see how that goes.

  • Christen Frederickson
    June 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for this post! I am in the process of repainting several rooms in my home, and was tempted to go with the new MS line. However, I think I will stick with my trusty Valspar Signature Colors paint from Lowe’s. I’ve had no troubles with it and it’s love VOC as well.
    You can see one of my latest home painting jobs here:

  • Rachel @ La Bella Bungalow
    June 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for this review. I’m preparing to paint my kitchen and was really thinking about getting the MS paint, but Benjamin Moore is my favorite and now I’m thinking I’ll do the color match as well.

  • Chelsey @ 4th&Folded
    June 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Love the color! I had a few of her test colors mixed this weekend and was not impressed with the quality. It seemed really thin like you mentioned.
    @Meghan – I think Ben Moore actually makes the Restoration Hardware Line :)

  • Allison
    June 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Paint actually takes about a month to “cure” and it will be more susceptible to marks during that time, even though it’s dry.

    Benjamin Moore paint is my favourite too and I’ve had good success with the computer-colour-matching using paint chips from another brand.

  • Bryn
    June 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the review. I was so excited about her line (before it came out), then I was pretty disappointed. There hasn’t been any colors I have liked from the line so I have yet to use the paint. I most likely won’t be using it in the future.

    I do know that you can ask for her color to be mixed in their BEHR premium plus ultra which I love!

  • Sam
    June 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I fell in love with a martha stewart color (rainwater) for my dining room/kitchen and was going to go with her paint but chickened out at the last min. and had my local paint store mix up with color with ben moore paint. I’ve been really happy with the results and after hearing your story, I’m glad I went that way.

  • Taz
    June 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I just painted my hallway in the MS paint and had the same reaction as you, very thin (esp compared to the Behr ultra I was using in the other rooms). I like some of the colors a lot but would have it color matched next time.

  • AbraCat
    June 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the honest review– I think I’ll stick to Benjamin Moore. Love the color, though! Also, I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who enjoys the smell of paint…

  • Jessica at Lavender and Lilies
    June 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I used the paint. I painted my dining room “dolphin”. I thought it would be a dove grey, which is what I wanted. The color has come off very very very blue. So much so that I am repainting this weekend. I experienced the same thing with the “no spattering”. I think the paint has a great consistency. I think the colors change a lot from day to night more than Ralph Lauren, which is my go to paint. I recommend trying a sample and painting a patch in multiple places in the room and looking at it during the day, night, evening, dusk, etc to make sure it is the color you want. I also have found the colors to be not be entirely true to the paint chip. I would use it again but only after testing.

  • Amy
    June 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the honest review! I was considering using Martha’s paint for our dining room, but now I may have the color I want matched with the Behr paint.

  • Kim
    June 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Sooo funny that you posted this the day after I tried to have MS color matched at Home Depot (Canada) and they told me no! They said that the MS colors are exclusive to MS paint. I wanted “Sharkey Grey” for my kids rooms but I went with Behr Wheat Bread which looks almost identical and I LOVE it…. I really appreciate your review, very helpful :)

  • TheMrs
    June 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I haven’t used the Martha Stewart brand of paint. However, I’ve noticed that with any flat paint – it will scuff easily. I’ve never had any luck with it and ended up having all of my walls repainted because of it.

  • Anna
    June 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Our bedroom ceiling is painted the same color as the walls too. It’s wonderful the way the light makes it seem so different–I think that shows a bit in your photo. In fact people don’t believe that it is the same color. (We have a dormer ceiling and it’s so hard to tell where to stop, so we didn’t!)

  • Tera
    June 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I do like the Martha colors, but I think they are a teensy bit limited. I just painted my living room with the new Behr paint and primer in one and I loved it! There was no need to do a second coat and even my non-handy husband didn’t mess it up :) Mild Mint was the color, it is beautiful.

    Last month I painted my kitchen cabinets with Valspar and it was just awful. Very thick and almost goopy. Maybe because it was a glossy finish vs the eggshell I always use on walls? Aspen Grey was a great color choice but I will not use that brand again. Thanks for the write up!

  • Wendy
    June 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    As a professional interior designer, I’ve learned that it is especially important to use a satin or eggshell when specifying medium to darker colors. In addition to regular scuffs, flat paint in darker colors will also show more marks from the oil on your hands etc. You wouldn’t think it’s a big issue, but just touch the wall once and quickly it becomes one.

  • Wendy
    June 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    As an interior designer I’ve learned the hard way to specify an eggshell or satin finish with darker colors. In addition to regular scuffs, a medium to darker paint color with a flat finish will show marks just from the oils on your hands. You wouldn’t think this is such an issue, but touch the wall once and quickly it becomes one.

  • Kim at Yellow Brick Home
    June 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for this info! I recently painted our bathroom mirror using Martha Stewart’s Egg Yolk yellow. I have to say that I was a bit surprised at how thin it was, but it did cover nicely.

  • Jennae @ Green Your Decor
    June 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I was planning to try it to paint some furniture, but given your experience, I’ll just stick with Olympic Low-VOC, which is my go-to paint. It’s also about half the price of Martha Stewart, but I really love the MS colors. I’ll see if I can have it color matched.

  • Amanda
    June 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I had only ever used Valspar paints before trying MS paint, and the MS paint went onto the wall so much more smoothly than Valspar. It also smelled delicious—like sugar cookies and permanent markers! Mmm.

  • Elizabeth
    June 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I have an entire apartment to paint, and being a Martha devotee, I started with her “Natural Twine” in gloss for my bathroom. I’ve been extremely displeased with the results! Like you, I noted that it was very thin. It dripped in several areas, and three coats later I’m still seeing streaks. The color wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be, so I’ll be applying a glaze on top to tone it down a bit.

    When I was selecting paint for my kitchen I went with Behr paint + primer instead. I’m thrilled with the quality. I went with a deep neutral, and the paint is so thick it’s only needed one coat. It’s amazing stuff!

    My verdict? Martha’s color selections were impeccable (as always), but the paint doesn’t live up to her name (or the price).

  • cvjn
    June 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    i don’t have a lot of experience painting, but i chose martha because i loved the colors and i was painting my daughter’s room so i wanted low VOC. i have used benjamin moore in the past, but what they color matched was not truly a match, so i decided to try martha.

    the other discouraging thing about benjamin moore, is that they don’t have many samples. for my last project, i went through 4 quarts before i found the right color. that’s a lot of money! i’ve heard they are starting to do samples now….

    anyway, i don’t know much about paint, so i didn’t notice it was thin, but since reading your review and the comments, i definitely have an explanation of why it took me 3 freakin’ coats to get it to look good!

  • Jacqueline
    June 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I’ve been tempted to try the MS paint, but I haven’t had a chance yet. We’re moving to a new place in the fall so I might try it then… or just have it color matched.

  • Jessica @ The Happy Semi-Homemaker
    June 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the review! Been hearing lots of good things about low VOC paints lately.

  • Marina
    June 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    GREAT COLOR! Is it my impression or this gray has brown undertone?
    After your review I won’t be buying MS paint, but I’ll color match them on I love that they send samples and that they do any color w/BM base.

  • hanh
    June 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    i’ve only used BM’s Natura line in our house (two young kiddos so went with the zero voc), but i fell in love with MS’s Wrought Iron. I went to the BM retailer and because I didn’t have the sample card, they couldn’t do an exact match for me (i guess the MS line at home depot is still too new??). So instead of doing multiple trips, i just went back to home depot and bought the MS paint (it only went on an accent wall so i didn’t get too picky about the level of voc). anyway, the color is drop dead gorgeous, especially since the rest of the room is BM white dove. BUT, i’ve noticed that with only two coats, there are lighter patches on the wall that are only visible in certain light. if i were really picky i’d go back and paint another coat, but i really can’t be bothered. i didn’t do the painting myself. next time, if i use MS, i’d ask the painters to do 3 coats, or i’ll bring in the paint card and ask for a BM color match.

  • jan : daisy janie
    June 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Guess I’m just reiterating what some have suggested about the nature of flat paint: that it tends to scuff and mark more easily than the other finishes. I was a decorative painter before I started Daisy Janie, and flat paints have always marked like a chalkboard in my experience. Looks beautiful nonetheless!!!

  • Bridget
    June 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    It looks beautiful . . . I love it. Maybe you will need to do a lot of touch-ups along the way, but I think it will be worth it . . . Besides which, American Express can pick up the tab! ;-)

    I am looking forwarding to the completed bedroom project.

  • Sasha
    June 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I never paint with matte because the scuff marks would drive me insane. Have always had great experience with Sherman Williams paints used their Harmony (low voc & low odor) in our present home;I’ve never painted without getting headaches from fumes before. I have also used SW Cashmere and would switch back to it in a heartbeat they made it low VOC because self-leveling paint cuts down on the bare spots that always seem to pop up.

    • Heather Bourgeois
      June 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      Yay SW:) I used Behr almost all my life before I started working for Sherwin, and I love their paint. Harmony is in my bedroom, and I love it, glad you do as well!

  • Kristin
    June 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Love the color! You have fantastic taste!

  • Tory
    June 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    This color looks great! I thought I’d found the perfect gray at Sherwin-Williams but by the time I got two coats on and lived with it for awhile I realized it had way too much blue in it. In “real life” is this a pretty true gray?

    • Heather Bourgeois
      June 4, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      Which gray did you choose? I’m on the hunt for the perfect gray as well, and I’m a Sherwin Williams employee…would love to know which paint color/kind you used?

      • Tory
        June 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

        It was called Wall Street.

  • Kasey
    June 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    It’s always interesting to read reviews about the new MS paint. We painted our living room Wrought Iron & Sultana and it is simply beautiful. After using thick paint, I gladly welcomed the thin consistency. My husband and I were just impressed with how well it covered. It only took one coat for the living room. I wasn’t sold on the paint colors themselves, but now I have every swatch and love almost all of them. And besides, after her Valspar line at Lowes, anything is better than that mud-like paint. Love the Home Depot line!

  • Diana
    June 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks for the review of the Martha Stewart paint. I have only used Behr interior flat, matched to my Ralph Lauren swatches and Benjamin Moore. Based on your descriptions, I think I’ll stick with the Behr. I was really sad to see Home Depot replace the Ralph Lauren paint line; however, I purchased my own swatch of RL paint chips online so can continue to choose the colors that I love.

  • lauren
    June 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    As soon as you announced that HD was carrying the Martha paints I went out and grabbed the entire swatch collection. This weekend my husband and I painted three rooms and a hallway using the colors and so far so good. Some things I noticed, the smell was stronger with the darkest color. Also, I had let the paint dry in our master for more than two days, and a vacuum was pushed up against it… When I pulled the vacuum away from the wall it made a noise like it was stuck, and now there is a small indentation. I love the colors, I like the low smell, I’d use them again… blah blah blah. BTW we used the eggshell finish, I wish they did a satin.

  • Phoebe
    June 4, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Wow…I love the grey! I am all about grey…maybe too much, ha ha. I actually prefer flat paints to the look of shiny walls. That said, my bedroom in my parents house was painted with color matched Benjamin Moore…and it’s flat…but it doesn’t get scuffs. So it’s possibly a variant from brand to brand? Thanks for the heads up on MS!

    P.S. I tried to leave a comment on the Crate and Barrel giveaway, but the page isn’t loading. Is there comment glut? ha ha. I saw there were more than 1,400 entries!

  • ashley
    June 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

    We are in the process of painting our entire home (all 2,200 sq feet of it) and I fell in love with the Martha Stewart colors. In reality, I love pretty much anything Martha does… it’s a weakness, lol.

    In combination with Slate from Restoration Hardware, we picked out two Martha Stewart colors – Cobblestone and Artesian Well. With paint swatches in hand I went to the paint center at Home Depot. I told the rep what we wanted and he said, “Oh no. You don’t want to use her paint. It’s not very durable. You can use her color code on the Behr base.” I was kind of hesitant because I felt like I was cheating on Martha (yes, I have that sense of loyalty to her… the QUEEN of organization). But I caved and that’s what we did (Satin finish).

    We are about 75% through the house now and I’ve been really happy with it thus far. The colors are simply gorgeous…. simply Martha ;) while having the durability of the Behr. It’s a great combo. Or shall I say… “It’s a good thing” ;)

  • Aimee
    June 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

    The Martha colors are amazing but the paint is VERY thin. Four coats of the avocado green to get even coverage in my kitchen (thank heaven it was an accent wall, and I was painting over white).

    I also used the sharkey gray color. It is beautiful and provided great coverage in two coats…durable thus far (in a hallway and bathroom).

    I’d have it color matched from now on. I used the eggshell finish for both colors.

  • Claire
    June 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Interesting that you should post this, as I am right now at this very moment painting my dining room, kitchen and guest room with Martha paints. I also used her paint in the bathroom (in Sunken Pool, FYI – gorgeous color). I actually got her “Sea Glass” color-matched to Benjamin Moore for the kitchen, just to test out the difference and will let you know how it goes :) And funnily enough, my dining room is Zinc :) Isn’t it just the most gorgeous color? My eye was drawn to that swatch immediately, and from there it was just a matter of picking which room it would go in. I also liked Seal a lot, but feared it may be too dark, so I might use it for a dresser instead.

    When I was doing the bathroom (in semi-gloss), I also noticed that it was a little drippy, and I’m still noticing little drip spots here and there, which is annoying only to me, since no one else seems to notice them.

    On the subject of paint: have you ever used Sherwin Williams? I ask because I used it in my living room (found a gorgeous color that was so subtle I was afraid to try and have it color-matched for fear of it turning out too dark or too blue). I LOVE the color. HATED the paint. It was SO thin, runny and drippy that I had to apply THREE coats and am STILL finding areas that didn’t “catch” the paint right (the paint literally dripped down and pooled at the bottom of the wall — I have NEVER experienced anything like that before).

  • iheartkiwi
    June 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

    i can’t wait to see how it call comes together! i absolutely love the color. i’ve been after kiwi to let me paint our bedroom grey for ages!

    i have never used martha’s paints before… thanks for the heads up!

  • iheartkiwi
    June 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

    *that would be all comes together. haven’t had my coffee yet.

  • Miss B
    June 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I love the review and this color is so great, I have been thinking of doing one of my office walls in a similar color.

  • Debra
    June 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the candid review. It’s great to here real life stories of how products perform.

  • Darmae
    June 5, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I love Martha Stewart! You write really well.

  • Cheryl
    June 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I am in the middle of painting a hallway with the flat MS Tilled Soil – a deep chocolate brown. The color is stunning… everybody who comes over says that they are going to run home and repaint a room that color – it looks like luscious chocolate mouse. The paint goes on very well and no splattering.

    We are however, worried about the subtle scratches and such showing up but our friends at Home Depot said to actually consider the paint dry after 30 days and try not to bump up against it before then… and they promise that even though it is the flat matte choice, we should be able to use a wet rag to wipe off some marks.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Unfortunately, the paint has continued to show new marks, even now at almost a year later.

  • {leah}
    June 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Adore the color you’ve chosen!

  • Debbie
    June 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I agree with Wendy, for medium to dark colors, flat paint is very hard to avoid burnish marks. It doesn’t matter the brand of paint.
    Anxious to see your finished bedroom. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      I’ve painted dark colors with flat paint before though, and had much better results. I’ve used Benjamin Moore and Pittsburgh Paints in dark colors (like my library), and they’ve held up beautifully.

  • Clearly Composed
    June 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Flat paint can be a challenge. I love the paint I have now which has the look of flat but I can scrub the heck out of it..and I do and it has held up great. I am pretty sure the one I used was Behr. Your color is lovely!! :)

  • Megan
    June 7, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I just painted my bedroom with Martha Stewart’s River Mist, but had the color converted to Behr because I wanted to use a Flat Enamel finish, which Martha’s didn’t come in. It won’t show marks like a flat and is still cleanable.

  • Nancy
    June 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    After you blogged about your review I went to Home Depot to get some gray samples and also decided upon Zinc. However, I’m planning to get it color matched at Sherwin-Williams. Thanks for all the great information.

  • Olivia
    July 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Before trying Martha Stewart, I had only used Olympic. With Olympic, I would be in tears because I was so sick of painting the same areas four or five times! It is runny and inferior! I was happy to discover Martha Stewart paint because it is much thicker and it does not splatter, although it is a little drippy. The first coat covers well, but you need two to make it perfect. I am quite happy with it.

    I’ve since also tried Behr, and yes it is even better than Martha Stewart. The semi-gloss in Behr is like silk, so smooth to apply to trim without too many brush strokes. I also have the walls in one room painted in Behr and the room has a richness that none of the other rooms have.

    I am on the fence about whether I will get Behr or Martha Stewart next time. Behr is definitely great, but Martha Stewart is good. Martha Stewart has the advantage of being low VOC. Do consider indoor air pollution and the off-gassing that paint does long after it dries.

    By the way, a friend of mine who flips houses for a living loves Behr and will not buy anything else.

    • Cynthia Robins
      August 25, 2010 at 12:45 am

      I just spent two weeks painting my living room, dining room, office, and hallways using Martha Stewart Cappuccino in an eggshell finish.

      Yikes! It’s been a total disaster with the MS paint. I purchased top of the line brushes and rollers from Home Depot, and then went to work applying the paint.

      By the way, I was painting over white walls. MS paint is thin and takes many coats to cover – even over a white wall. Also, the paint (probably because it’s so thin) left bleed-through spots over all of my walls. I used almost 6 gallons for approximately 800 square feet of wall space…and still the walls are blotchy looking.

      Home Depot was very nice about it all, and gave me a gallon can of Behr Premium Plus Ultra to try. They matched it beautifully with the MS color. In one coat, the Behr paint applied perfectly. Now, I’m going to have to repaint my entire place with the Behr paint.

      Martha Stewart might have her name recognition insofar as her line of paints, but I recommend staying away from her paints. I won’t use MS paints again.

      • Joyce
        February 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

        I agree about the thinness of the paint. We just spent 3 days painting two small bedrooms with the MSL Lunch Bag and Haystack. Very nice colors, but after 3 coats in each room, there is still too much bleed through and we still have lots of touch up to do. The Lunch Bag had to cover a blue, so I expected 2 coats, but not 3+; the Haystack covered a light lavender, so no excuse there for 3 coats. And we too use good quality materials. We should have gone through no more than one gallon of paint per room and we needed two each.

        I have pretty much stuck to Benjamin Moore on my interior walls and have always been delighted with the results. This was a rare exception — and it’ll be my last. Back to very reliable and high quality Benjamin Moore.

  • Ginger
    July 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    We just used MS Lily Pad green for our nursery. Color was true to the chip. Paint seems thin out of the can but coverage was good (2 coats over a dark tan). I would definitely try Martha’s paint again.

  • Ginger
    July 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    By the way, I’m pregnant so low-voc was a priority, but the MS paint was remarkably odor-free compared to the low-voc paint we’ve tried from lowe’s.

  • Mike
    September 11, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Keep in mind low VOC means longer cure time, up to 30 days for a full cure. It’s one of the trade offs for not having the harsh chemicals that make paint harden faster. Give your MS paint longer than a day and you will see that it is a very durable product. Also Thicker paint does not mean Better paint!

    • Diane
      September 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      I wish I had known that before I painted my kitchen with the new MSL paint. A week later I still can’t move back into it because the paint is still slightly sticky and I don’t want to mess up the surfaces I worked so hard to prep and paint well. I was a dedicated Benj Moore customer and I have to say, next time I will color match and stay with a product I know well. Thanks for the reassurance that I’m not stuck with perpetually sticky paint, I was very worried!

    • Tonja
      September 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Having a low-VOC paint is worth the 30-day cure time to me. How often do I touch my walls anyway? We’ve always made a point not to touch the walls in my house.

  • Amy
    September 29, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I just got home from Home Depot with a gallon of Martha’s “Beet”, which is a deep raspberry. I typically use the behr paint/primer in one, but I couldn’t get the Martha color in that paint. The MS paint is terrible. It is super thin and I cannot imagine how many coats I would need to do the whole room. I am going to actually try to take it back tomorrow and get a very similar color in the behr paint. I am SO disappointed! If you are undecided on which kind to get, definitely go w/ the behr paint/primer. You will LOVE it.

  • Mary
    November 1, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Wow, glad I read the reviews on MS paint. I L-O-V-E the colors and the ease of matching coordinating shade via the symbol system. I am a tried-and-true Behr fan and will have the colors matched.
    Thanks everyone!

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  • nancy
    January 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    The comments here posted from DIY’ers were interesting to me and commmand a response because I heard tonight from someone about all of the ‘bad press in blogs’ re: Martha Stewart Living Paint with regard to other brands. I have 40 years of experience with interior and exterior house painting and selling paint products.
    ALL Paint takes 14-30 days to fully cure. Cure time is NOT dry time. Do not subject the paint to ‘wear and tear’ (mattresses leaned against the wall) for 30 days, READ AND FOLLOW the instructions on the can. VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), odor, and cure time are not directly or proportionally related. The EPA (the U.S. government) has recently specified lower VOC levels for paint. All water based paint produced is ‘low VOC’ (<50-tinted) at this point in time, although retailers are still selling through stocks of 'lower VOC' paint. Thicker and thinner paint in all brands will occur and vary depending on the color and the base it is prepared in… White based paints tend to be thicker, the darker the color, the thinner the paint could be, depending on the formula, because the base has has less solid material (titanium dioxide i.e. white pigment) and more acrylic colorant (w/a gel like quality which needs thin layers to be applied with correct dry/recoat time for a solid color result)… Diane, if you applied paint too thickly and recoated too often your paint could easily have taken a week to dry… not normal or correct. READ and FOLLOW the directions from the manufacturer. Martha Stewart Living paint is produced by Akzo Nobel, who also produces Glidden and formerly Ralph Lauren. It is an upscale line from Glidden Premium and I believe a better paint then Behr Premium Plus but not as good as Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint+primer). Color-matching is an option for purchasing one manufacturer's color from another paint company, however, not all color chips are able to be matched and competitive databases are not always 100% accurate. Most all companies have each other's databases or color matching scanners to scan each other's chips, but the best way to get a company's color is from their own paint. Claire, When applying semi-gloss paint over semi-gloss finishes (old paint or RECOATS, degloss or scuff sand between coats-READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE CAN). The paint will appear to run or stripe if this is not done correctly.

  • Dana
    January 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    it sounds like someone whose name rhymes with fancy works for martha. Thank you for the heads up nicole! i think martha’s paint works much better for crafts (especially the sample sizes) than for a room. while i love her paint chips, getting them color matched has been a much better option for me.

    • Lisa
      February 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      happy to read these reviews as I will be on my way to the HD tonight to get some paint, Behr it is. FYI I’ve used Martha gloss paints for DIY stuff (rocking chair, footstools, dresser) with beautiful results.

  • Kim Pimento
    February 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Would not use Martha Stewart’s paint again. I have been doing faux finishing for years and this paint not give me the results I am after. The new metallic line don’s give good even coverage. And after a weekt he paint scuff’s easily and the gloss I put on the unfinished cabinets does not look very glossy. Ralph Lauren where did your line of paint go?

    • Angela
      April 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Reading through old comments because I am REALLY lovin’ MS High Tide (it is one of the Lightstokes colors) and DD is tied to Ballet Slipper (but I imagine I could have shown her any pink swatch, called it Ballet Slipper and she would have wanted it on her walls) and am getting mixed reviews– from people at HD, from people who’ve used the stuff, from Ben Moore devotees… anyway– regarding Ralph Lauren paint– They can still color match to Behr at HD and I must say– I used Chelsea (a dusky lavender/purple with grey undertones) in our Nursery (almost 5 years ago…tear) and it is the ONLY paint I have used on walls so far that I loved as much a year later as I did when selecting it. We had a chandelier put in the room and a section of wall had to be removed then patched for plumbing issues and I didn’t have enough Paint left over to cover (blast those orange peal walls and how half of the wall had to be sprayed so the texture would day we will have a house without 1. orange peal walls and 2. rounded corners…..SOOOOO my point- we had them match RL “Chelsea” in Behr paint and I anticipated having to go over the whole room again because “it is not the same paint,” but it blended AMAZINGLY well.

  • Cindy
    March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    This question is for the original author of this blog. If Behr paint is the thickest, why do you still prefer Benjamin Moore? Is it because of the vast array of color pallet available? I have lived in homes painted with Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Dun Edwards, and the Behr paint definitely stands up to the test of time.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      I don’t think thicker is necessarily better. I like the coverage of consistency of Benjamin Moore, though Behr is good too.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Well i have read all the lovely reviews about Marth’s paint, i guess no has ever tried to use the Tin color, that is a part of the precious metal color pallate, well i have and i’m not very happy with it, i had to use like 4 coats of this on a white wall, to get the color to take. This is crazy for the amount of money you spend on her paint it shouldn’t be as weak as it is. I have used other brands of a lighter color and it took just fine. I guess Marth should stick with what she knows best and it not paint.

  • linda scott
    April 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for the info. Behr it is, and I’m going to color match “Sea Glass”. Yay! (I’m going to paint my porch ceiling and floor with it). It is the closest to “Haint Blue” out there.

    • Amanda
      August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      I am going to paint my bathroom in my Queen Anne “Sea Glass” this weekend, but looked here to see if I should buy Martha Stewart or Behr. I’m so glad you even said “Haint Blue!”

  • robin
    April 18, 2011 at 8:16 am

    We are painting our den with Martha Stewart paint right now were using the Pup Tent color which is kind of an olive color in eggshell. I love the color but I dont like the paint it dosent cover well we have done two coats and it could use another we are painting over a sage color green.

  • sharon
    April 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Found out the hard way that Behr paint is the best! Used Martha’s paint on living room and hallway and discovered that it is not very washable and with active grandkids, the handprints didn’t even wash off.

  • Natasha
    April 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I am getting ready to paint my bathroom with one of the metallic paints. It says to use the V-Technique to paint it. Does anyone have any info on that? I can’t find anything about it.

  • lori woods
    April 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Was just about to purchase 4 gallons of Martha Stewart’s “File Cabinet”; but, after reading the comments, decided to have it color matched in Behr. Have used Behr in past with very good results. (When I told my husband about MS being thin and drippy, he was all to happy to use Behr!)

  • christine
    May 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I bought Martha paint to use for my bedroom repainting project and can say I will never buy it again or recommend it! The paint (3 different shades of eggshell) feels tacky to the touch, as if it is not dry. It is too latex/rubbery, and peels off the wall with the edging tape and easily chips off the walls! I have been touching up spots all around the room that have chipped or flaked off with a slight touch. Using this paint has made much more work for me than required.

    I think Martha should sell her color palette to a company that is known for its paint quality.

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  • Renee Williams
    June 24, 2011 at 8:44 am

    i would rethink using MS metallic paint. 3 weeks of dry time, 5 coats and 2 professional painters later it is still not right. the metallic part of the color is splotchy and the paint as a whole, doesn’t blend at all. you can see where the roller stopped and started. go with something else.

  • Jeanette
    July 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I’m a retiree and paint for a living now. I’ve tried many paints and even though Ben Moore is a master of advertising it’s not my favourite paint. For exterior I ALWAYS use Pratt and Lambert Exterior Accolade paint. It is amazing and very long lasting!!! I primed (XIM’s UMA)and painted some outdoor coach lamps in Accolade about 12 – 15 years ago and they had not needed any painting since. I swear by Accolade for exterior painting.
    For interior for best coverage at a low price use Pittsburg Speed Hide. In a lot of cases one coat will do the trick. If you need two the cost of the paint is very reasonable and it’s the easiest paint to paint with and clean the brushes. I love it. For a higher priced solution my favorite is BEHR Prime and Paint in one. I just used it for the first time recently and I will use it way more in the future. It’s expensive approx. $48. a gallon but it saves on labour costs when one coat is sufficient. It’s a great paint to work with and clean up. I only use a washable flat and the walls look like velvet. At one job the stucco ceiling needed fixing so the person who did the repairs told us he was also a painter. He was so impressed with the Behr two in one that he asked me what I used. When he heard he said he was definitely going to try it. I love the products I’ve endorsed above. I also use Pratt and Lambert Interior paints instead of Ben Moore if my client has the budget for this paint. It’s fantastic paint. Again I say Moore is master of marketing but I’m not convinced it’s the best paint. Happy Painting.

  • John
    August 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I’m not shocked to hear the mixed feedback about the paints performance-A lot of these colors are carry over from Martha’s colors that she developed for fine paints of Europe a much more high end firm-The thing to note about dark flat paint colors is that they skuff-the good news is that flat is the easiest to touch up-If you are contemplating a really deep rich color you might want to do a satin finish or even higher gloss if you want more drama and less marking-Of course Benjamin Moore or Pratt and Lambert have superior product-it costs more! You get what you pay for-But, I must say Martha’s colors are good-If you are really looking for some beauty and quality check out Fine Paints of Europe or Donald Kauffman’s color line-Ben Moore’s colors are not as rich and seem a bit greyed out in the last decade but, their off whites can’t be beaten! Especially linen white! I work for a large west coast design firm-We also, like Farrow and Ball and Ann Hall’s colors which can still be had through G&R Paints in San Francisco-Ann was an amazing color person and though she is deceased her formulas live on-
    they are available in very nice Pratt and Lambert paint-about 3 times what Martha’s cost for Home Depot-Good Luck-I hope this helps!

  • Simon
    August 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I just purchased over $400 of paints for our new renovation in New York. Mostly Martha Stewart colours (eggshell, all) which my wife and I loved. We also got some Behr colours for the kids. I had both kids rooms painted with single coat in a couple of hours today, but when I started on the first of the Martha Stewart colours my heart sank. The coverage of the Barn (red) eggshell was awful. On new Sheetrock, prepped earlier in the day in Behr drywall primer, as well as on flat-painted white plaster walls I simply couldn’t get the coverage I’d expect from a premium priced product.

    The Martha Stewart paint was thick and viscous and ‘oily’ and dripped terribly off my top-shelf Purdy short nap rollers. The brushed performance was worse.

    I’ve applied two thick coats over the last 4+ hours and I’m very disappointed that I still see pale patches through (I used the W technique).

    I’ve told my wife that we simply have to write off the 8 gallons of Martha Stewart products and replace them with Behr. We simply don’t have the time or patience to apply 3 (or more?) coats to every horizontal surface in the apartment.

    I wish I’d read this thread prior to spending all that money on what appears to me to be an inferior product.

    • Simon
      August 21, 2011 at 6:14 am

      I’ve just checked my three Barn red walls after an overnight drying. I’m so disappointed. Even with two coats I have patchy pale spots all over my walls. I can’t quite believe I’ll have to buy another gallon of this junk to apply a 3rd or even 4th coat.

  • Jonathan
    September 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    HATE this paint! I’m a interior designer and have painted lots and lots of rooms and this was by far my worst experience! It is very thin, and you end up using tons of paint (almost 4 coats to go from light tan to white) The metallic paint is not “metallic” at all it just looks glossy which is a look I DO NOT like. The paint on the wall does not look at all like the sample… For almost $40 a gallon this was a huge waste of time and money and I will have to repaint the entire room… Trust me when I tell you – Behr Ultra Flat enamel is the way to go – I’ve learned my lesson and won’t ever try another brand again for interior walls…

  • Jonathan
    September 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Oh – one more thing – I’m a very good roller and and cut in like u wouldn’t believe – but the martha stewar metallic paint shows all ur roller marks – especially darker colors. I love everything Martha Stewart EXCEPT her paint.

  • Cat
    October 31, 2011 at 12:32 am

    That gray is stunning!

    I agree that Behr has very good coverage. However, the paint that Home Depot matched to MS’s color called “Fawn” for me was truly awful. I would call the color “Poopy Diaper”.

    Where Behr does well with coverage, with color for neutrals they lack and cannot compare to Martha Stewart’s.

    I think I’ll look around at other paint manufacturers to match the color. I’ll consider much of the advice I’ve read here.

    I’ve noticed that Behr’s neutrals tend to have less gray, but more of either a yellow or pink base. The colors are clearer with Behr, which is actually NOT what I’m looking for in living with a medium to light brown. I want good gray in that brown. Good tones of gray let a neutral reflect other colors in a room, and truly look different in color themselves throughout the day with different light. If they are not done right, they come out looking like the aforementioned diaper.

    Thanks for the blogpost — I’ve learned a lot here!

  • RG
    November 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

    To answer all the comments on Martha Stewart paint- I love the colors she offers but not the quality of the paint. What I do is match Martha Stewart in Behr Ultra. I have been painting old furniture so I get the color she has, match at Behr ultra for a sample that costs only $3!! The sample is quite big and you would be able to paint two side tables with it. The great thing about it is that the sample is flat so do not show imperfections. Also if you want to give some accent on the furniture in metalic go to Michaels where for $2 you get a litle bottle. Hope it helps.

  • Linda
    November 17, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    On a recent episode of MSL, Martha had someone from Home Depot on to demonstrate how to paint over ink marks. The first step was to clean the area with alcohol. After she wiped her sample, Martha lifted the rag to look at how much of the ink had come off — however, instead of ink the rag was full of an enormous amount of paint that had rubbed off. Martha mutterd some exclamation (eck, I think) and quickly put the rag down. I love all of Martha’s colors, but will never buy her paint. I just painted my dining room in Gloaming (color matched in Behr paint) and am painting my kitchen in Heavy Goose tomorrow (yep, Behr again).

  • Anita Bender
    November 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    This is the by far the absolute worst paint we have ever used. Bought a gallon of claret colored Martha Stewart paint and so far we have painted 4 coats trying to cover white in our computer room. The only good thing about this paint is no odor. We bought another gallon of her paint and fortunately for me Home Depot agreed to take it back for an exchange of Behr paint. They told me Home Depot is discontinuing her paint line due to the numerous unhappy customers. Not only does it not cover well at all it also leaves all the roller marks behind. Martha you should be ashamed of yourself selling this paint, it’s robbery. Shame on you.

  • Scott
    November 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I had no trouble with this paint while painting,at least 8 colors, nearly 3000 sq.ft of interior walls for a client. Two coats, perfect coverage. No splatters or drips. Folks, use 1/2″ nap, good quality roller covers like Purdy White Dove. It is true the MS line is on the way out but all the same colors will be in the new Glidden Duo. Sounds like a paint and primer. The clerks at Home Depot have had very mixed results matching MS colors into Behr.

  • Jayne
    December 6, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Has anyone ever mixed MS metallic into a glaze medium for a top coat? I just want a hint of metallic to muddle a solid wall to make it more interesting. Thanks!

  • comeon
    December 19, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Guys, I dont care what paint you use, if you can not paint it will look terrible. MSL is a very good paint. Also to the author the thickness of paint does not directly affect the performance. The most dummy proof paint is the Glidden Trim and Door.

  • Phil
    December 25, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Comment above about leaning a mattress on the wall and leaving scuff makes. That will occur with any flat/matte finish.

  • Frank
    January 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I’m a licensed contractor and have used Martha Stewart Paint today for the first time. In 22 years I have not come across such inferior paint. It without doubt will be the last time I’ll use or recommend her paint. Other cheap paints out proforms Stewart’s paint in coverage and ease of application. Don’t waste your effort and money on her paint. If you do you’ll be sorry. Disatisfied Contractor.

  • White House 5
    January 25, 2012 at 1:37 am

    many thanks for writing this information!

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