Monday, September 12, 2011

Shell Out For The Good Stuff: Olympic Interior Latex Satin Offers Disappointment

The Good: Very easy to clean up, Great color selection, Warranty (I trust)
The Bad: Luster is terrible, Does not blend well with premium product, Requires multiple coats
The Basics: A good, but not great, average satin paint, Olympic Interior Latex Satin paint is inferior to the premium product.

In between my reviews, I've lately been doing quite a bit of gardening and I've been working on my house, which means I've spent a lot of time (and, unfortunately, money) to refurbish rooms and truly change my living conditions. One of the big projects has been swapping my current bedroom with the current television viewing room. The new bedroom is mostly green with a darker green base for the walls and a slightly lighter green sponge painted on. Right now - mostly to facilitate this review - the wood floor in the room is the same green as the sponged color on the walls. For the base coat on the walls, I used Olympic Premium Interior Latex Satin paint (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, when I went to pick out the sponge paint color, I went to look at bird feeders while my co-painter picked up the paint. As a result, we got the Olympic Interior Latex Satin paint. That one word ("premium") makes all the difference.

At approximately $20 per gallon at Lowes, Olympic Interior Latex Satin paint has some notable differences from its Premium colleague. Both offer the same incredible color palate (at least three hundred different colors in the system and on display at most Lowe's stores), a warranty and the understanding that Olympic is a company that is established and likely to still be around should you ever need to exercise the warranty. But that's about where the similarities end.

The Premium product has a 25 year warranty, while this inferior paint has only a 15 year warranty. That might not make a difference to those who frequently repaint or who are not obsessive compulsive enough to stash away the receipt and paint can label for a quarter century, but it matters to me. This paint is much more watery than the premium product. So, while the premium was more like molasses or a good syrup, this was more analogous to a cheap syrup.

That said, this weakness becomes a strength when it comes to spreading and cleanup. This paint goes on very easy, even if it is a bit thin. The paint is a little sloppier, because it is more watery. As a result, there was more splatter when I used the roller to paint the floor with this paint than when I used the same roller to do the ceiling (and other parts of the floor). In order to paint the floor universally green, I had to apply a second coat.

Which leads me to using this paint for sponging. The walls look good with the sponging effect. I was generally happy with the look. What I was not happy with was the specific look of it. The sponged sections all have a somewhat translucent quality to them. Because there is a darker basecoat beneath this with a superior paint, the sponged sections do not have the precise color we picked out. As a result, the room looks slightly darker than we were hoping for. Sponging is not something that can be easily gone over to fix this problem.

But more than that, the issue that comes into stark contrast when the wall is looked at right now is the luster of the paint. Both bases are a satin base, so they ought to have the same reflectivity of light. Neither is glossy or otherwise shiny. However, the premium paint has a luster to it that makes it look freshly painted, even weeks later. Almost immediately after drying, this paint had a luster to it that was even less glossy. The best way to describe the appearance of this paint is "extremely dry." Indeed, looking at the paint job, I would think that washing the walls would cause this paint to chip off (which is not true, by the way). This effect was somewhat mitigated by the second coat on the floor, but the paint still has a much dryer look to it, despite the fact that both are supposed to have the same luster.

This paint is ideal for room painting that uses only this style paint and I would have to say that it's best for a room that has colors one is thinking of changing frequently. The extra ten year protection offered by the premium product makes it a value over the long term, but if your painting is more short term, this ought to be fine. However, it also means that using this paint will likely double your work; using the premium paint might result in painting once in 25 years, this starts out with painting twice in order to get adequate coverage. If you do use this as a somewhat more temporary paint, you're looking at painting twice every five years or so.

Cleanup is easy, with this paint washing easily off brushes under running water. As well, I found when I did splatter some of this product, it washed easily (one pass with a wet sponge) off the surfaces it was not supposed to be on. It did not smudge or smear, it came right off.

I prefer the premium because of the density, lack of splatter and warranty, where this one's key selling point might be that it's easier to clean up. This is a good, relatively cheap paint, but you're getting what you pay for.

For other paint-related products, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Olympic Premium Ceiling Paint
Z Pro 24 Paint Tray
Linzer 6 1/2" Pipe Roller


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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