When we moved into our home we noticed some of the walls were painted badly. We attributed it to the painter the previous owner had hired, as he had the entire interior of the house painted and we assumed they were tired of the job and got sloppy.
After we moved in we noted they left us a couple gallons of paint to match the walls, baseboards and ceiling of the house. I LOVE when previous homeowners do this. Invariably there are dings and nicks upon move in or from children and pets and this makes it so easy to touch-up paint the marks immediately without trying to match paint or track down what they used. I've done a lot of interior and exterior painting over the last 20 years and 5 homes that we've owned, but I had never used the brand paint they had; America's Finest from Home Depot.
The first issue we had with the paint is it was a matte paint with no sheen so it wasn't forgiving to anything. I actually left a mark on the wall when my backside barely brushed up against the wall as I was vacuuming. If your sleeve happened to brush against the wall as you walked through a doorway or around a corner, it would leave a smudge!
Second, the smudges were charcoal black! It's a nice wheat color but every little mark or smudge was dark charcoal.
Third, it was not at all washable or wipe-able (sp? Is wipeable even a word?). If something accidentally dripped or splattered on the wall (even a dot of floor cleaner from kitchen mop) it would leave a mark and don't even TRY to wipe it or dab it! The paint would wipe right off if you wiped even gently and if you dabbed, it would leave that charcoal mark.
Now... break out the paint for touch up.
That is the word that comes to mind. On the edge of the area's where you paint, it's chalky white.
Note: I know what you are probably thinking... I did too. I didn't stir and mix it well enough. That was debunked many times. Second thought; it was JUST that one gallon. So I opened another. Same thing. As the spots dry you can literally SEE the white chalky outline appearing. The end result is blotchy and horrible.
Then I decided it was only because it was that 'batch' of paint. So with the original Home Depot mixing label I went to the store to get another can of 'fresh' paint in the exact shade match.
Happily, I repainted area's of the house that had bothered me with the chalky finish or that needed fresh touch up. Surely this fresh batch would be good.
Chalky white again!
In the end, I cannot and will not ever recommend this paint to anyone. It's by far the worst paint we have ever used.
Last year I did start to 'repaint' the house interior with a better quality paint that I love, but I don't enjoy painting and it's a BIG house so it's a time consuming project. Not only that, but we have a very open floor plan and our walls are 2 stories tall in most of the main level. I've repainted some of the rooms with 9 foot ceilings, but will have to invest in a taller ladder to do the living room, entryway, hallways and the office.
(For the record, I'm repainting everything (slowly) with a GREAT quality paint; Aura, by Benjamin Moore) until then you can see the blotchy walls in some photos below. If you have a choice, don't save the $7 or $8 by buying the cheap America's Finest paint... you can even check the reviews at the Home Depot site and you will see the general consensus of everyone is that it's a horrible quality paint.
|This is a finished, completely dry wall but you can kind of see the chalky white - and it's NOT from lack of mixing|
|A fresh touch up that has started to dry - you can SEE the white chalky outline forming already|
|Same spot, a few minutes later and the white chalky splotches do NOT go away. Ever.|
|Almost dry! And yes, this is what every gallon of this paint dries like for us. 3 different containers.|