Last fall I was asked to review a new line of paint from Dutch Boy called Refresh. They advertise that it has odor blocking technology. Hello. Four boys at our house. Do I need odor blocking? Um yes, definitely! It also has zero VOC's. I'm not exactly sure what VOC's do, but I know they are bad for the ozone. So no VOC=good thing. I had been planning on painting anyway, so I jumped at the chance!
They sent me a color sample book:
Holey smack that was a lot of choices. I had to pick four gallons, and my brain went into decision burnout trying to pick from all the amazing colors. In the end I decided to get all one color. That way I could paint both the kitchen and the family room. I went with a nice tan color called High Country in a Satin finish. Nothing too extreme, but darker than the cream color we used when we built.
I was so excited when the paint arrived!!
I got busy prepping the walls, and of course had the wallpaper removal fiasco which took almost two months. Then it was Christmas time, and I was way too busy for painting. So I finally got to my painting in January.
I took a before and after picture of the kitchen, but with the lack of natural light on the north side of our house in winter, you can't really tell a difference when you look at the whole room. So here is a close up of the new color and the old color.
I promise that I will show you some great before and after photos when I get both rooms finished!!
Here is what I like about Dutch Boy Refresh Paint:
-It is nice and thick. I primed the kitchen walls and had to use two coats of paint. The first coat actually covered well, just a few spots were thin, so I did a second one. Pretty standard in my experience for light colors.
-I noticed right when I opened the paint that it had a very low odor. As I was painting I was not bothered by paint fumes AT ALL. And it was the middle of January, so I couldn't open any windows. Love not having to deal with nasty fumes!
-It is very affordable. You can find it at Walmart for around $22 per gallon. Awesome!
-I have noticed a slight odor reduction. When I'm cooking dinner and using lots of onion and garlic, the smell does seem to fade faster than it used to. Does my kitchen always smell freshly painted? No. But the cooking smells do seem to linger less. And that is always a bonus!
Here are a few things I was not fond of:
-The screw on lid. In theory it seems like a good idea. It is great the first time you use the paint. But the second time you use the paint, it is nearly impossible to open because paint has dried in all the threads in the cap. I had to hammer the sides of the lid to jar the dry paint loose so I could untwist it.
(This is not just a problem with this brand of paint. I've tried others with the twist on lid and had the same results. Some people might like the screw on lids better, but personally I prefer the old metal cans.)
-I ordered Satin finish, which is what I use in all areas of my house except the bathrooms and laundry room. The Refresh satin seemed to have less of a sheen than other brands I've used. I know lots of people like the eggshell finish, but I like more gloss because it makes the wall easier to clean. Why does that matter you ask?
After one week, I noticed this on the top of my newly painted door frame:
Do you see what that is? Yes, it is a handprint. A very dirty handprint. Left by my 12 year old son who likes to see how high he can jump and how close he can get to the ceiling. GRRR! I was able to get it off, but it took A LOT more scrubbing than I usually have to do. So if you are going to use this paint in high traffic areas, I'd recommend the semi-gloss.
Bottom line: Would I recommend Dutch Boy Refresh Paint? Yes. For the price I think you are getting high quality paint. As a bonus it is good for the environment, and isn't as toxic to breathe. I'd just get a sample to test the sheen before you buy a whole gallon or more.
Update: Several readers have commented that the darker shades of the paint do not work as well as the lighter base paint. I've had success with a lighter shade, but can't vouch for the darker ones.
Note: Dutch Boy provided four gallons of paint to me at no charge. But the opinions are totally my own. I tell it like it is!!