How to "fix" chalky, very white walls?

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Have moved into our "forever" home and want everything to be just right. After some extreme water damage everything was painted white with a flat, chalky paint. Even the wood work. I know it was to bring everything up to a sell-able appearance but it is BORING. Will I have to use a primer because the walls have a very dry, chalky feel to them. Being refrigerator white I'm not worried about color bleed through, but I hope not to have to put more then one coat on. I think I will just have to leave the wood work white, or perhaps a coordinating color to the colored walls? I prefer a semi-gloss finish for durability. There are no children in the equation. Will leave some of the walls white but really need some color. Living room choice would be a lighter blue, Bathrooms (3) in pastels of yellow, lavender, and green. Kitchen in a turquoise that would work with the blue in the living room. Bedrooms (2) and office also pastels although I'm leaning toward greens. We are in the southwest so I do want cooler colors.

  6 answers
  • Deborah Harbin Deborah Harbin on Aug 01, 2017
    Do not go "cheap" when you purchase paint. Many of the moderately priced paint companies sell paint that is already combined with primer. The extra expense per gallon is worth it, because most of the time, it will only take one coat. Behr Premium Plus is an example of a product that I've used successfully.

    • Kay Kay on Aug 01, 2017
      Who carries Behr? We have a choice of Home Depot or Lowes.

  • William William on Aug 01, 2017
    I don't like the all in one paint and primer paints. They don't always cover in one coat. Love the TV adds showing one coat coverage but the rollers are loaded with paint so they would cover in one coat. They really don't have any primer just more paint solids. Just use a good primer like Zinsser 123, Kilz, or BIN. then paint with your color. The primer will seal the "chalky" feel of the walls.

  • Brenda Brandt Deason Brenda Brandt Deason on Aug 01, 2017
    I've had really good results with Behr Premium Plus with the primer in it. I wouldn't buy anything else. I don't have the patience to do it all twice.

  • 13526476 13526476 on Aug 01, 2017
    Why not "test drive" an all-in-one paint (Behr is my favorite) to see if you get the coverage you want. Start in a small area (bathroom?) to test the paint of choice. I'm thinking the chalky paint you describe was probably inexpensive or maybe even a primer? Have to agree with Deborah about not choosing a cheap paint in that you'll most likely need a couple of coats, and it will not wear well.

  • Lydia Weikel Cox Lydia Weikel Cox on Aug 01, 2017
    Sherwin Williams also has some really good paint at hefty price, but they run frequent sales of 30-40% off, so I buy when the sales run, even if I'm not going to paint right away. Then I've got good paint at good price for when time & stamina exist.

  • Deborah Harbin Deborah Harbin on Aug 01, 2017
    Home Depot