Clark+Kensington Paint Review

Recently, I received a gallon of the new paint from Ace Hardware to use on an upcoming living room project. The new paint line is called Clark+Kensington and it is a ‘paint and primer in one’ product. I’m always eager to try out new products and this paint was certainly no exception, since this allows me to provide a useful Clark+Kensington paint review! I was initially going to write about the paint when the living room makeover was complete. However, the project is going to be delayed because of a fabric backorder. In the meantime, I have decided to share my experience with the new paint!

Let me start off by telling you about my old wall color; it was a cheery – robin’s egg blue. There wasn’t anything wrong with the color, but it was definitely time for something more neutral and classic. Add to that the fact that since I last painted the living room, my furniture had changed and life as a whole had taken its toll on the old paint’s finish. There were a few deep scratches on the wall from a swivel chair that had been placed too close for comfort, as well as claw marks from my American Bulldog, Murphy. Note to fellow dog owners: do not place your dogs bed up against the wall if your dog likes to roll around like a “break dancer.” This will not end well for your wall!

The photo below shows the old paint color on the wall to the right, and the new paint color on the wall to the left.

Clark+Kensington Paint

For the new paint color, I chose Clark+Kensington’s Anchors Away 5062. Before checking out the available paint colors, I already knew the color scheme I was going for. This made my job a little easier in that I knew I was looking for a medium gray color. That said, when I started looking at all the beautiful colors in the Clark+Kensington line, I found myself doubting my color choice. In fact, I almost changed my color scheme and nearly went with Magnetic Force 5022. It’s a deep rich color that I found difficult to resist initially. And since I only painted the bottom part of my walls, from chair rail height and below, it would have made for a very dramatic effect. In the end though, I stuck with the gray because the color went better with other items that I’m replacing in the room.

When it came to choosing the paint sheen, I simply stuck with what I have throughout the rest of the home – eggshell. Personally, I’m partial to eggshell because I don’t like how hard flat paint can be to clean. And despite the perceived benefits of a semi-gloss, I can’t stand shiny walls. So, eggshell was a natural fit for my room. I will point out that had eggshell not been available, I would have picked a satin finish as an alternative. When it comes to sheen though, to each his or her own. You should choose yours based on your own preferences and needs.

Now that I’ve given you a brief run down on my process of choosing a paint color and sheen, let’s talk about how the Clark+Kensington paint performed. Like most ‘paint and primer in one’ products, this one seemed thicker than regular paint.  Thanks to the added thickness, this helps the paint cover the wall better than a regular paint.  After just one coat of paint, most of the previous paint color was gone.  There were a few areas where the low spots from the wall texture were still blue, but overall the paint did a great job with just one single coat. And I imagine that if I was more careful and touched up each section as I went along, I could have gotten away with only applying one coat of paint.

Below is a close up photo of the wall, with just one coat of the new paint.

Painted Wall

Because of the areas I missed with the first coat of paint, I did continue on and apply a second coat to the walls. Again, had I noticed those missed areas before the paint was dry, I would of just touched them up as I went. But doing them afterward would have been noticeable. It is important to point out too, that even though some brands of ‘paint and primer in one’ paints say you can get away with using only 1 coat of paint this is not always the case. This works only in ideal conditions. For example if you’re painting a very light color on a white wall, you may be able to get away with only one coat. However, if you’re using a color that uses a lot of pigment and/or is darker over a white wall, you will still need a minimum of two coats.

Anchors Away is a mid-tone gray color and is on the cusp of needing a second a coat when painted on a white wall. My blue walls may have acted like a tinted primer helping the paint cover a little better than had my walls been stark white. However, I still think the key to having had my walls painted in just one coat would have been more careful examination as I painted.  I also found the Clark+Kensington color cards quite helpful, when trying to determine whether or not a paint color would need an addition coat of paint. The richer, more pigmented colors are marked with a star to let you know that they require additional coats to reach optimal color.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the new Clark+Kensington Paint. The paint covers well and there are a variety of colors to choose from. The color cards are also designed very well. I love that each card has a photo on the front using the colors on the card. This is especially helpful when looking for color ideas and inspiration! Plus the staff at Ace Hardware are always so helpful! Because of all these factors, I would recommend using Clark+Kensington paint for your next project.

Disclosure: The product in this review was provided by Ace Hardware, however this is NOT a paid review by any means and our findings with Clark+Kensington Paint are unbiased and authentic.