Semi-gloss white. I call it SGW because I use it so much. I know I should be hiring people to do these things, but my motel is 10 miles away from a large community and the nearest painter. It’s impossible to find a good one who doesn’t charge a boatload and is available sometime in the next decade.
So, I decided to do this one myself. I got through the entire process in two days and I rejoiced once again at my much maligned choice of using semi-gloss white on darn near everything in my rentals. To this very day, I love semi-gloss white. Stark. Shiny. Clean. I put it everywhere. I’ll never change. I buy buckets of the stuff. Here’s my story why:
My Semi-Gloss White-Wash Story
The first ever apartment building I bought had two units needing rehab. One unit was slathered in this shiny white paint, baseboards to walls to ceiling. It looked beat up, with a whole bunch of hand grease, crayons, toothpaste, and other unmentionable stuff smeared on the top. The other unit was painted in a poop brown that is so common right now, also with a bunch of grime over the top.
I always wash the walls before painting. In the poop unit there were areas where I scrubbed so hard that the paint came straight off.The corner areas where people brushed by were rubbed down to the metal corner strips. Once cleaned, the apartment needed to be repainted. To avoid multiple coats, I chose poop brown again. Sadly, it needed an extra coat because of all the white areas that had been showing didn’t take the paint evenly on the first pass. It took forever to paint around all those corners, avoiding getting paint on the trim.
I moved on to cleaning the white one. I scrubbed and amazingly, the schmutz came off cleanly and easily. Now the white one was breathtaking to see: baseboards to walls to ceiling, all shiny and white. I had the same thought you did when I told you about SGW: “It looks like opening the door on a sunny day after a blizzard.” Blazing, eye-watering, yet clean, fresh, and new. The whitewashed unit amazingly popped. There were only a couple of areas that needed touching up. I had no idea the brand, so I just got SGW, and it matched! No fancy optical sensors shining on paint chips that rarely work or anything!
Something had fundamentally changed in me. I became a believer. I’ve had that place for almost 5 years. I’m now in the process of rehabbing the poop brown unit and I’m going to switch to SGW, hands down.
Back to my motel. Luckily I had used SGW in the past. I didn’t have any colors to match. I could just buy a 5 gallon bucket of SGW and be on my way. No measurement of room sizes, no tinting, just shake it up and go. If I bought too much, I could even return it unopened and untinted. I only had to buy one type of paint. I didn’t have to remember what paint was on which wall. No complicated labeling scheme was required. I could even save unused paint elsewhere for use on other projects. This really cuts down on waste.
I don’t even have to use the same brand of paint. SGW is very similar across brands. I have yet to find one that doesn’t match. I can just buy the cheapest and get started.
The long-term tenant staying in the house portion of the motel made a mess. He must have had a candle melt and spill wax all over the wall, which is hideous to remove. Usually the oil-based chemical needed to remove the wax also takes off the paint. But wait! I had used semi-gloss white in a rehab 2 years ago. A scouring pad and soap was all it took to take off that wax.
The ceiling had a splatter on it from some obscene kitchen mishap. That’s going to be grease – a nasty thing to clean up off the popcorn texture. Scrubbing that would pull off the popcorn, which would be impossible to match. But wait! With semi-gloss white, the texture was rock-hard and scrubbing took off the grease but left the texture like magic. Semi-gloss on the ceiling? What did I just say? Yes, semi-gloss on the ceiling. Throw out that flat, boring paint, and join the future.
Some of the dirt was stubborn in the family room. No amount of cleaning would get it off. This is a common problem with any kind of paint. I would have to paint the whole thing again. But wait! Since this was SGW, I didn’t have to ‘cut in’ on the trim. I could simply use the roller and get close and be done. This was a HUGE time saver. Literally, it took a fifth of the time to paint that it would have otherwise. Bonus! SGW covers stains a lot better than flat paint. Further, any other 2 year old color on that wall would have faded in places. Even using the exact same can would have been noticeable. Not with SGW.
Each of these areas only needed one coat and I was done. It was that easy. This used less paint and less time. The whole rehab took 2 days of work, and most of that was moving out all the former tenant’s junk. Thanks, SGW!
13 Reasons I Can’t Quit Semi-Gloss White Paint
- White is easy to match
- White doesn’t fade
- No cutting in required
- Don’t have to buy multiple colors
- Easy to store and reuse the same color
- Easy to clean
- You can paint every surface in white and not seem too strange. You can’t do that with poop brown.
- Only needs one coat
- Durable and saves texture when scrubbing
- You can buy and return unopened cans. Try that with poop brown.
- Don’t have to match brands
- Semi-gloss covers better
Make the switch today! The next time you are considering changing paint, do yourself a favor, suffer the insults from your friends and the scoffing from your contractors, and paint that place head to toe in semi-gloss white. Yes, on the ceiling. Yes, on the baseboards. You can thank me in 2 years.