Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

About Paint

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Ever since I started posting photos on Flickr and later blogging I’ve been asked questions on what kind of paint I use and what shade of white I prefer. It’s been really hard to translate this into English because of the different paint color systems that each country uses. But then when I met the guys at Beckers at the blog meet I took the opportunity and asked them if they could help me out.

So on gloss and sheen:

On walls I prefer what is referred to as “gloss unit” 7 which is then translated into “velvet-like” according to this guide. I don’t like paint that’s too chalky like “flat” paint.

On trim and doors I go for “Semi gloss”  with about 40 gloss units. High gloss looks really cool but is pretty unforgiving, every little drip will show…

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And on the color white:

Here ‘s how Beckers describe the three shades of white that they carry.

Cool white (Kall vit
It has a hint of grey and works well in rooms with lots of sunlight. Apparently it also looks particularly nice in rooms with dark floors. 

Pure white (Kritvit) 
Pure white is used to achieve a neutral backdrop which will enhance other colors and patterns in a room.

Warm white (Varm vit)
By choosing a warm white which is slightly more cream colored you get a cozy feeling in your room. This shade works well with light bulbs that give out a bluish sheen.

Have you guessed which one I use? Take a look at the three shades next to each other a little further down on this page.


Yup, I’m pure white!

Images from Beckers website. Make me almost want go for an all white living room again… And hey, look at those "harlequin set" chairs!


  • Gül says:

    What a rich spectrum on white! And hey! why go for color when you can go for all white, yes? 🙂
    wow for the harlequin set chairs!Maybe you can find some?
    Have a wonderful week, Benita!

  • Nolwenn says:

    I didn’t know there were so many gloss levels! I only knew flat (matte), satin and gloss.
    I heard that walls with imperfections should be painted flat because the imperfections don’t show as much as with a glossy paint, but that flat walls are a bit more difficult to clean. Do you have that problem with the velvet-like paint too?
    Concerning the whites, I love cool white and pure white. I’m not so keen on warm whites because I feel it always looks yellowish-old-unclean (like white paint after 10 years, it looks white but when you repaint, you notice it wasn’t white anymore). But I’m partial, I don’t really like warm colours anyway… except yellow 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Jag är också en kritvit “kind of gal”. Gillar inte konstiga brutna varianter. Har övergivit udda stol-idén till köket. Tror det blir för trångt. Beslöt mig för att bygga bänkar istället. Byggde en i helgen. Benen blev alldeles sneda och vinda. Nu måste jag ta isär och göra om samt förstärka mer med några tvärslåar… I’m no Benita, I’m not!

  • Velvet paint has just hat little hint of a shhen which makes it easier to keep clean than flat. For the hallway I used 10 which can be wiped which is good for when shoes and rain coats etc cause dirt spots sometimes.

  • Nolwenn says:

    That’s good to know, thanks Benita 🙂 I’ll remember that when we paint our house again (in a few years!)

  • Älskar dessa bilder från Beckers!

  • Kate says:

    I’ve always confused paint store staff when I ask for white. “Which one?” “I want pure white.” pause “Really? For the whole room?!” They just don’t get it around here. Everyone has muted, drab tones on their walls. One store keeps little cards with samples of all the colors each customer uses on the back. The worker was trying to find the card with the custom red I had done for a dining room wall and was flipping through the cards – 70 different shades of tan and cream – yuck! Mine, happily, stuck right out. Made me smile, as does my red wall among all its white neighbors. 🙂

  • I think it’s a little weird that so many people I know seems to be a little afraid of lots of white. Our walls are all white, and it makes everything concerning decoration so much easier, and it’s certainly not boring or cold in any way.
    Oh.. Just now I started to think about this awful wall paint job I did in an old boyfriend’s apartment about ten years ago. He wanted peach/salmon colored walls, with light blue sponged borders up at the ceiling, giving it that early 90’s kindergarten feeling. Horrible. I’m so glad I dumped him.

  • Kari says:

    Part of which whites work seems to be light levels and geography. For example, I love the look of all white in Scandinavia and the PNW here in the US. BUt it just doesn’t look right in our WI 1929 bungalow with original finish oak woodwork.

  • Jo says:

    Aha.. a harlequin set of chairs. :o)
    You’ll be seeing them everywhere now.. you mark my words.
    It’s fascinating the differences you find worldwide in something as basic as paint. When I first came to Canada from the UK I was dumbstruck, because having always done my own painting I was pretty clued up. I knew what sheen I liked, where and when to use gloss [shiney and usually oil based] or emulsion [flat and water based], that sort of thing. Sadly when I got here I had to start again from scratch because as you point out, internationally, all the terminology is different.
    That having been said.. it’s interesting that you like gloss paint on the walls.. since both in the UK and Canada that’s pretty much unheard of. Except in kitchens or bathrooms where there’s a lot of moisture in the air.
    Matte emulsion [or Latex] is first choice for walls.. and depending on personal taste, anywhere from 1 to 3 on that scale you found [which is really useful btw].
    In fact recently here in Canada the big paint companies have been agressively promoting finishes for walls called ‘ultra matt’.. which have no sheen at all.
    Gloss is generally only used for woodwork.
    BUT.. now I’m wondering if it’s just a case of cultural confusion because in the UK ‘gloss’ doesn’t just mean shiney.. in fact as arse uppards as it may sound.. you can actually buy ‘Matt gloss’.
    That’s because gloss is synonymous with ‘oil based’. And even though you can get water based ‘gloss’, it’s purpose is to mimic the durability of an oil based product… and it comes in all the same sheen levels as any other water based paint.
    So I’m wondering, if to ‘you’ gloss is JUST a reference to the sheen, and not in any way to the type of paint you use ?
    I’m also curious to know if you will still go for a ‘gloss’ on the living room wall if you do go for that navy blue ?? or if you just use the gloss finish when using white ?
    Jo xx
    p.s. My favourite white btw is called Cloud White CC40 by Benjamin Moore, and it’s all over the house. It’s a warm white but it doesn’t have any yellow in it, so I think I’d put it in your ‘pure’ catagory.

  • Sorry about the confusion!
    I refer to gloss as the sheen, not the type of paint. So I also use emulsion for walls and oil based paints for trim and furniture. Over here there will soon be no more of the oil based paint though as it’s to environmentally unfriendy so all trim and furniture will have yo be painted in water based paints in the future. I’ve tried those too but I struggle to find one with the same finish as oil based paint.
    The paint I use on walls is almost a flat paint, it’s just not super chalky.

  • Jo says:

    Don’t apologise, I figured we were talking at cross purposes :o)
    Interesting that they’re doing away with ‘oil based’ paints altogether over there. You’re right it’s tough to get the same finish with anything else.
    Jo x

  • Lovely paint. It looks so bright.