Monthly Archives: August 2011

Which is Better – Oil vs. Latex Paint?

I have been in the paint business for over 50 years – I know that makes me sound ancient! (I started working in my dad’s store when I was 7.) My family has been in the paint business for over 80 years.  My point is that if you live in the Cleveland area and your last name is Pucher, you probably know a thing or two about paint.  So I thought I would address a common question we get asked by customers – when should you use oil vs. latex paint?


Oil (Alkyd) Paints at a Glance

Oil paints are known for their smooth-as-glass, hard enamel finish.  In the past, this has made them a popular choice for cabinets and woodwork.  In fact, we know contractors who still insist on using only oil paint for woodwork.  However, there are some significant downsides.  Oil paints contain a lot of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which off-gas as the paint dries, into your home and the atmosphere – not ideal for your family or the environment.  So in 2008, the Ohio EPA set a max of 100 VOCs per gallon.  This legislation has limited the types of oil paint available to oil primers (in gallons & quarts) and satin & semi-gloss oil finishes (quarts only).  I recommend oil paints only for the following specific applications:

1.  Stained Walls – Oil primers, such as Benjamin Moore’s Enamel Underbody, are the only primers guaranteed to seal water and tobacco stains (interior walls)and tannin bleeding (exterior surfaces).

2.  Existing Oil Paint –  You can always use oil primers over existing oil paint, but keep in mind there are now acrylic primers that have excellent adhesion and can be applied on any oil painted surface (try Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start 100% Acrylic Superior Primer).

3.  Touch Ups/ Small Paint Projects – Because oil finishes are only available in quarts, it makes sense to use these only for touching up existing oil painted surfaces or for small painting projects like furniture.


Latex (Acrylic) Paints at a Glance

Clearly, acrylic or latex paints are the way to go for most paint projects.   Latex paints are much easier, safer and cheaper for homeowners to use.  They have longer film life and better color retention (as long as you buy a good quality paint).  The only downside is that it may take more prep work to achieve a smooth finish.  But, in time, latex technology may close that gap as well.

Key Takeaway:  Because of their high VOCs & recent EPA regulations, oil paints are being phased out and really can only be used for specific applications.  We recommend acrylic or latex paints for most paint projects.  To save $5 per gallon on Benjamin Moore paints, just print this online coupon.

Could Benjamin Moore Color Be Good for Your Health?

We have always known that color affects our mood.   A room painted in a beautiful turquoise can evoke the relaxed feelings you get from being near the sea.  Just thinking about the vibrant colors of Mexico – papaya, marigold, terra cotta, lapis lazuli, parrot green – can perk  me right up on a dull, gray winter day.

There is a new science called Chromotherapy that looks at how color can adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony.   Humans need sunlight to live. The sun’s light is broken into seven distinct rays (colors), all necessary for health.  The energy of these colors is like the electromagnetic energy of radio and television waves.   Just like the transmitters and receptors of radio waves, humans are receiving and transmitting energy in the same way.  It appears we can emit the energy of a certain color by simply thinking about it.  Each color possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration has characteristics related to different physical symptoms.


  • Activates the circulatory and nervous systems, improving impotence, poor circulation, and shock.
  • Helps bladder infections, colds, back pain, trouble with the legs or feet, and low blood pressure.
  • Wear or surround yourself with red if you feel un-grounded, depressed, or lack energy.
  • Try Benjamin Moore Vermilion 2002-10.


  • Helps address asthma and bronchitis.
  • Works on allergies, skin problems, constipation, spasms, cramps, and kidney problems.
  • Can also improve lactation for nursing mothers with milk supply issues.
  • Use orange if you feel repressed or inhibited in any way, or you lack sufficient energy.
  • Try Autumn Orange 2156-10.


  • Good for breathing problems, exhaustion, liver problems, gallstones, muscle cramps, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and hypothyroidism.
  • Improves food allergies, gas, and digestive disorders.
  • Beneficial in building strong bones as well.
  • Use yellow for depression, nervous disorders, and dispelling fears.
  • Try Concord Ivory HC-12.


  • Acts as a nerve relaxant.
  • Used for heart and lung problems, high blood pressure, breathing difficulty, compromised immune system, and fatigue.
  • Works to harmonize all levels of being, improve loneliness, reduce negativity and tension, soothe the nerves and spirit, and reduce anger and paranoia.
  • Promotes emotional stability, calms fear of death, and prevents insomnia.
  • Try Kiwi 544.


  • Blue lubricates joints & articulations.
  • Helps address infections, stress and nervous tension.
  • Blue stimulates muscle and skin cells, nerves and the circulatory system.
  • Use blue as color therapy if you have a sore throat, fever, ear infection, inflammation, burn, or other skin irritation.
  • Eases physical tiredness, mental exhaustion, and violent or hyperactive behavior.
  • Try Utah Sky 2065-40.


  • Indigo helps address eye inflammation, cataracts, glaucoma, ocular fatigue and nasal bleeds.
  • Soothes diarrhea, intestinal irritation, infections in the ears, eyes, or nose, and pain of any kind.
  • On emotional and mental levels, indigo promotes inspiration, reduces psychic exhaustion, and releases negative thought and behavior patterns.
  • Try Midnight Navy 2067-10.


  • Violet relaxes the nerves and lymphatic system.
  • Addresses inflammation, urinary illness, depression, migraines, baldness, dandruff, and neurotic behavior.
  • Should be used instead of red for high-strung people.
  • Try Gentle Violet 2071-20.

So the next time you find yourself really attracted to a color, there may be more to it than you think.  Your favorite colors may help you feel better in more ways than one!  For more ideas about using color in your home check out Benjamin Moore’s Color Gallery.  Another way to safeguard your health is to use eco-friendly paints like Benjamin Moore’s Aura, Regal and Ben.  These paints are all low VOC and low odor, so you can get those paint projects done without inhaling a bunch of paint fumes.

Key Takeaway:  Who knew?  Color may literally help you feel better!  The science of Chromotherapy looks at how your favorite colors can contribute to health and harmony.  Plus get some great color ideas from Benjamin Moore.

NEW at Pucher’s – Mirage Hardwood Flooring

mirage-breza-bali-resized-600Mirage – the # 1 hardwood flooring brand in North America

One look at a Mirage hardwood floor and it may ruin other flooring for you.  They’re that beautiful!  That’s how we felt when we first saw these floors.  If you want a floor that is truly distinctive, one you won’t see everywhere, you really should make a trip to Pucher’s Westlake to see our new Mirage display. Mirage wood floors are known for uniformity, stability, durability, better air quality, added value, and lifelong good looks.

Mirage has been recognized 15 times for outstanding quality, including the following:

  • Ranked 1st in quality by Floor Focus magazine in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010
  • Ranked 1st in quality by Floor Covering Weekly in 2008, 2009, and 2010
  • Received the Floor Covering News Award of Excellence in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Mirage


To experience Mirage hardwood floors for yourself, watch this video Top 10 Reasons to Choose Mirage and take a guided tour through rooms that show off Mirage’s gorgeous oaks, maple, walnut, birch and exotic hardwoods floors.  We think you’ll agree each floor is more gorgeous than the next.

One reason that Mirage floors are so distinctive is the cutting method that the company uses in producing its engineered wood planks.  Most hardwood floors are crafted using a rotary cut, but Mirage uses the dry sawn method.  The dry sawn method preserves the color variation, uniformity and natural grain beauty of the wood.  You’ll notice the difference when you see these floors.

One More Reason We Like Mirage

Mirage features beautiful exotic hardwoods like African Mahogany, Koubari and Canadian Breza (pictured, top) and they are all Lacey Act compliant.  You probably have never heard of the Lacey Act, but it definitely affects you when you buy exotic hardwood flooring.   Enacted to protect our natural rainforests, the Lacey Act Amendment of 2008 bans the import, sale and purchase of illegally sourced timber and wood products.  I think we can all agree that protecting the rainforest is a good thing.  But, if you’re shopping for an exotic hardwood floor, the burden is on you, the buyer, (as well as us, the seller) to make sure that the hardwood you buy was sourced from a company that practices responsible and sustainable logging.  According to the law, even an innocent buyer unaware of any illegal sourcing, can be subject to imprisonment, civil and criminal fines up to $200,000 and forfeiture of goods, if they purchase such a floor.    This is why Pucher’s only carries products that are Lacey Act compliant, like Mirage hardwoods.

Key Takeaway:  NEW at Pucher’s Decorating, Mirage Hardwood floors offer stunningly beautiful, quality hardwood flooring constructed of sustainable N. American and exotic hardwoods that will last a lifetime.  Visit us at Pucher’s Westlake or watch this video to learn more about Mirage.