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Perhaps you’re ready but are a little weary of doing something like painting all four walls?  Plus, your’e not really sure what color you would make that accent wall anyway right?  Well change it up with a few small paint projects instead

You could try painting an old chair or small table.  Find an old mirror with a frame you could easily paint.  Maybe even paint just the trim and window frames, or an interior door!

These are all fairly small and simple changes that could really make things feel new again.  With items like the chair or table, don’t be afraid to use bold colors, especially if the walls and trim are neutrals.

For items like a mirror frame or even a table lamp you could try using some faux finishing techniques and products to give them an ‘antique’ or ‘crackle’ appearance.

The fact is that you can do so many things with paint, that doesn’t involve painting your walls!  The experts at your local Miller Paint stores are here to make sure you have the right products and give you the tips and advice to be successful with whatever paint project you decide to conquer!

Happy Painting!

~Melanie Gibbs


    Miller Paint Signed An Expanded Contract With MetroPaint


Miller Paint Company last week signed an expanded contract with the Metro regional government to buy at least 40,000 gallons of recycled paint per year through 2017.

Portland-based Miller will then sell the paint, which retails under the label MetroPaint, at 50 Miller Paint stores across the Pacific Northwest, according to Metro.

MetroPaint, part of Oregon’s nation-leading paint recycling program, is made at a Swan Island processing center. About 19 percent of the paint entering the recycling process is from Miller.

MetroPaint took in 328,000 gallons of recycled paint in the last fiscal year and sold about 44 percent of that as MetroPaint. Nearly $1 million in paint was sold in the last fiscal year, about a quarter of that through Miller Paint.

Miller Paint CEO Steve Dearborn told Metro: “It’s, first of all, the right thing to do. From our standpoint as a retailer, it’s been a positive addition to our line, and the colors work. For the customers who are looking for recycled paint, it’s been good.”


Miller Paint was the recipient of an Innovation in Sustainability award from Sustainable Business Oregon in 2010.


By Nick Christensen. Bylined writers are Metro staff. Stories with a byline do not necessarily represent the opinions of Metro or the Metro Council. Metro news is committed to transparency, fairness and accuracy.

Miller Paint

From left, Metro deputy chief operating officer Scott Robinson and Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick talk to Miller Paint CEO Steve Dearborn. At right is Jim Quinn, manager of Metro’s Hazardous Waste Program.


For years, Metro’s recycled paint has been the top source of recycled paint in the Portland region.

MetroPaint’s new deal with Miller Paint Company, though, prepares it to lead the way in a broader “region” – the Pacific Northwest.

At a signing ceremony Aug. 15, Miller Paint CEO Steve Dearborn and Metro deputy chief operating officer Scott Robinson inked a deal that guarantees Miller will buy at least 40,000 gallons of recycled paint from Metro each year through 2017.

That means that recycled MetroPaint will be available at 50 Miller Paint outlets, from Ashland to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as well as at MetroPaint’s Swan Island processing center.

Miller has been retailing MetroPaint since 2009, selling the recycled colors at its outlets as well as some Fred Meyer stores. Jim Quinn, manager of Metro’s Hazardous Waste Program, said the additional availability was key in selling the recycled products.

For MetroPaint’s first 10 years, the paint was only sold at Swan Island.

“We eventually realized that having this one point of sale here wasn’t quite cutting it,” Quinn said. “Now that we’re carrying it for a lot of retail outlets throughout Portland and the Northwest, it has made a difference.”

In some regards, the paint that’s being sold by Miller Paint is on its second go-round in the stores – 19 percent of the paint that comes into MetroPaint for recycling is Miller Paint.

“It’s, first of all, the right thing to do,” said Dearborn, Miller Paint’s CEO. “From our standpoint as a retailer, it’s been a positive addition to our line, and the colors work. For the customers who are looking for recycled paint, it’s been good.”

MetroPaint took in 328,000 gallons of recycled paint in the last fiscal year and sold about 44 percent of that as MetroPaint. Nearly $1 million in paint was sold in the last fiscal year, about a quarter of that through Miller Paint.

More could be distributed, Quinn said, but “to some extent our supply is the limiting factor. Even though we’ve boosted our supply with this new PaintCare system, and the paint is flowing more, there is still a limiting factor for certain colors – white in particular.”

More than 100 hazardous waste collection stations in Oregon send paint to MetroPaint for processing. Quinn said about 15 percent of that is waste that can’t be reprocessed. Another large percentage doesn’t match with any of MetroPaint’s color palette and is sent overseas.

“To be recycling this much paint is amazing,” said Shirley Craddick, a Metro councilor who was at Wednesday’s signing ceremony. “We should be so proud that we’re not taking all this to a landfill, and it can be reused.”

The contract calls for Miller Paint to increase its purchases of MetroPaint to 50,000 gallons by 2017. Metro sells the recycled paint to Miller Paint at about half the consumer retail price.


Evolution by Miller Paint

It’s human nature to want to get the best bang for your buck.  So why buy higher end paint?  The number of reasons may surprise you! Paint comes in a variety of types specifically designed for different purposes.  Within those types, there are also a variety of quality levels.  So how do you choose which paint is right for you?  At Miller Paint CO, we’re here to help you get the most from you paint.


You don’t always save when you buy cheaper.

I’m as guilty as everyone else when it comes to reaching for the cheapest price without checking the facts.  Before you reach for that cheap gallon of paint, think it over…  How much is your time worth?  How soon do you want to have to repaint?  Let me share some facts that may change the way you think about paint.
Paint is made up of 3 main components, solids, binders, and liquid.  Within those components, there are different quality levels.  Cheaper paints use cheaper, less refined solids and binders.  The result is a paint that while it may do the job, you may use more paint, costing you extra dollars, and your paint job won’t last as long, costing you even more.
Higher quality isn’t as expensive as you think.

When you buy higher end paint, the benefits are almost endless.  You may initially put out more money per gallon, but you’ll use less paint, and with all those benefits come cost savings over time.
Here’s a list of some of them:
  • Better dirt resistance means less scrubbing resulting in longer paint life.  $$
  • Better Mildew resistance means less repaints.  $$
  • Better coverage means using less paint, as well as less time.  $$$
  • More refined solids mean less brush lines or roller marks.  $$
  • Thicker paint means less splatter, and less damage to flooring, and trim.  $$
  • Less chalking in Exterior paint means less repaints.  $$
  • Better flexibility in Exterior paint means less cracking, peeling, or blistering resulting in less repaints.  $$$$
  • What this means for you is that the extra $5 to $10 per gallon you spend in the beginning will save you a whole lot more in the long run!
Here are a couple of scenarios:
Joe buys bargain paint and paints the exterior of his house with it.  He initially buys 15 gallons of paint costing him $450.  His other painting supplies cost him another $50.  The paint doesn’t cover well so he has to apply a third coat.  He buys another 8 gallons costing him another $240.  After 5 years the paint starts to crack and peel and looks chalky.  It’s time to repaint.  Only this time he’ll have to scrape and prime because the peeling paint took the primer with it.  The primer costs him an additional $300.  Over 20 years Joe spends $3860 on paint and supplies and paints his house 4 times.

Joe’s neighbor Mike buys higher quality paint with a lifetime warranty to paint his exterior.  He buys 10 gallons of primer and 15 gallons of paint, costing him $1075 and spends about $50 on painting supplies.  The paint covers well, and he has more than enough to paint his house.  20 years later, Mike’s house still looks great.  He only spent $1125 on paint and supplies.  Mike saved himself $2735 and a whole lot of work!

Mary and Tina are both painting their kitchens.  They go shopping together and end up choosing the same color.  Mary buys the cheapest paint spending about $50 for two gallons of paint and some supplies.  Tina buys better quality paint and spends $90 for two gallons of paint and some supplies.  Mary starts painting and the paint doesn’t cover well so she heads back to the store for two more gallons spending $40 more.  Tina paints her kitchen with her two gallons and has a little left over for touch ups.  They both spent the same amount of money, but Tina was done in half the time.  But that’s not the end of it.  After 2 years, Mary has to repaint.  Her cheaper paint didn’t clean up well and looks terrible.  She spends another $90 on paint.  Tina’s kitchen still looks like it did the day she painted it.  Over 4 years’ time, Mary spent twice as much, and did 4 times the work.

In a Nutshell
So before you buy that bargain paint, ask yourself these questions:
How much is my time worth?
How soon do I want to repaint?
How much money is this really going to cost me over time?
Miller Paint CO. has a wide range of high quality paints to choose from.  Come into any of our Miller paint locations and one of our associates will help you find the best paint for the job, giving you peace of mind, and saving you time, and money.
Cherise Hiatt - Longview, WA

Disposal of Paint Is Relatively Easy!

Oftentimes after a painting project a customer has unused paint, leaving them with a critical question. What do they do with it? Should they keep it for touch up or dispose of it? There are benefits to either choice.

Disposal of paint products has become significantly easier in the past few years. Oregon in this time period established a recycling program for unused paint called PaintCare. Customers who wish to dispose of unused paint just have to drive to one of the PaintCare collection sites and drop it off for FREE. Select Miller Paint locations are among these collection sites. If you’re having a hard time finding a drop off point call your local Miller Paint and they can direct you to a collection site, or go to and type your zip code into the search bar labeled “Locate a Collection Center Near You.” Additionally one can always check the Metro website to find additional drop off points.

Alternatively one can opt to keep unused paint for touch up. Nothing touches up your painted wall better than the same can of paint you used originally! There are several tricks one can use to keep their excess paint viable for the future. One of these is do not let your paint freeze. Storing paint in a heated garage or closet is an excellent way to prevent freezing. Another tip is to move your paint into a smaller container, like a quart can or two, if you have about half a gallon or less in your can. Changing containers is also a good idea if your can is rusty. Finally to preserve your paint you should consider storing your paint upside down if your can seals well. Wrapping the lid in cellophane and taping the cellophane to can is an excellent way to prevent messes in case your can doesn’t seal well. Practice these tips and your paint should be ready for use the next time you open the can.

Josh – East Vancouver

Our Kearney Store Manager and I were recently allowed on set at the new NBC series Grimm.  If you haven’t had a chance to check this one out, enjoy detective/suspense shows a la CSI or NCIS and maybe like a little fantasy as well, then you certainly should!  (video)

Grimm is being shot exclusively in Portland. Even better,  they’re not going to hide the fact that they’re in Portland! It is always cool to see us on TV with other shows such as Leverage and Free Agent,  but it’ll be even better to see locally recognizable places such as McMenamin’s without it being disguised.

Miller Paint is the primary supplier for paint and coatings on the Grimm set.  And let me tell you, it is AMAZING what they can do with our products!  Yes, of course, the painted walls and colors all look great.  But what’s more amazing is all the faux wood graining.  2×4’s are wood grained and then coated with a shellac mix to give it near perfect look.  Even as I was walking through the set, the trim in the houses looked nearly identical to the craftsman homes of the Portland area that have 80 year old timbers in them.

NBC's Grimm Used Miller Paint To Create Amazing Sets

And the sets themselves – what else can I say but WOW!  While it wasn’t my first time on a filming set, the details and appearances are always amazing.  From the morgue, to the police station, to the airstream trailer, it’s always just astounding to see something that looks so realistic when filmed turn out to be a bunch of 2×4’s and plywood.  Talk about the power of paint and decorating…not to mention the incredible skills of the set designers!

It was great to see 30+ cans of Miller Paint sitting on their shelves, waiting to be used later.  The entire crew is proud to be local and buying local.  One of the set painters we met was even a former painter for one of our bigger customers!  Small world, huh!

Our tour guide for the day, Scenic Lead Jo Brown, was quick to point out just how appreciative the entire crew is for the opportunity to work for what looks like a show with some real potential, and how much of that opportunity was because of Oregon’s Filming Incentive.  Without getting too political, this seems like a great program and we’re happy to be on the receiving end of the business.  In the end, all I know is that when you buy local, hire local, and take advantage of what the Northwest has provided us, you can’t go wrong!

Dan – Marketing

Paint and Primer: Myth vs Reality.


Not a day goes by anymore that I am not asked for “paint with primer inside of the can.” The answer to this question is a lot more complicated than the “big box” stores would like you to think. What people are looking for is one tool that will do it all much like the trusty Swiss Army knife. The problem with the paint and primer in one label is that not all primers are created equal. We carry primers to seal dry wall, seal wood, block stains, block odor, fill porous block, stick to glossy surfaces, etc. Some primers can do more than one of these things but color blocking is about all you can expect from multiple coats of any top coat. If you read the fine print on the paint and primer combos most of them will only cover previously painted surfaces in good condition. These are cases where good quality paint will already do a great job. When running into anything more complicated you are still going to need a separate primer designed for your specific situation.

Paint and primer in one is not entirely a marketing gimmick because these new paints cover better to hide an old color in less coats compared to the same companies previous products. The main thing to know is that by using high quality paint like Miller Paint or Devine you will get very similar results to paints that are advertising paint and primer in one.


Jason S. – Kearney Location

So you are sure that you want that high gloss luster on the plaster walls of your 1920’s bungalow?

What about that flat you want to put on your family room walls where your young ones play and spend most of their time?

The fact of the matter is a definitive “no” to both of these questions.

Sure that high gloss look is great on a nice smooth surface, but most likely your brushed plaster walls have imperfections and textures that will literally shine, with light reflecting off the uneven surface, drawing attention to every detail of the surface.

And while that flat in the family room will hide those imperfections because there won’t be any light reflecting off the surface, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will be cursing like an actor fired up on a weekend in Vegas, every time you have to attempt to wipe off messy fingerprints, or even a footprint (if you have children you know the high of this happening), off the wall.

Picking the right sheen for your wall is nowhere near as challenging as trying to guess what new surprise will appear on a newscast about actors going through “life” changes.

Just ask yourself a few questions…

1)    What is the overall function of the room? Is it a den or office space? A Main family gathering place? A little used room? The main thoroughfare for household traffic?

2)    Will the walls need to be washed? A bathroom, kitchen, or utility room will need a good washing every now and then.

3)    Are the walls in a condition that there isn’t a worry about imperfections “shining” through?

With these things flowing through the thought process, take these following things into consideration:

1)    Flats are great for hiding surface imperfections and textures, but terrible for washing ability, and not to mention burnishing problems with darker colors (burnishing, on a microscopic level, is essentially breaking off the uneven edges of the pigments in the paint film, creating an area shinier than the surrounding area that wasn’t scrubbed down or brushed up against).

2)    Semi-gloss and gloss are fantastic as far as being easy to clean, but every texture and imperfection will be highlighted because of light reflected off of the painted surface.

There is a middle ground though. You don’t have to go to sheen extremes.

Eggshell sheen will give some washability, but still help to hide imperfections because there is not a lot of light refraction coming off the surface.

A satin sheen will offer a little more shine and luster than an eggshell, hence giving better washability (although a heavy orange-peel texture will be a little more apparent with the higher sheen level).

There are options available if that low sheen look is desired. There are matte finishes available that, while not a true flat, will help hide those bumps and divots accumulated over a long lifespan of a wall in an older home. Ceramic matte finishes are fantastic alternatives to flat paints. They have great resistance to burnishing from scrubbing the surface (the aforementioned footprint? Wiped away remarkably well with Miller Evolution matte as the coating on the wall without creating a shiny spot).

Just keep these simple suggestions in mind when getting paint together for a project.

Flat – helps minimize visibility of imperfections due to limited light refraction from painted surfaces.  It is less washable, therefore use in areas where traffic is kept to minimum. Great for most ceiling surfaces (not for bathrooms or kitchens though). Also works well in a media/theatre room.

Eggshell – Has a little bit of washability, but still helps to hide imperfections. Works well in an office/den area, as well as adult bedrooms or areas of less traffic where there is not a need to wipe down the surface on a regular basis.

Satin – Better washability due to a noticeable sheen. Textures and imperfections will be more apparent than with a flat or an eggshell. Ideal areas for use would be higher traffic areas like an entryway, main hallway, and is a great finish for kids rooms. Also works well as a trim/door finish on those less than perfect surfaces.

Semigloss – Higher sheen means a very washable surface, but also means more light reflecting off of the surface. This is the type of finish you would like to use in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms for the ability to wash the painted surfaces easily. This is also one of the more common trim/door finishes.

Gloss – A door/trim finish on the most perfect looking of surfaces, although there are those situations on a wall where it would work because of the need to be constantly washed, and help minimize dirt pickup, it is still not the norm.

Choose what is right for needs of the room, but still has a touch of your style to it. Sometimes functionality is better than overall appearance, but remember that there are middle grounds of compromise available. You don’t need to go to extremes and draw unwanted attention. Subtlety speaks louder than an obnoxious jet setter, in the right application.

Miller Paint Sheen Wall


For The Best Color Selection - Visit Your Local Miller Paint Location

As a paint salesman I see customers everyday looking to add color to their homes. Some of these customers have been using the powerful suite of online tools available in our digital age. While these tools are excellent at certain functions such as determining how much paint a given project requires they often fall short in helping people make the right color decision for their homes. The reason for this is that color as it appears on a PC screen is at the mercy of the screen’s resolution. What looks like a light gray green on a screen can be a bright pastel mint green in the store!

This is not to say that all Internet color tools are useless. They can be very helpful in defining a general color or color scheme for a customer’s home. Tools like the Miller Paint Virtual Painter can help customers visualize trim and wall colors in combination and help narrow their search. I advise all my in store customers to try out any number of color combinations online. Worry about the specifics after you know that you don’t like three blue walls with a red accent wall. When you find a great combination get some swatches at the store or a sample quart and double check that it’s perfect. After all monitors aren’t the only things that change color. The lighting in your house will change color too! When you’re happy with the color I’ll make the gallon(s) and get you on the road to your painting adventure.

Josh, Tigard Location

Still having trouble deciding on the perfect color combination that sings to you?

As always, please take advantage of the Ask a Designer program offered at many of our Portland and Seattle Metro store locations. We have local area designers in a select number of our stores to help you! Visit our website at under “Ask a Designer” and see the locations and times for this free service!