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High-Tech Paints to Check Out

Painting products have come a long way in the last few decades, opening the door for homeowners to complete any number of specialized jobs around the house—without the need to pay a fortune for someone else to do it. We've rounded up a selection of the coolest high-tech paints on the market for almost any job.

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Spray Chalk Paint

Spray Chalk Paint

Chalk paint has hit the decor scene hard in the last few years, and for good reason. Its soft, well-loved look makes a subtle statement in any country- or farmhouse-style space. Rust-Oleum has taken chalk paint to a new level, providing an ultra-matte look in a sprayable format. Nothing could be easier! Photo courtesy of Rust-Oleum
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Stain-Blocking PrimerPhoto courtesy of Zinsser

Stain-Blocking Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer is a water-based primer/sealer with superior stain-blocking properties. Listed as Rust-Oleum's top selling primer, this product seems to do it all. From inhibiting rust to covering unwanted stains and resisting mold and mildew, this all-in-one primer hits the mark. Plus: 12 Painting Tools Every Homeowner Should Have
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No-Miss Ceiling PaintFamily Handyman

No-Miss Ceiling Paint

When you're repainting a ceiling—putting white on white—it's easy to miss a few spots. The new white and the old white usually look the same, especially if the light is bad. Wouldn't it be cool if a ceiling paint actually changed color as it dried, so you could be sure that you've covered an entire area? Well, there really is paint like that. Glidden's EZ Track Ceiling Paint goes on pink and dries white. The color change takes about 30 minutes—plenty of time to touch up any spots you've skipped. This paint is also formulated to resist drips and minimize splatter, so you won't turn from pink to white as well. Plus: Check out our best secrets for cutting in paint successfully.
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Flat Finish But Easy to CleanFamily Handyman

Flat Finish But Easy to Clean

Flat paint used to be a bad choice for bathroom and kitchen walls. If you needed to be able to scrub fingerprints, grime or grease off a wall, you had to use a paint with some sheen. That's no longer true. Now there are paints, including Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex and Duration Home from Sherwin-Williams, that are both flat and washable. These two choices also contain antimicrobial agents to inhibit growth of mold and mildew. According to Sherwin-Williams, Emerald offers better washability than Duration Home. Both are available in satin and semigloss as well. Also check out these genius cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.
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Anti-Slip Additive

Anti-Slip Additive

An easy and inexpensive product that can be mixed with any paint, Behr's Non-Skid Floor finish additive is an excellent way to create a safe surface underfoot.
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Magnetic Primer

Magnetic Primer

Perfect for metal, wood, masonry, plaster and drywall, this magnetic primer from Rust-Oleum is touted as being three-times stronger than previous versions of the product. Because it's a primer, it can be applied beneath any number of your favorite paint products for a customized look. Photo courtesy of Rust-Oleum
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Write on WhiteFamily Handyman

Write on White

Rust-Oleum's Dry Erase is another way to turn your wall into a whiteboard. This two-part epoxy creates a white surface instead of clear, and it's perfect for dry-erase markers. You can apply it to any interior surface made from drywall, Masonite, wood, concrete or metal. If the surface is unpainted, you'll have to prime it first with a latex paint. Dry Erase comes in two containers; once mixed, you'll have only one hour to apply the recommended two coats. Then you'll have to persuade your kids to wait three days (the time it takes the coating to cure) to try it out! A 1-qt. kit covers about 50 sq. ft. Buy dry erase paint on Amazon now.
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Paint and Primer in OnePhoto courtesy of Behr

Paint and Primer in One

A massive time saver when tackling a large painting job, Behr's paint and primer in one allows you to both prep and finish with the same stroke.
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Appliance EpoxyPhoto courtesy of Rust-Oleum

Appliance Epoxy

If your fridge is showing wear and tear, but still works fine, you can avoid the cost of replacement with an appliance epoxy spray from Rust-Oleum. Specifically designed for appliances, this high-grade spray will breathe new life into worn or dated units. Plus: How to Make a DIY Spray-Paint Booth
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A Primer That's Easy to SandFamily Handyman

A Primer That's Easy to Sand

If your goal is an ultra-smooth topcoat on a bare wood with visible pores, like pine, your best bet is to prime the wood first. A good primer will fill in the pores, and a good sanding will smooth out all the brushstrokes. Trouble is, many primers gum up sandpaper like nobody's business. Here's one that doesn't. Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start Enamel Underbody Primer is specifically made to sand easily. It's an alkyd (oil-based) paint, so it flows and levels extremely well. It's ideal for doors, cabinets and trim that will be painted with a gloss or semigloss enamel. You'll have to wait overnight before sanding and recoating, however. Learn more about how to choose and use primer here.
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Odor-Absorbing PaintFamily Handyman

Odor-Absorbing Paint

This may sound like science fiction, but chemists have developed a paint that reduces bad smells and formaldehyde fumes in your house. And when it's applied, it has virtually no odor. If you need to repaint a room just before holiday guests arrive, hate the smell of burnt toast or are concerned about formaldehyde emissions from new carpets or cabinets, check out Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex Paint from Sherwin-Williams.

Harmony paint helps reduce odors from organic sources, such as cooking, smoke and pets, according to the manufacturer. It also reduces the concentration of formaldehyde, a pungent and irritating gas emitted by some types of newly installed insulation, carpet, cabinets and other building materials.

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Chalkboard PaintPhoto courtesy of Rust-Oleum

Chalkboard Paint

Versatile for everything from walls to craft projects, Rust-Oleum's chalkboard paint has a multitude of uses around the home. Available in both spray and brush-on formats, this versatile coating can be used on any number of surfaces for a perfect finish. Plus: Painting Tips and Tricks
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Dry-Erase WallsFamily Handyman

Dry-Erase Walls

If you were ever caught writing on a wall when you were young, you may have wished your parents had a paint like Sherwin-Williams' Sketch Pad, which turns any painted wall into a giant dry-erase board. It's a two-part gloss epoxy that dries clear, allowing the wall color to show through. It's easy to roll onto any smooth surface, but you'll have to wait one week for the epoxy to fully cure. A 1-qt. kit, containing a roller, tray and gloves, covers about 50 sq. ft.

Fortunately, the coating isn't permanent. When you want to repaint the wall, just scuff-sand, then prime and paint.

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Waterproofing Paint

Waterproofing Paint

Made in the USA and guaranteed to stop water, this masonry waterproofer from Drylok is an extreme solution for a common problem. Low-odor, quick dry time and easy soap and water cleanup make this problem-solver perfect for masonry, poured concrete, cinder block, stucco and brick surfaces. Plus: 9 Affordable Ways to Dry Up Your Wet Basement For Good