Mickey and Minnie brighten up Walmart's paint department

    Consumer Reports News: April 19, 2013 05:08 PM

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    With names like Minnie's Polka Dots, Eeyore's Rain Cloud and Belle of the Ball, Walmart has introduced a line of Disney-themed paints. Sold in colors that match Disney bedding products, the retailer hopes to appeal to parents who continually redecorate their children's rooms as they grow. Claimed to be kid-tough, the paints are made by Glidden, a brand that has typically done well in Consumer Reports paint tests.

    While we haven't tested the new Disney line of Glidden paints, Glidden Brilliance Semi-Gloss, $26, sold at Walmart is one of our top paint picks. It offers superb hiding and resistance to stains and scrubbing, with little change in gloss after cleaning. Walmart's Glidden Brilliance flat and satin paints didn't fare as well in our tests and neither made the list of top paint picks. But other formulations of Glidden, some of which are sold at Home Depot, did well in our punishing paint tests.

    Parents of small children want paints that'll stand up to dirty hands, greasy fingerprints and a young artist's wall paintings. That's one of the reasons we include a scrubbing task in our paint tests to see how they do when washed with an abrasive cleaner. Almost all of our recommended paints got top marks on that test, making them a good choice for busy families.

    Semi-gloss paints are the easiest to clean and are formulated to stand up to stains. The shiniest of paint finishes, they are best for windowsills and other trim. Our top-rated semi-glass paint is Clark + Kensington Semi-Gloss Enamel, $33, sold at Ace. Paints with an eggshell or satin finish have a slight sheen and are a good choice for family rooms, kids' rooms, kitchens and hallways. Clark + Kensington also makes our top-rated satin paint. Flat paints are not as forgiving and are more appropriate for little-used areas like formal dining rooms. Valspar Signature Matte, $32, sold at Lowe's is our top flat paint.

    In addition to Walmart's 112 Disney-themed colors of Glidden, the new paints come in a number of finishes including metallic, glitter, chalkboard and glow-in-the-dark. A feature called Room Painter on Glidden's website helps parents coordinate colors. But the truth is you don't need Disney's fairy dust to match a paint to your curtains or bedspread. Almost any good paint store can do it, although the color's name might not be as cute as Pluto's Paws or Mouse Ears.

    Mary H.J. Farrell

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