My New Best Friend

By Kate Riley January 26, 2010

I have a new best friend, and it is a can of paint. 

You’re surprised ?

opulence pearl

My friends, I’m here to tell you about a can of semi-gloss that sets my heart awhirl.  It’s made by Pratt & Lambert and it’s called ‘Opulence Pearl’ (also available in silver and gold).  It can be tinted or used just as it is.  Valspar has a comparable product available at Lowes.  This version from Pratt & Lambert is a semi-translucent paint that gives just that subtle pearlescent finish that I adore.  Like a moth to a flame, any accessory that shines with a mother of pearly finish and I go gaga.   (Hence, the recent vintage case purchase.)

“Hello, my name is Kate and I’m addicted to shimmer finishes.”

I wanted to try it out on a few pieces before using it in a larger project.  Take a peek at these $5 dollar Goodwill finds transformed with two coats of white paint, and two coats of Opulence Pearl. 

Lamp, Before and After

lamb before and after

Looky loo at this new pearly shine.  So puuuuurty.

pearly lamp base

How about this beat up old tray ? 

Pretty shape.  Didn’t like the red oak.

b and a1


Luster is luscious.

tray close up


Brand new accessories for my living room.

Now the quest for the perfect lamp shade begins. 

pearl tray and lamp


I never tire of the transformative power of paint. 

opulence pearl glow

Opulence Pearl Latex Semi Gloss, will you be my Valentine ? 



  1. Oh Kate! You just saved my life! I am getting ready to paint stripes on my dining room walls and was looking for a pearl type finish. Ralph Lauren had a Champaine finish but Home Depot no longer sells it. Now I will check out the Pratt and Lambert! Yes! Thank you!

  2. Oh no!!! What will Rustoleum do without you?! I loves it though!!! Really nice! I’m on the hunt for a super lampshade too…

  3. A girl after my own heart…. I’ve used the Valspar version, and I loved it. My daughters’ room is painted apple green, and I put the pearlescent glaze over it. The glaze changed the color slightly so that it’s not quite as bright of a green but instead more of a shimmery mint. It’s gorgeous!

    I may have to use your idea of glazing over white- very pretty!

  4. I love the look of the paint! Maybe you could become a distributor…I have called the places in town that carry P & L and they don’t have this particular paint. :(

  5. Hello The Misses Says: It will work on trim. It even says on the can and I quote, “These shimering finishes create striking effects on trim and accessories”. Why yes, I think that’s true. What trim do you have in mind?

    Amanda: it runs about $16 to $18 per quart (ouch) but it’s thin so it goes a long way.

    Lori H: Have you tried Valspar at Lowe’s ?

  6. Those are both fantastic makeovers! Bubbly lamps are so in right now, I want two for the sides of my bed. I always use spray paint but that stuff looks so good, no brush strokes or anything!

  7. Look at you with more great ideas, do you EVER run out of them!?? ANd with your new sassy mother of pearl card holder. Can’t wait to meet you too, it’s going to be fun. I’ll be there with my new mini-Moo cards, those were all the rage last year, so I got myself some this time around. We’ll be ready to mix and mingle.

    PS You won’t have a lot of time for sight seeing with the conference schedule, I can tell you that. Just hanging out at the Opryland Hotel is a treat!

  8. I just saw THE best lampshades at… Wal-mart, of all places. I wanted them for myself so badly, but husband forbade me since we are moving and it’d just be one more thing to unpack.

  9. Thanks for the recommendation. Im attracted to shiny things.

    Did you find it difficult to get the paint brush marks to dissappear with the pearl finish?

  10. wow that is beautiful. where can you find pratt and lambert? I have some candle stick that are calling out for a pearly white finish! Do you have to buy a gallon or can you get a little can of paint?

  11. Sorry Maura, that’s kind of important, oops ! I purchased mine at Orchard Supply & Hardware (OSH) in the quart size. OSH also has the entire line of ‘American Accents’ colored spray paints by Rustoleum. I pray they never EVER leave, they are my go-to source !

  12. Kate, it’s absolutely lovely. Shimmery without being gaudy. VERY VERY classy. Thanks for the heads up.

    Where do we buy it? (you said Valspar is at Lowes….is this also at a Home Improvement shop?)

    xoxo MMW

  13. A fresh coat of paint and a fresh application of lipstick does wonders! But this paint is like also adding shimmery lipgloss! Oooooh, I could think of so much to do with this! I have a dresser I want to paint white. It is going into my Gable guest bedroom. Walls painted a light peach. Milkglass accents and white linens. I have an oak dresser, so this would look just dreamy!
    You first- I’ll be looking for your big piece, then I’ll transform mine. I know- wimp- well maybe just a little!

  14. I found a can of this at the Habitat ReStore for $1.50. Now I wish I had bought more. I hadn’t really thought of using it on decor items. Silly me. I originally thought I would put it on my bathroom walls but changed my mind. If you haven’t been to one, it’s a sub of Habitat for Humanity and they take donations like a thrift store except its home materials and supplies. Doors, paint, pieces parts, changes all the time. If you can find one close they are a great resource. Thanks for the great ideas. Keep ’em coming!

  15. Oh my gosh, it’s so shiny. I must have some of this, now. Must. I want to do some furniture in it but I’m worried at “just how shiny” it’ll be…. you can’t be TOO shiny right? No way! I’m doing it. :) Oh yeah, I better go get some before my confidence goes away.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you do with it! *love it*

  16. I’ve seen this at my local hardware store and now I must try it; this finish might just be what my dressing area vanity needs.

    I’ve become highly sensitive to chemical smells and sometimes have felt the P&L paint a bit strong; does this have much of an odor / lingering smell?

    Thanks so much for your inspiration.

  17. I love the paint! I, too, adore pearly colors, and I think you did an amazing job with the whole let. Makes me really want to sit and have some tea!

    P.S. I love what you’ve done with the blog!

  18. Oh my that stuff is dreamy! I really love that lamp base.
    I don’t know about you but it always annoys me when I find a great deal on a lamp base and then have to spend 4 times as much on the shade! I’ve seen pretty, cheap lampshades a few places lately so I thought I’d share! Do you have Tuesday morning? They have some cool lampshades for half of what a new shade at Tarjay would cost. The other day I was in Ross (owned by TJMaxx) and they had overstock Martha Stewart for Kmart shades for 2 and 3 bucks each. The finishes weren’t great (nothing you couldn’t change!) but the shapes were nice and they had a variety of sizes, Yesterday I stopped by my local Kirkland’s and they were going out of business. I don’t know if all the stores are closing or just a few, but all their lampshades were $5 each. Happy Hunting!

  19. I discovered the valspar version a few years age. I used it on a ceiling medallion in the dining room and it glistens when the chandelier is on. There is a reflective quality to the medallion! So, then I added the pearlessence to a glaze to thin it out, and I rolled it on my entire dining room ceiling which is white. The shimmer wasn’t as noticeable as the medallion, and I didn’t want it to be. However the effect is just so beautiful and reflective with candle light. I have also used it to highlight detail molding on my fireplace. The corinthian column caps of the surround just pop with the shimmer. It is an amazing discovery!

  20. Glimmer makes everything better! That’s my motto :) Thanks for sharing this product, makes me want to run out and paint something ASAP!

  21. Who would have thought paint would make your heart skip a beat! Love the transformations. — From a new follower

  22. OMG! This spring I’m painting a dresser and bed for little girl and I am going to use this paint! You totally inspired me with that lamp base, she has a 4 post bed… So excited! Thank you-thank you-thank you!

  23. We love that paint. Do you think it would look good on a wall? Or would that be too much?

  24. Kate; I think with a bit of rest your going to be just fine. FYI….the going buzz is “all white rooms” are on their way out. NOW I think that’s great, you may have to find a new best friend and fave colour.
    Keep on Kate’n .

  25. Wow, that is lovely! I wonder if it is mixable with colors (are all paints mixable? I am not a paint guru). That is gorgeous though….I’d love a dresser in that!

  26. Do you have Ross, Marshall’s or TJ-Max out there? I have been impressed with their lamp shade selection. Last week I bought two at Ross for $6.99 each! I haven’t seen a cheaper price anywhere and they are really nice looking ones.

  27. The tea set is just lovely. I saved the picture – it’s something I want to remember and imitate. Hope you don’t mind.

  28. I have a questions for you about lamps! I just refinished some great vintage lamp bases, but cannot find any shades that will fit on securely. I also have some target bases, and pottery barn shades, and they shades wobble as well. Is there a trick to this? You must (I hope!) know since you mix old with new a lot!
    Love all your projects!

  29. Beautiful! I love shimmer too. How was the quality of paint? I just went to my local store to buy 2 gallons of Benjamin Moore and was told they’re phasing out their BM products. I was heartbroken and left empty handed. They said P&L gave them a better offer but I didn’t check out the colors since I wasn’t sure of the quality and already had my BM color chosen.

  30. I LOVE it! I had never seen that paint, but it really makes it look polished and not like you painted an old lamp white. The shimmer really makes the difference. This paint is going on my wish list.

  31. I saw this used in a decorator showcase home in a baby room. All the woodwork was painted white and then given this pearl finish. It was by far the most beautiful dreamy babies room I have ever set eyes upon.

  32. This paint is great! Ive been painting picture frames with the tiny bottles of pearl paint, I wasn’t aware they made such large cans of this paint. I def have to pick some up.

  33. Do you think this paint would be good to use on closet doors I belive they are made of metal or tin ??? Well I’m not sure what they are made of but its not wood. And can this be used a wood closet doors as well.

  34. Oooooh!!.. I’m liking this A LOT!!! VERY pretty, and I will have to see if I can find some now too! Have a great weekend, and a very Happy Valentine’s Day! ~tina

  35. I LOVE this paint! It’s so pretty! I went out and bought some and can’t wait to start using it! But I had to tell you, I was googling for project ideas to use the paint with and I stumbled upon a wondrous discovery… Krylon Pearlescent Paint! It gives the same pearly sheen, but it’s spray paint! And knowing your love for spray paint, I just had to share it with you. :)

  36. So can you add a little color to the paint and it still work? I’ve called all the paint stores around here and none of them carry the P&L version. Boo :( So I may have to try Valspar instead.

  37. Hi!
    I need help with three things
    1) A good paint to go with a black bed, creme comforter and lots of black and white toile wall decor. I thought I should go white/creme(Dover White -sw), but I’d love to do a yellow , khakie or blue. Would that work?

    2) A dining room paint for a room with little light. I’m looking for a yellow/khaki mix. I have yellow everywhere right now and would like a transition in there. The yellow I currently have in the other rooms leading into it is called Light Toast from Sherwin Williams, I think.

    3) What’s a neutral non-pink khaki for hallways?


    Allison Williams

  38. I was frustrated I couldn’t find a Pratt & Lambert retailer that was convenient in location. However, I have learned that Sherwin-Williams owns P&L as well as Dutch Boy. My local hardware store carries a Dutch Boy Dimensions Metallics paint with a Pearl Luster finish. They had painted wood samples on display with both warm and cool white colors. I read a lot of reviews for Valspar online that made it seem it was difficult to work with in order to achieve the smooth shimmer effect of a pearl surface. At any rate, I’ve got a bedroom set in my daughter’s room that is screaming to be painted a nice soft shimmery white. I’m going to give Dutch Boy a whirl and let you know how it turns out.

  39. I found you again! omg.. I have been asking at several stores looking for pearlescent paint. I remember seeing this but didn’t bookmark your site (I am now!)
    I am getting ready to do several projects and wanted to get some of this. I’m so excited. I got your link from Little Brick Ranch.

  40. I have looked and looked and can not find the P & L paint locally. Those of you who used alternative pearlescent paints…what did you use, and how did you like it? Also, where did you buy it?

  41. Hey Kyle there are two I know of, Valspar has a version of Pearl Paint, available at Lowes. Modern Masters also makes a version, usually those are available at specialty paint stores. I’ve seen them at Kelly Moore and Benjamin Moore. Hope this helps!

  42. Thank you Kate, unfortunately, my Lowes does not carry it. I will check out Kelly Moore and Benjamine Moore. Do you know if you can use an acrylic craft paint added to a latex paint?

  43. Hi: I just want to thank you for this. I am going to be refinishing a Jenny Lindesque twin bed for my youngest and wanted to do this to her bed. Just went and got a gallon of OP for the bed. The owner of the specialty paint said that this type of paint is being discontinued. I just wanted to alert you so you can alert your readers, if they have any projects that they “absolutely must” do with P&L OP paint, they need to run to get it.


  44. Grrrr…. googled pearl finish paints all day yesterday and though I frequent (stalk?) your web site often didnt’ see this till today. Regardless, gonna try this out on a serpentine dresser.

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