Repositionable paint samples

Tiny paint chips and splashes of sample colors on the walls didn't cut it for Julie Boney, a stay-at-home-mom and DIY enthusiast from Nashville.

Her family moves frequently, and Boney paints each new place, but her husband didn't like it when she painted sample bands of color on the walls. Painting on pieces of wallboard, poster board, foam board or cardboard didn't look the same as on the actual walls.

So Boney came up with the Small Wall, a lightweight, repositionable adhesive-backed panel made of a closed-cell material. It comes in two sizes, 12 by 12 inches and 16 by 24 inches. It requires no primer. You paint a sample color onto the panel, peel off the adhesive strip and position it on the wall.

Once Boney was able to find no-mark adhesive strips for her boards, she started marketing her invention. Ace hardware and Sherwin-Williams now carry the smaller-size Small Walls, which sell in a two-pack for $7.99. Custom sizes are also available. The larger-size panels are sold in bulk to commercial painters and designers through her website,

Small Walls also are ideal for practicing faux-finish techniques before attempting them on walls, where mistakes are hard to correct, Boney says.

"I love them because finally I can paint walls without destroying my marriage," Boney said.


Cleaner than thou

Why do we clean? According to a study done for Scrubbing Bubbles, 85 percent of all women clean "for themselves," and 79 percent say that the cleanliness of their home says a lot about them as a person.

The company's Dirty Work Index studied women's attitudes toward how, when and why they clean their homes. No word on men's attitudes, apparently.

Not surprisingly, aside from personal satisfaction, the next most common impetus to clean is impending guests, especially if those guests are in-laws.

While nearly two-thirds of those surveyed worry what others think about the cleanliness of their homes, nearly the same amount think that their cleaning standards are higher than others, and 58 percent say they perceive their peers based on how each person keeps their home.

Some are really happy to dish advice on the dirt: 35 percent say that friends and family members often come to them for advice on cleaning products and techniques.