choose the right paint
Painting is a quick and cheap way to give an old room a breath of fresh air or to make your house more sellable if you are putting it on the market. Find out all you have ever wanted to know about selecting paint.
The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will however make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.
Mystery of colors
Semi-gloss would also be a good choice for kitchens and baths as well as trim providing you with ease of wash-ability and less shine than the gloss. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish to them and could also be used in kitchens, baths and hallways. This may be a good choice if you really want some gloss and paint that can clean easily without the shine of a gloss.
If you have walls with lots of imperfections, select a flat or matte paint. You can usually get away with one coat of paint with a flat. The downside to this paint is that it does not stand up well to a good cleaning and does tend to show dirt more so choose this for rooms that will not get lots of fingerprints and dirt on them. Probably the most popular sheen is eggshell, which hides imperfections like a flat does but is easier to wash, so more durable and smoother to the touch. We recommend this for most rooms as it seems to have the best of both the flat and glossy worlds.
How do you choose the right shade?
A good thumb rule is to remember the color wheel. We all learned about the primary colors in school - red, yellow and blue. These are on the color wheel at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 respectively. Combining any of these will give you a secondary color (i.e. purple, orange). Colors near each other on the color wheel such as blue and purple are analogous to each other and will allow one color to stand out more. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel such as green and red are complementary to one another and will nicely play off each other. Staying within the same shade of color (i.e. greens) will give you a subtle and soothing look. Painting with cool colors such as blues, greens and purples makes small rooms appear larger and more airy while colors such as reds, yellows and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance. You can vary the warmth even with a red or yellow by choosing muted shades of those colors such as pink, peach or a buttery yellow. Warm colors have cool ones as their complementary colors while cool colors have warm complements. Shades are either pure or vibrant, muted (which are less intense than their vibrant counterparts) or shaded (the darker colors in the same color scheme).
I want an elegant look
Neutral colors offer elegance and flexibility within a room. Neutral colors are no longer simply white or beige. You can turn a simple living room into one of elegance by selecting varying shades of neutral colors such as almond walls with red toned browns on the trim. You can also add splashes of color throughout the room with a color throw, pillow or vase carefully placed to offset the subtle neutral tones in the room. Again, don’t be afraid to add texture to your accessories. Neutral colors allow you more flexibility in quickly changing the feel to a room. You can easily change the feel of a neutral room by adding different colored accessories or painting the trim a new color. You can choose either lighter or deeper neutral colors and vary the look of the room. Remember, the lighter color you go, the more spacious the room will appear. Varying shades of rust, mahogany or garnet will offer instant elegance and a feeling of earthiness and richness.
I want a vibrant look
If you want a room with pizzazz, choose vibrant colors and their respective shades such as oranges and gold, reds and dark purples. You can complement these colors by selecting a two next to each other such as gold and orange and one from the opposite side of the color wheel such as purple. You can also select black and red for a real stand out contrast and look that is reminiscent of an Oriental look. Choose two colors next to each other on the color wheel for a visual contrast as one will stand out from the other.
You can lower a high ceiling visually by painting it a darker shade than the walls. By the same token, you can expand a room by selecting a lighter color for your ceiling than the walls. Don’t be afraid to add a tint of color to your ceiling paint for a tied in and subtle look. One way to go if you are afraid of too much color in your ceiling is to paint the ceiling, door trim and floor moldings the same shade such as a creamy ivory. This will add a touch of elegance and a nice transition throughout your room.