I bet if you polled 100 people and asked them what the most challenging part to making over a room in their home, they’d tell you it’s choosing paint colors!
I’m right there with you.
It’s always been a tough decision for me. But it really isn’t rocket science! And besides, I’ve always said to go with colors that match how you want to feel in a room.
There are also a few easy ways to make sure that the job is done well and done right the first time. If you’re considering painting your house, inside or out, and are wondering what to do to pull it off, here are a few key tips.
TIP #1 – Don’t Ignore the Architecture
When you’re planning to paint a room inside your house there are a few architectural features that can help you decide what colors and contrasts might best bring-out the potential of the room. Things like moldings, mantels, built-in bookcases, arched doorways, wainscot, and windows should be looked at as opportunities to make the room feel unique. Painting your room’s special features a shade lighter than the walls will allow them to stand-out, and add depth and character to the room.
TIP #2 – Choose the Right Type of Paint- Oil vs. Latex Based Paint
This can be a difficult decision to make, but really in most cases the best bet is to go with latex based paint as it is easy to clean up, long lasting, durable, and more fade resistant than oil based paint. The best time to use oil based paint is when you’re looking to prime real wood moldings and trim, as the oil based paint will better seal the knots or small cracks in the wood.
TIP #3 – Get the Right Sheen!
I’ve got children, and we all know that children = mess! I’d recommend using a glossier finish that’s easy to clean, like satin.
Anywhere that tends to get greasy from being touched—kitchens, children’s rooms etc.—are best painted with a semi-gloss sheen. If your walls have imperfections in them, then consider going with a matte paint, as even one coat will hide the imperfections fairly well and draw less attention to those imperfections.
Be careful about mixing finishes, though. I had done this in my family room makeover by mixing a semi-gloss with a flat, and while it worked, per se, it has proven difficult to make touch-ups to the paint because it created a sheen similar to satin, but not quite satin. So when I bought satin for touch ups, the sheen is off and doesn’t match. Eventually I’ll have to repaint the entire room with a true satin so that I’ll be able to
TIP #4 – Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
The most important thing to remember when picking the color of your paint is how different colors compare and contrast with one another. Use the color wheel to help! Remember, colors on opposite sides of the color wheel such as red and green will tend to compliment one another, while colors that are more analogous to on another such as orange and red will force one to stand-out more than the other. Remember, if you’re trying to repaint your house to sell it, the best bet is to go with a white or off-white color to maximize the options for the future owners.
Also, there is a ton of inspiration online when you still don’t know what colors to chose. Take a moment to read all about picking awesome color combos.
TIP #5 – Use the Right Materials
Don’t forget to use the right materials for the job to get the best results. Did you know that there are several types of paint rollers, for example? If you’re painting a wall with lots of texture, grab a roller that’s made for rough surfaces.
Same is true for smooth surfaces; choose a roller that’s made for smooth surfaces.
I also recommend using angled paint brushes with synthetic bristles. If you’ve got a steady hand, you can actually skip taping off because the angle allows just the right position to get clean, consistent lines when painting around door trims! It’s amazing how well they work!
TIP #6 – Don’t Go It Alone
While my 3-year-old helping isn’t necessarily “help,” it did make for a fun project!
Get friends and family to help, especially if it’s a large space! Crank up the music and just get it done. You’ll find that what could have been a dreadfully long project is actually one of the most memorable and fun projects!
If you need motivation for painting and changing up rooms in your house, consider signing up for one of my 30-Day Room Challenge makeovers, where readers and I tackle one room in our house at a time!
Image by thedalogs used under Creative Commons License.