A few coats of paint can seem like a quick and easy 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. However, there is a lot more that goes into it than simply picking up a paintbrush and going to town. First of all, you need to choose the right type of paint for each room or surface before you even think about what color to choose.
What type of paint should I choose?
Paints are either water-based (referred to as latex or acrylic paint) or oil-based. Most people prefer to use latex paints because of their ease of clean up and long-lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. Most professional painters, like Brito Home Painting, recommend using latex paint for most of your walls. Oil-based paint, on the other hand, is far superior when it comes to priming real wood moldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint would. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time
Glossy or Matte?
Glossier paints are easier to clean, so are ideal for high traffic rooms, like in a playroom, or rooms that tend to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen. Opting for high gloss sheens in these rooms will allow you to easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. However, glossy paint can also highlight blemishes and imperfections in your walls, so you might want to choose a less glossy sheen for living rooms and bedrooms, where you can opt for semi-gloss or matte paint. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.
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.
What colors are best suited for my walls?
If you are in the process of selling your house, choose white or off-white for walls. This will allow the buyer to easily cover the wall with their choice of color and will give your rooms a brighter and clean appearance, which is essential for getting a better price for your sale.
However, if you are redecorating, you can take advantage of the myriad of colors available on the market to really let your imagination run wild.
A good rule of thumb 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). Playing around with different combinations of primary and secondary colors will allow for some truly spectacular results, depending on the effects that you are looking to achieve.
Subtle and Soothing Looks
Choosing to stay within the same shade and using a monochromatic approach like selecting a variety of shades of blue tends to be soothing. This approach tends to look good in a bathroom or a bedroom and can be reached by simply choosing your favorite color and overlapping the shades. For example, select a darker color for the wall and a slightly lighter shade for the trim. Don’t hold to the old rule of one shade and one texture. You will be pleasantly surprised at the effects just changing textures and colors can have on a room.
Opting for Elegance
Neutral colors no longer mean just 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. Again, don’t be afraid to add texture to your accessories. You can easily change the feel of a neutral room by adding different colored accessories or painting the trim a new color. Remember, the lighter color you go, the more spacious the room will appear.
Making rooms pop
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.
Final points to consider
Designate focal points when you are painting a room. Highlight interesting aspects in your rooms with a darker, complementary shade to the one you have chosen for your walls. Visible stairways, especially those in the middle of the room look incredible when painted a darker shade than the walls and gives you a wonderful focal point.
With a little paint and a lot of imagination (or a professional painter on your side), you can easily change the look and feel of a room. Look for highlights of your rooms and think of ways to make them stand out. Think of how you want to feel when you are inside that room, and let your creative spirit guide you to rejuvenating the look of your home.