Painting Tips

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Give any wall, furniture, or accent a facelift with a fresh coat of paint.  It is the most economical and dramatic way to remodel a room.

Designers rely on color wheels for ideas and inspiration, while helping them understand and better predict how colors will interact.  Pick up color chips before you spend money on paint or materials.  Keep it on hand as you re-design your room or rooms’ basic color schemes using your newfound color knowledge.  Fifteen paint color ideas slide show.

How to Choose a Paint Color

Allow an object in the room to inspire a color choice, for example a living room rug. Use it as the basis for the colors in the room to help tie everything together. A favorite photo, a piece of art, a duvet cover, or a distinctive piece of furniture are great ways to figure out which color you will want to use. (Tip: Paint a swatch and live with it for a few days before you paint the whole room.

Some designers recommend that 60% of your room should involve this dominant color, so think of it as the anchor of your design.

How to Choose a Paint Finish

Satin: Works well in old houses with uneven walls since its soft finish helps minimize imperfections.

Semigloss: easy to clean; use on trim, doors, and other high-traffic areas that are prone to fingerprint marks

Gloss: durable and shiny; perfect for furniture. The glossy finish catches light and shows off the curves of furniture pieces.

How to Select the Right Tools

Drop cloth: If you paint a lot, invest in decent canvas drop cloths. They are safer than plastic (you and your pets won’t slip), they won’t rip, and they cover everything nicely.

Blue tape: to create clean corners

Roller: good for large areas; choose a deep-pile roller cover for textured surfaces and a low-pile roller cover for smooth surfaces like walls. Use an extension stick for reaching high areas and the ceiling.

Angled brush: use to “cut in” where the wall meets the molding. (Tip: Clean brushes with gentle soap and warm water and dry upside down.)