Choosing Paint

Choosing paint can be very challenging and frustrating. If you are doing the painting yourself, it may not be a huge dollar investment, but it does takes time. Therefore you want to make sure you do it right the first time. There are several areas to consider when painting a room

Obviously, color is going to be one of the most important. There are so many colors to choose from. How dark is too dark, how light is too light? What mood will it set? What colors will make the room seem large and what colors will close in the room? Before getting your heart set on a color, I would suggest reading about the psychology of color. A good place to start when choosing a color is looking at magazines. That way you can see what something might look like before you make a leap into a color. Dark shades will make rooms seem smaller and lighter colors can increase the feeling of space. If you do choose a dark color, think about using photos on the walls that have light backgrounds. A mirror can also help bring light and space back into the room. Darker colors can be very dramatic and give you a felling of "coziness". Light colors can bring in a feeling of freshness and space.

Another hard question is how to choose a good neutral. Many people will do an over all paint and when they are done wonder why their walls have a pink cast to them. There are many different neutrals and each neutral has a base color. They can be yellow, green, pink, blue, gray, or brown. Look at the paint next to what you think the base might be. For example, if you think you might have a pink based neutral place, put the sample next to a red paint and see if it pulls reds. If it does, you were probably right. Most paint samples come on a strip with other colors. If the other colors are greens then you will have a green based neutral.

Take advantage of the tools that your paint store may have. Ask the person mixing your paint if there is a base that is recommended to use with the paint you are choosing. Some paint stores have a lighting center set up so you can see what your paint will look like under natural light, incandescent light, and how your paint will change colors from night to day. This can be very helpful because paint color changes with the lighting. Another useful tool that some stores may have is a computer station where you can view your paint in mockup rooms. This feature will give you a very good idea of what the paint will look like in large scale which is sometimes hard to tell from a small sample. One last tip. If you have your sample in the room you are planning on painting, close one eye and hold the paint at arm length and match it up to the walls. This will give you a fairly good idea of what the paint will look like on a large scale.

Here are a few helpful tips when you have actually chosen what color to use. One of the best tools is a two wheeled paint edger.

This little tool help you get right into the edges of the corner and very straight lines. Perfect for using around windows and baseboards. You will also need a drop cloth, trim tape, at least 2 sizes of paint rollers and a paint pan. Another item to have handy when painting is a damp paper towel or washcloth just in case you get paint where it's not wanted. Start painting in one area, top to bottom, then work around the room. If you are using an edging tool, just edge off one wall at a time then go back while the trim paint is still wet to avoid having thick paint around the edges.

Even thought painting can be a daunting task it is also a great inexpensive way to change the mood or to simply give a room a little face lift. If you are nervous at all about what paint to choose, speaking with a designer is always a good place to start.

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