Thursday, October 11, 2012

To Paint, Or Not To Paint? One Of My Favorite Questions!

I do love a good excuse to paint a room... or any excuse, really! Here are a few elements I have found important to keep in mind when choosing paint colors for your own space:

1. Purpose and Atmosphere:
Think through the feel of the house and the room specifically.  Understand how you want to use the space. Is it your dining room where you want to create an intimate conversation space to encourage people to sit and linger over a meal? Perhaps it's a child's room, which you desire to make bright and cheerful to inspire play and creativity while balancing the need for the room to be restful? Or maybe it's a kitchen in which you want to convey a sense of cleanliness, order, and warmth? Sort out what the room is to be used for and what atmosphere you want to convey with it.

2. Get Inspiration:  
Take a look at pictures of rooms or in others' homes that convey the type of sentiment you want in your room. This is a great excuse to spend a few minutes on Pintrest or pick up a copy of a home decorating magazine on your next trip to the grocery store (I especially love House Beautiful, they do a section in each magazine on different paint colors, where to use them, and what atmosphere they communicate.)

3. Samples Are Your Friend:
Make a trip to the paint store near you and look at swatches and order a few samples to take home with you. A few will be plenty, be careful not to give yourself too many options. Use the swatches at the store to narrow it down to two or three (at most) shades of the color you're looking for. More than that and it's too many options... and too many extra samples of paint you won't use.
How To: Paint samples onto the wall in large sections, on multiple walls, and in two coats. Let it cure for a few days and then look at it in the various lights throughout the day. Remember, a color can look one way in one room and in one type of light, and completely different in another room, so test your colors. Samples are your friend! 

5.  All Paint Is Not Created Equal
Pick the color and the finish you desire, but be sure to consider the quality of the paint, not just the price tag. Of course, stay within your budget, but don't reach for the cheapest paint available at your local store. I find that paint which is washable, although more expensive on the front end, lasts longer and therefore does not need the constant touching up or full repainting as often as lesser quality paint. I use Sherwin-Williams Duration or Emerald paint, because they can match any color from another company and the quality of the paint itself is excellent. Note: the Harmony and Emerald lines are fume-free, which means they are safe to use while one is expecting or has small children in the home during the day. Always keep a room well-ventilated while painting.

6. DIY or Call The Professionals?
I do love to DIY, especially when it comes to painting, since I want to pick out the color,  and finish, and I want it to look a certain way in the end. That said, there are certainly seasons in which the time spent doing a job is more valuable, so it's time to hire the professionals. 
So the questions to consider: 1. What is my budget? What is my schedule and timeline? 
Of course, there's also the question of if you WANT to paint yourself! One budget-saving tip: find a painter who will let you provide all the paints yourself, so they only bring the equipment they need to accomplish the job. The price-per-room will be lower that way, and you can insure you have the color and quality you want. Further, you may find you get a lower price-per-room if you have them paint more than one room while they are at your place. Part of the price you're paying is for them to travel to you, so maximize on their services while they are already there to paint one room. 

Hope that helps you get started! What paint projects are you contemplating? 

-Domestic in the District

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