Are you thinking about sprucing up your walls? Painting is often that task all homeowners dread but it’s one of the most inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home without too much effort.
But before you rush down your local DIY store and start buying pots of ‘Jasmine Shimmer’ and ‘Ocean Ripple’ (yep, they’re real names!) don’t forget the essentials first…
The quality and level of light in a room is a key factor to consider when choosing a paint colour. Rooms that benefit from lots of natural light will benefit from pale shades to enhance the bright and airy look but you may need a stronger shade than you first thought to avoid it from appearing washed out. If the room’s walls are currently white or another light colour, you should consider how painting the room a darker hue will affect your current lighting scheme. Will you need to add additional lighting? If so, save energy and choose a colour on the lighter side.
Does the space experience heavy traffic? If so, think darker. White hallways and entryways will show wear and tear relatively quick. Avoid unnecessary cleaning by choosing a low-maintenance colour. Make your paint perform for you!
Surprisingly, not only does the colour matter, but the finish, or sheen, does as well. High gloss paint finishes are very durable and easier to clean, but the downside is they often highlight imperfections in your walls. On the other hand, a flat paint finish will hide these imperfections. A more matte-like finish, such as flat, will not clean as well or endure touches as well, but you won’t see imperfections as much.
Try samples first
No need to guess how good (or bad) a colour will look on your wall. For a fraction of the cost of a gallon of paint, you can purchase sample pints, take them home, and test them out. We recommend painting onto a large (say, A3) sheet of card so that you can lay it out with other samples of tiles, flooring and fabrics to see how they work together. Also, if you’re shopping for other items, you can take it with you!
Do the math
Of course, you’ll need to know the total area you’re going to paint (add up all the square footage of your walls, including alcoves and dormers, plus a little extra), but you’ll also need to account for multiple coats, primer and the porosity of the walls. It’s best to have some paint left over for repair work later on, so get more than you need.
Don’t forget the prep
Prep work will be the vast majority of your time spent painting the interior of your home. This means empty out the room, or as much as possible, wipe the walls down (to remove dust and dirt), tape off adjacent walls, trims and light switches. At least three-quarters of your time will be spent doing these tasks.