Choosing the Perfect Paint for Your Home
We can help you choose the right paints for your home, selections that will be stylish and beautiful as well as durable. There are a lot of factors to consider when making your selection. Will the room get light or heavy use? Do you have a big family or is your home a retirement paradise? Color is one of the most important choices since it can open up a small room, create a mood and coordinate with furnishings. Texture and finish can also make a big difference in the final look. Specialty paints are sometimes needed, and we can help with that, as well.
Various rooms in the house require different types of finishes, and there are many to choose from. Each one has its own sheen, texture and durability factor. Common finishes include flat/matte, eggshell/low-luster, satin, semi-gloss and gloss.
Flat or Matte Paint
Flat is the all-around workhorse when it comes to paint, and many builders start with a coat of flat throughout the house. Other colors and textures will easily cover an off-white matte finish, and it creates the first barrier to protect your walls. It’s also the most forgiving of imperfections, as the light doesn’t reflect off of it, highlighting minor flaws in the walls.
A low luster paint like eggshell is also low-key and neutral, with a slight sheen like the shell of an egg. It’s a little bit easier to clean than flat paint, and it still provides a neutral background to showcase furnishings and décor. Eggshell will work in just about any room except for bathrooms, which have specific needs. However, if the room is going to be heavily traveled or if you have children in the family, a sturdier paint finish might be a better option.
Satin finishes can withstand some moisture so, at the very minimum, kitchens and bathrooms should be painted with this. This texture is more easily cleaned than flat or eggshell finishes, although it will wear down in time. If your bathroom sees several showers a day, it might be a good idea to bump the finish up to semi-gloss. The same holds true if you cook several meals a day in the kitchen.
A semi-gloss paint in the bathroom or kitchen is easily washable, making this a durable finish for those high-moisture areas. Satin and semi-gloss finishes also reflect more light, exposing any flaws in the drywall, but a good primer underneath can help smooth out imperfections. Semi-gloss is a bright, shiny paint that draws the eye and opens up the room. This makes it a good choice for hallways, as well as kitchens and baths.
High Gloss Paint
Gloss paint is another option for bathrooms and kitchens, depending on the color scheme and décor of each room. This paint has a bold, shiny finish that catches the eye, and it’s the most durable of the paint textures. More often, though, gloss is used for doors and cabinets that are touched many times daily. The surface can be easily wiped clean without affecting the finish. Gloss is also great for molding and trim, making it ‘pop’ and adding detail to the room.
If your home has high-humidity areas, a type of specialty paint that you might consider is mold-resistant paint. This is especially a good choice for basements, as they almost always have moisture issues. It isn’t just an aesthetic concern, as mold in the home can be a health hazard. Unfortunately, if mold is already present, the drywall will have to be replaced before painting. If there’s no mold problem to begin with, however, mold-resistant paint will seal off the surface and prevent mold from forming.
Once you’ve figured out which paint textures to use, it’s time to pick a color palette. This is the fun part of having your walls painted. When colors flow in a pleasing pattern, they draw the eye and can make the space seem larger and more inviting. There are different ways to go with color, depending on the effect you’re trying to create. One technique is to decide on a color that appeals to you and use it in varied hues and intensities in the room’s furnishings. You can also pair wall colors to create an eclectic look and/or highlight one wall with a different color than the rest.
Cool colors like blues, greens and pastels are relaxing and can make a room feel more spacious. This is a good choice for bathrooms and bedrooms. Seafoam green and sky blue are popular colors for bathrooms because they have soothing and calming properties. The colors also coordinate well with decorating choices since they complement so many shades of blue and green. The same holds true for bedrooms, and a combination of cool colors and neutrals can create a stunning bedroom design.
Limit your color choices to three when picking paint for the bathroom. Generally, a neutral color, a bold or rich color and an accent shade will give you all the flexibility you need to design a color scheme that you love. The majority of the bathroom, around 70 percent, should be painted in the neutral tone. If you use the rich color for twenty percent of the décor and confine the accent color to around 10 percent, you can’t go wrong.
Warm colors include reds, browns and yellows. These colors can create a cozy and warm atmosphere in a den or living room. In a small room, a warm shade of yellow on the walls will expand the space. This works well when combined with a neutral color for the trim, along with russet, red and brown accents in the furnishings. A clever color scheme can add complexity and detail to the room without making it feel small. In a larger space, contrasting paint colors on the walls can create discrete areas in the room, like an office nook or conversation grouping.
Kitchens look best with warm, classic colors because they are often the center of the home. The best way to spice up your kitchen is with rugs, drapes, dinnerware, and knick-knacks. The benefit is that all of these can be changed on a whim. If you get tired of the cabinet color, however, changing it is a major investment. To add interest to the kitchen, it’s better to vary the textures of the walls and other surfaces. Off-white, cream and gray are timeless colors that will blend with any type of accent pieces, and they look great when paired with granite or marble countertops.
Paint Tips and Techniques
Color is also a secret weapon for creating a cohesive space out of extra square footage like stairwells and entry foyers. One tactic is to paint the ceilings of the spaces you’re drawing together the same color. Yellow is a great choice because it’s bright and cheery and has a spacious feeling. Matching trim and a wall color that contrasts with adjacent areas will also help create a distinct space for a sitting room or small office, for example. Add coordinating rugs and draperies and you’re all set.
To highlight a work of art or architectural feature, choose colors on the opposite end of the color wheel spectrum. The contrast between the focal piece and the wall color/furnishings will draw attention to the item you’re displaying. This isn’t the only example of mixing warm and cool colors. Adding furniture that contrasts with the color of the walls can give a room depth and texture, making it more interesting and unique.
An accent wall can add interest to a room and give it an original look. Choose a wall that will be mostly uncovered in order to get the full effect of the splash of color. Your furnishings shouldn’t be the same color, but small accents in that color, such as throw pillows, will draw the room together and give it a polished look. A room that gets intensive sunlight during the day will do better with a cool color on the accent wall. If the room is large, paint one of the longer walls to give it a cozier feel. If it’s small, painting an end wall in a contrasting color can make it feel more spacious.
Also, don’t overlook the impact of color combined with molding and trim. A clean white trim can highlight darker colors, like taupe or burgundy, with a stylish flair. And chair rail molding on the walls isn’t just confined to dining room décor. It can also be a way to incorporate warm colors in a small space while keeping it open and airy.
Sometimes it’s hard to visualize the effect of contrasting and complementary paint colors. It helps to hold up poster board in front of each wall in the colors that you’re considering. This will give you an idea of how the hues will interact with the space and furnishings. Remember, color is only one of the design elements provided by paint. The texture can make a big difference in how your decorating choices come together as well. Each room of your home has different requirements, and we can help you navigate the decisions on the best paint choices for each one.