9 Painting Pointers to Ace Your Next Home Project (Part 1 of 3)

9 Painting Pointers to Ace Your Next Home Project      

These painting tips can have even the most inexperienced painters dripping with confidence as they roll through their projects.

Room Size Matters

Before you choose a paint color take the size of your space into account. Light-colored paints reflect light and can make a room feel larger and more spacious, while dark colors tend to make rooms feel smaller by absorbing light and appearing to pull the walls inward. If you’ve got a very large space that feels impersonal, however, dark colors can be ideal for creating a cozier atmosphere.

Know What It Means to Have a Paint Sheen

A paint sheen is the level of light a paint reflects off a surface and causes that surface to shine. Sheen has a direct correlation with the durability of a paint—the higher the sheen the more durable (wipeable) the paint. Paints come in five finishes: flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, satin, and high-gloss.

A flat paint has a matte finish, which makes it good for hiding wall imperfections since it absorbs light instead of reflecting it. A downside of flat paint is that it tends to blemish after being wiped with force. An eggshell finish has a little more shine than a flat and is a bit easier to clean. Next is semi-gloss paint, which reflects light, and is more wipeable than an eggshell or flat. Semi-gloss is great for kitchens, baths, doors, and trim.

The reflectivity of a satin finish is similar to that of a pearl. A satin is durable and tolerates light scrubbing, which makes it ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways, and perfect for children’s rooms. A high-gloss paint contains high amounts of resin and low amounts of pigment, which gives it a very reflective finish that can withstand vigorous wiping. High-glosses work well on wood surfaces like doors, cabinets, and trim.

Put Paints to the Test  

In the past you’ve probably purchased paints at hardware stores simply by looking at color swatches. But colors can look differently under different lighting conditions. Fluorescent lights, halogen lights, sunlight, daylight, and incandescent lighting each have their own effect on how colors are perceived.

On your next trip to the hardware store select your paint swatches, take them home, and pin them on the walls you intend to paint. Examine the swatches at different times of day in natural light, as well as using ceiling or lamp lighting, to see if you’re still in love with the colors. To be extra sure, purchase sample sizes or quarts to try on portions of your walls.

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