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Today I want to talk about paint. Good paint, cheap paint, well painted areas and skipping steps all have a result...something that adds color and finish to your room or something that looks cheap, faded and unfinished very quickly.
In the course of my travels I have lived in many places. Sometimes I was renting and sometimes I owned the home (but always an existing home not a new-build). Because of this, every time I have moved into a place I have inherited the last persons idea of decor, color and paint choices. This is perfect for me because I like to put my own touch on a place if I can.
Many times rental properties are painted with the least expensive, flat paint. While they assume that the property will need painting when the renter moves out, they are spending unnecessary time painting. A room that has been well prepared and well painted will last several years of regular use and sometimes even longer.
Flat Paint - The name speaks for itself. It has no lustre or sheen. It is difficult to wipe away fingerprints, grime or splatters. Flat paint also absorbs light instead of reflecting it so a room that has windows will still appear dull and lifeless. The only thing this paint MAY be good for is painting ceilings.
Semi-Gloss Paint - This has a sheen or lustre to it and is smooth to the touch. A semi-gloss paint is easy to wipe and adds light to a room instead of absorbing it and the lustre adds brilliance to color.
High Gloss Paint - This paint has a very shiny appearance. The paint is great for small rooms that need light. It is very easy to clean and the colors of the paint pop.
The quality of the paint may be the most important issue (aside from prep work). A cheap paint will not cover well, it will leave brush marks or roller marks and will not endure the test of time and maintenance. It takes the same effort to apply cheap paint as it does quality paint so you are getting good value for your labor when you invest in quality paint. Now I do not buy the most expensive paint. I buy tried and true, durable paint like Behr and Sherwin Williams and I don't buy the top of their lines. I put much thought into color, design and preparation so I don't want to undermine my project by ignoring quality the importance of paint quality.
The most important part of your paint project is prep work. No one likes to hear that but if you do not take the time to make sure your surfaces are clean, that cracks and nail holes are filled and that all your trim is taped off, you will be very disappointed in the results and you will cause yourself more work. When painting trim it is important to make sure that all loose paint is scraped off and the paint is sanded so that the chipped places don't show through.
Now for the artistic side. I use three and sometimes four paint colors when I create a wall. I only use wall paint for the base coat and the wash on a regular basis. When I want to add color to create the appearance of stone or any other faux texture, I use acrylic craft paint. Craft paints come in so many colors and in small amounts to you can add splashes of color without breaking the bank. If I want to use craft paint for larger areas, I add Floetrol.
That is my final secret. When creating layers of color on a wall or when I want a wall to have a glazed finish rather than a shine, I mix floetrol into the paint. I have also tried waxing a wall to get the aged gloss look. There are many wonderful ideas and techniques to try when creating your space. And the best part? If you don't like it, you can change it! There have been times when i have put a color on a wall and I did not like it on the wall as well as the image I had in my head. I either toned down the color with another lighter color, washed over the color, added more texture, wiped away texture or simply re-painted the wall.
Last but not least....if you are unsure what you want to do with a room, grab some paint color samples from the paint displays and bring them home. Tape then on the wall, walk around them and see if it fits. Once I have found a paint group that I like ( old world, victorian, modern, rustic, shades of grey etc) I try to stay in that color family throughout my home. I just change the combinations from room to room.
It will be winter soon. We will be spending more time in our homes. Time to get those paint projects done so that you are surrounded by beauty! Grab your brush!