Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your next painting project: Color choice and other hints

I've been watching a lot of The Learning Channel lately - Dave's been out rehearsing for a community theatre play in town, so I get to leave the tube on whatever station I want. :) I find TLC makes nice background noise while I work on the computer. One topic they have a lot of shows about is house-flipping, where you buy a delapidated house really cheaply, put in a ton of manhours fixing it up, and sell it at a (hopefully) huge profit. And it inevitably comes up during the course of all this, that one of the house-flippers chose a paint color the other isn't pleased with. They whine about how it's too light, or too dark, or not quite the right shade, how it doesn't look like the paint chip, and so on. I just shake my head at this point. Why?

The shade changes depending on the time of day!
Our basement is very drab and rather dark, but the den Dave and I built down there is warm and cheerful, in a gorgeous orangey-yellow. However, the shade varies considerably between early morning, afternoon, sundown and night light. In the morning, it's light yellowy, but by late afternoon with the sun streaming in, it turns a gorgeous orangey-sunset kind of shade. So do not panic after applying your paint to the walls. Give it time! See it in every light, and you'll discover that what looks like one color will actually be several subelty different ones.

Right now, you're looking at an empty room. Just that color, nothing else. Of course it's going to seem overwhelming! One person I know who has done a great deal of house painting points out that you're going to have a lot of furniture in there - in a living room, for instance, you'll have an entertainment center, couch, maybe some chairs and end tables, some art pieces on the walls - there won't be THAT much wall showing after all that! It's more important how the room will look as a whole, than how it looks when it's empty.

Some additional painting tips:

Use painter's tape for the ceiling/wall line (it's a low-stick tape, usually green in color). You might think you have a steady hand, but a second's inattention and boom, you've got a mess on your hands (well, your ceiling, actually). So, if you're not planning on doing the ceiling right now, take the time to do it right, and put painter's tape where you don't want paint to go.

Painter's tape can sometimes get very sticky if it's left on too long. If you have a place that you plan on leaving for later, don't leave the painting tape on. I did that with some window trim last year - it took a couple of weeks for me to get back to it, and by the time I did, the tape was stuck on so badly it took forever to get all the pieces off.

New paintbrushes are worth the price - seriously. If it's been a while and your brush is looking old, be sure to get a nice new brush for your new project - and be sure that it's the appropriate type for the paint you're using (it'll be labeled whether it's for oil or acrylic, etc.). You'll notice the difference - the paint will go on more uniformly and easily.

Good luck with your painting project!

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