A guide to painting your home for optimal results

June 15, 2021

Very few building materials have the transformative power as a brand new coat of paint. You can completely alter the entire feel of a room with just a few brush strokes. But with so many options, not only in terms of color, but also finishes, how do you make the right choice? Read on for a few tips on how to make the most out of your next paint job.

Types of Paint:

Oil based: Oil based paints are typically more durable than latex or water based paints. It’s a good idea to use oil based paints on woodwork- trim, doors, or for cabinet refinishing. Keep in mind that oil based paints take much longer to dry than latex based paint but may be able to cover a surface in just one coat because of it’s superior ability to coat. But unlike latex paint, oil based paints cannot be cleaned with water. This means you will need solvents to clean your brushes when you are done. Also, oil based paint can change color over time.

Latex: Latex paint is the typical paint used for walls. It dries much quicker between coats which can be considered both a positive and a negative. You can rinse your brushes with water. It also doesn’t have as strong an odor as oil based paint does. It has more longevity than oil based paint and won’t discolor. But, due to its nature, whatever surface you’re going to be painting needs to be free of dirt and debris since latex doesn’t adhere as easily.

Paint Finishes:

Flat – Flat paint has no sheen to it whatsoever. Flat paint is great at hiding imperfections in walls, but it is not very forgiving for scuffs and marks. It’s best to use flat paint on ceilings or areas with very little traffic.

Eggshell – Just a tad more luster than flat paint, eggshell has a bit more cleanability to it than flat paint. Eggshell is often best reserved for low to mid-range traffic areas, such as bedrooms.

Satin – Satin is the darling of all of the paint finishes. It has just the right amount of sheen, has a good amount of cleanability, and works in high and low traffic areas equally well.

Semi-Gloss – Semi-gloss paint has a good amount of sheen to it. You can give it a good scrubbing if it gets dirty. A great option for bathrooms and kitchens where splatters and water drops are likely to occur.

High Gloss – The highest luster of them all, high-gloss paint can create a unique look where applied. High gloss paint is an excellent choice for trim and doors. Be mindful though, high gloss paint will show imperfections in the wall quite easier. It is also more difficult to paint over once it is applied.

Paint Color

Probably considered the most important aspect when we discussing paint and the toughest decision to make, don’t rush your paint color selection! Selecting paint chips at a local home improvement store is a good start, make the small investment to get at least two or three samples made up. Lighting in most retail stores is very harsh and unnatural, which means the paint will look vastly different on your walls at home. Once you have a few samples, go home and get them up on the walls. Paint large enough swatches on multiple walls of the room you will be painting and then give the color a few days to see how it strikes you. Maybe you love that shade of gray on a bright, sunny day, but when it’s overcast it takes on a greenish hue. Live with your new choices before pulling the trigger to paint your entire space, you’ll be glad you did!

Also when selecting paints, think of the mood you would like the space to evoke. If you’re looking for a vibrant feel, warm tones in the reds, oranges, and yellows can be a great choice. For a more relaxing vibe, such as in a bedroom, consider cooler tones in the blues, greens, and grays. If you would like your furniture or architecture to be the star of the show, consider light neutral or off-white tones.

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Relaxing Sanctuary Collection Sherwin-Williams

At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter if you pick a bold or trendy color, as long as you’re happy with the outcome!

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