About once a week, I’ll be posting easy (and relatively inexpensive) tips to help you spruce up different rooms in your house. Today’s tip can be applied anywhere in the house: Paint.
Painting is one of the easiest ways to make a major change to any room. And it doesn’t have to be a dramatic change in color, either.
It isn’t a major change, just a very pale rose/cream color. But the little bit of extra color warms up the room and makes it seem less imposing. The white trim gives a nice accent, but natural wood works just as well.
Or you can go a little more dramatic:
A darker or more vibrant color can make a large room feel more cozy and welcoming. And leaving the ceiling and trim a lighter color keeps the walls from feeling too close. In addition, the new color on the wall can make your existing art and accessories pop.
It’s amazing how different colors can influence the feeling of a room. Here’s an unpainted bathroom, then the same bathroom in 2 different colors.
The pale green makes the bathroom a fresh, airy room while the purple gives the room an elegant, sophisticated feeling.
One of the best things about painting is that it doesn’t require a lot of extra materials and tools. Usually you just need painting tape (the bright blue masking tape), a few drop cloths (I use old shower curtains), a roller and a brush to do touch-up/edges. And for the last, I just use one of those paint brushes that used to come with my Crayola watercolor sets.
As for paint finishes, it really depends on the room and how much wear and tear it receives. For bathrooms and other rooms that get a lot of moisture, semi-gloss paint is best. Semi-gloss or satin is good for rooms that will have the walls wiped down on a semi-regular basis. Flat paint is great for rooms that don’t get a lot of traffic or if you don’t have small kids. The only issue with flat paint is that if you scrub it with a sponge or rag, the color can come off.
There are many brands of interior latex paint out there, and for the most part quality doesn’t differ. At the top of the spectrum is Benjamin Moore paint. I love it, but it can get pricey. You also will probably have to go to a specialty paint store to find Benjamin Moore. Behr is another great brand with a more reasonable price range. You can find Behr paint at Home Depot. Other reasonably priced (and decent quality) paint brands include Miller and Dutch Boy. However, know that cheaper brands usually mean thinner paint, which translates into more coats needed for full coverage. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy one gallon of the expensive stuff, rather than 2 or 3 gallons of the cheaper stuff.
If you have the time and patience, you can often find a great value on paint at stores like Fred Meyer and Home Depot in their “mis-mixed” section. A lot of home improvement and paint stores will sell mixed/tinted paint at a discounted price if customers decide they don’t like the color or if the mix doesn’t come out “just right.” It’s rare to find more than a gallon in any mis-mixed color, so you’ll likely have to pay full price for any additional paint you need. But it can be fun to look through those mis-mixed colors – sometimes you’ll find a color you never considered before.
So have at it! Paint away and spruce up an old room.