The color of a room can make a space appear larger or smaller, it can camouflage flaws, or it can set a mood. Color can be energizing or calming, welcoming or dramatic. A coat of paint is one of the easiest, quickest and least expensive ways to transform space. Here are 10 tips that take the fear out of choosing paint colors.
1. Paint chips Colors on the chips can look different from how they appear on the way so test two or three samples and live with the samples for a few days before making your selection. This way you can see the colors in a variety of light conditions. Also paint companies like C2 and Donald Kaufman Color Factory sell paint chips made with actual paint, not a color that's made by printing processes. This makes for truer samples.
2. Walls A plain coat of paint can do wonders for your walls, but you don't have to stop there. Stamps, stencils, murals, stripes and colors blocks, plus all kinds of faux finishes can bring interest to your walls as well. Let your imagination soar!
3. Trim A consistent choice of trim color throughout the house can add flow. A popular choice is white as it reflects light creating an airy feel. But just about any color can work.
4. Ceilings The standard for years has been to paint the ceiling white. But trends are changing. Why not try a muted sky blue or a percentage of the wall color mixed with white? Paint Quality Institute has many more ideas.
5. Furniture High-gloss paint can spruce up tired wood furniture. Paint items alike to create a unified look or choose different colors to add character.
6. Latex or Oil? Unless you are painting floors or bare wood, latex is a greener choice. It has less odor, dries faster, and clean-up is a snap.
7. Materials and PreparationBuy the best materials you can afford. A good brush is an investment worth making. With proper cleaning and storage, it will last for many years and make all the difference in the paint application. Prep your walls well and the paint will go on smoother and look better.
8. Small Spaces Conventional wisdom states that light colors make a small space look bigger. But no amount of white paint will make a diminutive powder room or entry feel palatial. So why not add a touch of spice to your small space, like a pleasant surprise.
9. Kids' Spaces Since children often prefer bold colors that are too bright for adult sensibilities, compromise can be the way to go. Try choosing softer tones in the same family color family of your child's preference. Then you can bring in the drama with accent pieces. What could be more fun than a lipstick-red end table?
10. Take a Risk Even if you are hesitant about darker hues, don't automatically resort to play-it-safe white. For the cost of a can of paint, you can try something different. You may just surprise yourself in how much you like it.