Think carefully before choosing colors. Dark colors are often compelling as they add warmth and depth, but be careful. They can make a small room appear even smaller and darker. Try a darker accent wall for the same effect. Lighter colors open up a room; blues and greens are calming and great for bedrooms.
Test colors before you buy. Almost all stores sell small sample cans. Buy several samples in different shades near each other on the color wheel. Check the color in different lights. Remember, paint color looks very different when dry. Try on different areas to get the full effect.
The luster of paint refers to the shine. Flat paint is used almost exclusively on ceilings, where shine is not wanted. Eggshell is low luster for most main walls, like bedrooms and living rooms. Semi- gloss stands up to more frequent cleaning and is great for kitchens and bathrooms.
Next, you need to decide how much paint you need. It’s always better to have more than you need, rather than not enough. Multiply the height of the room by the total widths of the walls. Divide this by 350 (the number of square feet one gallon usually covers). This will give you extra, as you are not subtracting for windows and doors.
Paint brands do vary in price. This is not the time to bargain hunt. Higher priced paints have better coverage because they contain more titanium dioxide. They are also heavier bodied, splatter less, and go on more smoothly. Other additives increase durability and resist fading.
Brushes are most important and it’s best to spend a little more money here. You will need two to take care of most inside painting jobs. A 3- inch trim brush will do for outlining ceilings and walls before rolling. For more control for door and window frames, use a 2-inch angled sable brush.
Roller covers vary in thickness according to the job and how much paint is used. These three should cover most normal painting jobs. 3/8 inch will work for most ceilings and walls using flat, eggshell, and semi- gloss paint. ½ and ¾ inch will cover rougher surfaces like textured paint and concrete floors.
Preparing well is half the job and the best way to make your paint job go smoothly. Scrape any flaking paint and sand edges till smooth. Patch any holes with spackle. Again, sand till smooth when dry. Remove all hardware, like switch plates. Wash walls that are very dirty with a mild soap, such as Murphey’s Oil soap.
Paint a room from top to bottom, letting each section dry before moving on. Paint the ceiling first. Next is all molding, trim, and base boards. Next, cut in the walls (this is painting the outside of the wall before rolling). If your hand is not steady enough, use painters tape on the trim. Remove as soon as possible, as tape left on too long can remove finish. Finally roll the walls, slightly overlapping in smooth up and down strokes.
Always clean up thoroughly. It is most important to wash and dry your brushes well. Store hanging by the handle to keep bristles straight. A well cared for paint brush will give you many years of service.
KATHY WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO