March 24, 2010

Paint the Town... Beige?

Our front door, a perfect example of the effect paint and trim can create

I am among a small group of people who actually think painting is fun. But I realize that not everyone shares this passion - I swear that my Mom’s eyes actually glaze over at the mere sight of a fan deck.

I still believe that painting is the most bang for your buck in the world of ‘renovations’. With a few cans of paint and some good, old fashion sweat equity, you can brighten up a room’s mood in a weekend.

Personally, I prefer to use General Paint ( ) for all my projects. It is a high quality paint that covers nicely and rolls on smooth. I am a firm believer in ‘cutting’ edges with a paint brush, sans painters tape, and I find that this brand of paint is the easiest for me to use to get straight lines. I also prefer to use an eggshell or flat paint. I’ve never liked shiny walls, mostly for the fact that they seem to accentuate a poor paint job. But, if you have a room that you keep your muddy dogs in (formally called my ‘laundry room’), or a 2 year old with sticky fingers – the durability from a shinier paint cannot be beat.

Remember to look up. Painting your ceilings in the right colour can make or break a room. The darker the colour, the lower your ceilings will look - so steer clear of dark or bold colours. I, personally, am partial to white or off-white ceilings, as I am always looking for a way to make my 8’ ceilings look like 10’ ceilings. But when painting, it is a good investment to at least roll on a new coat of paint on the ceilings, even if it is the same colour that is already there. It will look brighter and fresher, and is well worth the time and effort.
Our dining room (chairs are being recovered shortly)

I also insist that crown moulding is a must in most rooms. There is just something so indulgent and divine in crown moulding. It also is a lot cheaper to do than most people think. At a typical $1.25 a foot, you can install crown moulding in a 10’ X 15’ foot room for under $65. A great investment. My answer to the age old question “what colour do we paint our crown moulding” is simple – white. In my mind there is no better colour that will set off your wall and ceiling colour like white. I also use white for all of my door/window casings and baseboard – but remember to use a shiny white for these. White trim will get dirty quicker than you think, and the shinier it is - the easier it is to clean. Mr.Clean’s Magic Eraser can also be your best friend for this.
Paint colours can look very different in different lighting situations

Another thing to consider it the tone of the paint. Dark colours can add a dramatic effect to your home, but don’t always translate as well in real life. They also cost more for tinting (an extra $5 a gallon) and take more coats to get the full effect of your desired shade. If in doubt, stick to the ‘off-white’ section of your fan deck. If you select a paint colour that is two shades lighter than the colour you think you want, you can’t go wrong.

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