Thursday, July 31, 2008

Changing the Color of Your Room with Paint

Let's address flat finish painting - I call this flat painting - not to be confused with the use of the flat finish, the base of paint - you can use a flat finish base paint (which is matte- no shine), but there are many types of base coats available in paint - I will address this as another topic - there is just so much to write about, and lots of entries to look forward to!

Flat painting is where you choose a color and repaint the room- basically changing the color of a room. It is a finish where you use one color on a wall - in most cases the entire room is painted the same color, but you can get fancy and choose an accent wall to paint a coordinating color or faux finish to spice things up a bit.

For straight flat painting, here is a list of things to consider on how, where and whether to best use this technique -

• Flat painting will give you a clean new look- I would suggest priming first so the true color you choose is what you get. See my suggested experiment to better understand how working with a clean white surface helps bring the true color out.
• The most important thing about painting the room in one color, with no faux finish, is that the walls look best when they are prepped properly.
• Properly prepping the walls entails spackling and sanding - many people like to hire a painter to address this as it is time consuming and messy! If your walls are in bad shape, lots of pock marks, divets or clearly uneven, you may want to consider a faux finish, as it can hide a lot of imperfections.
• This is the time to fix the cracks that have appeared above the door frames or any damage that has been done to the walls over the course of time.

Steps for painting:

1. first take everything out of the room; pictures off the walls, nails out, etc.

2. then take a clean spackle knife and go over every hole, ding or chip in the walls - be sure to smooth over the spackle with the knife to make it flat

3. when it is completely dry - really dry,( or it will come up - trust me, I learned from trying to rush this part)... use fine grit sandpaper and sand the areas spackled and the wall surrounding it to make it even.

4. now you should prime the walls, as the areas with spackle will take the color paint differently than the base wall - so prime the walls.

5. after the walls are dry, you can paint with the chosen color. Be sure to stir the paint thoroughly!

• you can have the local paint store tint your primer with a color close to the one you want to use, this will make painting with your final color easier and give you better coverage.

When you chose to use the tinted primer, then you may only need one coat of your new color, if it is a lighter shade. If you are using a dark color, you will need two coats for a pure color, and possibly three ( reds, browns and deep blues usually take 3 coats to get it to look even). I know this sounds like a pain, but trust me, the color will be even and pure.

• if a room will need more than one gallon, and less than 5 gallons (the two sizes most brands are available) buy a larger bucket with a lid and mix the paint to avoid any dye lot issues ( color differences)- you do not want to get to the fourth wall, open a new can of paint and realize that the color is off by a hair -

• if you get tired of painting and have not finished the room, be sure to end in a corner. You should cover the paint tray in plastic - a white garbage bag will work - push the plastic down into the tray, over the roller, so that it touches and cannot dry out. Be sure to wrap the plastic bag around the tray so that no air can get in. It is best to use this when you plan to return to work within a few hours. If you will not get back to it for days, then it is best to clean up the tray and roller to use fresh another day. Be sure to close the paint can tightly so no air can get in and oxidize the paint, this will result in a slight change of color. A paint brush used for trimming out the room should be cleaned when you are done, unless it will be a short time (an hour or less) that you will return to paint with that brush again.

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful!

Flat finish painting is a typical look used for classic and traditional decor. When paired with white moldings, this can be a very upscale and elegant finish. Great for Georgian homes, country classic, and colonial styles. Straight painting, or flat painting can also be used in a contemporary genre and many other styles of furnishing.

It is all about the colors you choose and the furnishings in the room!

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