Want to Avoid Making a Mistake when Painting?
Most of us who have ever painted a room or an entire house have had one of those "Whoops!" moments. No I am not talking about dropping the paint tray or hammering the top back on the paint can without cleaning the rim, I am talking about putting it all back together again and saying, "That color just doesn't work!"
Vern Yip of HGTV would say "It's only a can of paint--if you don't like it, it only costs you about $25 to do it again." Sure, if you didn't hire a professional to do the job. But even so, I am not one of those people who likes the upset in the house. Get started, get it done, get everything back in order! My wife had to live with a color she chose and then hated in the dining room for 6 years because it didn't "need" new paint. She finally repainted two years ago, and while it is a great color (inspired by one of the Dream Homes on HGTV), she still wishes she had toned it down a bit.
Right now we are working on getting our house ready to put on the market because the kids are grown and we don't need 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths anymore. But the colors that were "in" back in 2002 are not "in" anymore. Red was great back then. The base to most of the "in" colors of that time seems to be a redish brown. Today the base is more grey. Keep in mind, we are touch-up fanatics, so our house doesn't "need" to be repainted because it is showing wear, it just needs to be repainted to bring it into 2011.
There are some great ways to "test" a color these days. If you are a new homeowner and are painting for yourself, pick whatever makes you happy. Home Depot has test paint that costs $2.97 per small bottle that they will tint to the color of your choice so you can paint about a 9-foot square on your wall to see if it is the right fit.
If you are getting ready to put your home on the market, however, I would suggest that you take the advice of professionals as to what color appeals to the masses. I have seen some absolutely lovely homes with absolutely wild colors, but the decorating and staging usuallly makes these colors work. Once those items leave--oh my! Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn have paint suggestions. They have a limited number of choices, and they are the colors that appeal to the masses. Do they make mistakes? Sure. I know that at least one color was discontinued from Restoration Hardware. But for the most part, these colors work as an awful lot of thought goes into picking them.
Three more tips:
- Don't walk into the paint store and pick your color there--it could be completely wrong with the lighting in your home.
- Once the paint is mixed, have the paint put on the test strip to make sure it actually matches. Sometimes (rarely) they don't. That is something you don't want to discover when you get home and are all set to get started!
- If you have something that you want the paint to match (a pillow, a pair of shoes, a towel), take it along and have the paint store match it for you.
Now go find what works for you and enjoy it!