Picking out paint colors to match your personal style
by Joseph Pubillones, interior designer
There’s nothing like using a fresh coat of paint to brighten up a room. When I moved into my condo last summer, I was determined to transform all of my white walls into a rainbow of colorful tones, but I learned fast that you can’t just slap on a few colors and call it a day. When it comes to painting the interior walls of my home, there are a lot of things to consider first. What colors work best with my decorating style? Should I use primer? Do I want a satin or eggshell finish?
So lets just slow down, take a deep breath, and figure this out together!
by Nicole Sassaman, interior designer
What colors work best with your decorating style?
If you are not sure that you have a decorating style then do a little research. Take a look around at your belongings and determine which category you fit into. Click on this link to see the definitions and complementing color palettes of each style.
Just remember that your style reflects your personality. If you are an eclectic mix of more than one style, that’s okay—most people are! My advice is to just work on one room at a time. When you are buying accessories, only buy the things that you love. Not just the things that you like or that you can settle with. The way I see it, if I have to look at something everyday then I have to love it in order to spend my hard earned money on it. I like to call my style “shabby-beachy-chic with a modern version of traditional-contemporary.” What a mess right? But it makes sense to me…and I’m okay with that!
by Andreas Charalambous, principal architect
Before the paint do you need the primer?
I was lucky that I didn’t need to use primer because my walls were untouched with paint. Primer is used to bond the paint to the surface of your walls. It serves as a barrier from past issues like surface stains or water damage. And creates a smooth and consistent layer preventing any future issues such as blotchiness, bubbling, cracking, or chipping. I found this article about primer the most helpful.
Note: there are a lot of products out there that have paint and primer in one, it’s just a little more expensive per gallon. This would work if you are painting over a white or light color. However, if you are going from a dark to light color, then it’s probably best to use one coat of primer and two coats of your paint color.
by Amy Bubier, interior designer
What is the best paint finish?
The finish you use is another important decision. There are 5 or 6 to choose from. I usually choose eggshell when painting a bedroom because it is not too shiny and not too flat. The glossier the finish, the more durable it is to withstand washing and cleaning. A gloss coat is ideal for doors, baseboards, and high traffic areas like hallways, kitchens, and kids’ rooms. The glossiness locks out water which is why they are chosen for bathrooms. Younghouselove posted a phenomenal blog about paint finishes! I occasionally refer to them for advice and DIY inspiration. They really know their stuff!
Other things to consider when choosing a paint color:
Certain colors invoke certain moods. Learn more about this theory from this house painting info link.
This website also has a helpful article about overcoming the fear of color.
Take tips from the pros and read this great article from Elle Décor about how to integrate more than one color.
Neutral tones are ideal if you are looking to sell your home in the near future. This article from EricksonTribune.com explains why.
Still need inspiration? Thumb through some interior design magazines (Elle Décor is my favorite) or spend some time at a bookstore browsing through their collection of books. Paint brand websites like Behr, Valspar, and Sherwin Williams have a plethora of ideas and photos as well.
Now, after doing all of this research (and asking a bunch of questions at my local Home Depot) I felt confident about my decision.
I went with a neutral color in an eggshell finish called Spiced Beige by Behr. I liked how it looked bright and peachy in the natural daylight, and then warm against artificial lighting at night. I’m very happy with how it turned out. It goes nicely with my décor, and I can’t wait to pick out more things to dress up the walls. Stay tuned for that! Happy painting!!