Thinking About Interior Painting

I can almost hear you groaning, “It’s still summer, there are still weeks of precious sunshine left for barbeque’s, little league, and trips to the lake. I don’t want to think about painting the inside of the house yet!” And I have to agree that summer is too precious to waste. But the reason summer is so precious is that all too soon the weather will turn, and then you will be stuck in the house.

And I am not saying that it is time to paint inside yet. I am just pointing out that the time you spend planning and preparing now will make the project go that much quicker and easier when the time comes. So when you’re taking your evening walk to get ice cream, take a few minutes to stop in the Home or Paint store and pick up a few color swatches.

As an old Navy man, I seem to remember that the Medical Department on the ship used as much or more paint than anyone. This is because, even though it rarely got that dirty, Sick Bay had to be the cleanest part of the ship. Nothing makes things clean and new like a new coat of paint! Clean and new is a good thing for your home as well.

Probably the simplest course would be to give the walls a good cleaning and repaint the same colors, but that is boring! You want to liven things up with a color change, but you don’t want to shock your family and friends every time they walk into the room.

It is hard to describe where to start when choosing new colors for your rooms, so we will start with the practical. Unless you are contemplating a complete remodeling where you will be getting all new “stuff”, it is probably a good idea to begin thinking about colors that will work well with your furniture. Generally more neutral colored walls will allow the furniture colors to become the focal point of the room. Note- Neutral colors do not mean to limit yourself to off-whites and beige; there are many lighter shades that count as neutral.

Consider the primary activity the room is used for. Calming warm tones are appropriate for family and dining rooms to help give guests a feeling of welcome. Bright and energetic color schemes may not be the best fit for a bedroom, unless it is the bedroom of a teenager who has trouble getting out of bed for school in the morning.

The most important thing will be to choose a color scheme that makes you happy. After all this is your home. Remember all those swatches that you got at the paint store? As you begin to narrow down your choices, tape a few samples to the wall of the room you’re thinking about painting. Look at the samples several times during the day to see how they work in the changing light. If the sample isn’t big enough to judge by, go back to the store and pick up two or three more samples and tape them together to make a larger one.

One of the real fun things about interior painting is the variety of things that you can do with paint from a decorating stand point; stenciling, sponging, stripes, rag-rolling, contrasting wall coloring. We will be discussing a number of these techniques, as well as the paint project itself, in the next few weeks. But for now, get back out in the yard and enjoy your summer.



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