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How to Give Your Home a Makeover Using Only Paint

How to Give Your Home a Makeover Using Only Paint

For many of us, a complete home makeover rarely crosses into the realm of possibility. The sheer size of the investment, including both money and time, tends to be staggering. So, as much as we’d love to act on inspiration derived from an HGTV show or from drooling over homes for sale in Hollywood, we’ll probably need to keep dreaming – right? Wrong. We’ve gathered painting and design experts from across the country to show homeowners how they can start a complete home makeover using only paint. Grab your brush and get ready to be inspired!

Working with paint every day, we are still surprised at what a difference a coat of paint can make. Even just repainting a single piece of furniture can change the whole look of a room. We have customers using this paint to transform their kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and walls bringing their homes into a much more desirable and current look. Whether it be for selling a home or changing the look, paint can change so much. – Refined Vintage Boutique

Don’t take shortcuts, and prepare your space before you paint

Honestly, it comes down to prep! A lot of homeowners with well-intentioned DIY projects don’t realize just how much preparation goes into getting professional results. Whether you’re painting a bedroom, cabinets, or an exterior, in-depth repairs, cleaning, sanding, and priming are essential. It may be tedious, but it’s 80% of a high-quality, long-lasting project. – Lancaster Painting

All too often people gather painting quotes without first establishing a good scope of work, and unknowingly end up with as many scopes of work as they have bids. This mistake generally leads to disappointment, cost overruns, delays, and an overall feeling of being taken advantage of because the homeowner forgets what has been relayed to each painter, and each painter ends up quoting the project with a different set of “wants”. Before you say “go”, stop and make sure you are going to get what you want, really read and understand what you are paying for, because if “it’s not in writing, don’t be shocked when you don’t get it”! Now, if you are not a paint expert, and don’t already know exactly what you need, don’t worry… any professional craftsman who has been at it for a while will be excited to meet with you upfront and involve you in defining a scope of work that you will be happy with. – Brian Kemnitz, Pearl Painters

The more you can prep a space to be painted, the faster the job will be. We recommend all our clients to ensure that valuables are removed from the space and to bring all furniture either to the center of the space or remove them entirely. This will save time and money by not having a painter to do this task which will cause the price to be slightly higher than it should be to paint the space. If your wall is damaged and has many holes, you can prep the holes in advance by applying filler prior to the day of painting. This way, when the painter arrives, they can begin sanding off the filler and finishing the repairs before getting it ready for paint. – Painter in Montreal

As a painting contractor and remodeling contractor in the soggy Seattle area, we run into a common Northwest issue known as rot or dry rot. You want to be sure to identify these areas and do your due diligence to investigate to make sure you know the true extent of the damage. Unfortunately, many painting contractors, and homeowners alike, will perform a surface area fix, or as we like to call a band-aid, on a problem area, when the true problem is much deeper and can be affecting the structural integrity of your home. Be sure when hiring a painting contractor that you select one with some knowledge surrounding the world of carpentry and wood structures so that these areas can be diagnosed and repaired properly while also addressing and solving the problem that caused it in the first place. Taking the right approach may cost a bit more upfront but can prevent major catastrophes in the future. – Tenhulzen Painting & Construction Partners

Create a spacious and comfortable interior

You can make a great first impression of the interior of your home by using a monochromatic color scheme. By using lighter and darker shades of color in the right places you can create an impression that a space is larger, highlight architectural beauty or artwork, or draw more attention to an outdoor view. Lighter colors feel further away from you and draw more attention, darker colors feel closer and your eye spends less time on them. By using color to tell the eye what to look at you can focus attention on the highlights of your home and create a subconscious feeling that a home is spacious and comfortable. – PaintGreen Professional Painters

What to watch when repainting your home’s exterior

When painting the exterior of the house, consider a color that is a little earthier rather than a little brighter. That does NOT mean you have to go beige – a bold jewel tone can look fantastic! But a color that looks like it came out of a candy dish will probably be “that house” – the one that people use to give people directions by, instead a house that everyone wishes were their own. Want a helpful trick? If you have the Benjamin Moore Color Preview paint fan, choose a color from the back of the fan (around 2080-10 and back) instead of the front of the fan. Those candy-colored hues are in the front – be careful!! – and the easy-to-live-with hues are in the back. – Seriously Happy Homes

One mistake clients repeatedly make on exterior color schemes is painting TINY sample swatches all over. I find that these little swatches of color slapped up all over the place just don’t allow you to see how the house will look. Instead, pick up a quart of paint and roll out a minimum 4′ x 4′ swatch. The bigger the better. This trick allows you to see the color itself, and not the contrast of the old color to the new. Because exterior colors reflect OUT into the atmosphere, choose a color that’s slightly darker than you expect. Colors tend to wash out in the great outdoors. and so going a bit deeper means you’ll end up with the color you intended. – Robin Daly Color & Design

An easy way to change the look of the front of your house is by painting your shutters and front door.  We typically use a satin or semi-gloss paint to give them extra pop, and paint with shine is more durable and easier to keep clean than flat.  If painting plastic shutters, a good bonding primer is essential, and be sure to paint your front door when there is no sun on it and the surface is cool to the touch.  Lastly, always purchase the best quality paint available from whichever supplier you use, whether a home store or a paint store; the extra money will pay great dividends in ease of application and longevity. – SNL Painting

When painting, it’s the very first layer that adheres to the house. When many thicker layers of paint rest on top, this can pull more on the original layer. This means more peeling with more layers of paint. A second reason is more layers of paint reduces the permeability, so the house does not release the condensation that is in the walls. For old houses, less paint actually allows for better adhesion of the original layer and better permeability. Tint the primer and just prime the bare wood – the oil primer protects the bare wood and provides less buildup. Then use a less thick quality paint with a higher percentage of pigments and less filler that covers and adheres well for good permeability. – Tom Sawyer Painting

Elegant Painting recommends painting the exterior of your house with a satin finish. Satin finish will have a more crisp fresh look to it and does better against humidity. – Elegant Painting

Pay attention to the quality and sheen of your paint

When choosing paint for your home, always choose the highest grade paint as the budget will allow. This will help greatly with the longevity of the finishes and aid with the elusive color retention problem. Using high-grade paint products will save on costs and add value, ensuring beauty & protection for years to come. – Pro Color Painting

As a professional painting company, we see a lot of homeowners make the same mistakes. One of the biggest is selecting the wrong paint sheen. Sheen simply refers to how glossy the paint is, and this is an important factor for interior painting projects. The glossier the paint, the shiner it is, and the easier it will reflect the light. Flowers Painting only recommends a high gloss sheen for kitchens, windows, and doors. Semi-gloss is very versatile and should be used for kitchens or bathrooms. Satin sheen is by far the most popular choice and is suitable for family rooms, kid’s rooms, and foyers. Eggshell sheen should only be used in rooms that rarely need to be cleaned such as the dining room and living room. Flat or matte sheen is good for more private areas such as adult bedrooms. – Flowers Painting

People often do not realize that all paint companies have different qualities of paints. Particularly high traffic areas of a home would benefit from using a high-quality grade of paint with an eggshell finish. An eggshell finish has more sheen than matte or flat and it is easier to remove inevitable marks that are all signs of life in your home. Also, higher-quality paints will cover more surface because they cover better, are more washable, and will look better longer.

It seems counter-intuitive to being budget-friendly but I never advise buying “cheap” paint. Even if you are selling a home, don’t buy “cheap” paint. You don’t need a top of the line expensive paint to do a nice job, a mid-grade will be just what you need for a fresh look, with a nice finish. “Cheap” paint looks cheap. “Cheap” paint is thinner and requires a greater amount of paint to cover an area. Rely on your paint store professionals to advise you on the best product for your particular surface and situation. – Kaleidoscope Color Consulting

Make sure you consider the sheen of your paint. Flat sheens (shininess) hide drywall imperfections and touch up really well but generally are not very washable. Satin or eggshell sheens are more washable but will reveal drywall imperfections and often require painting the entire wall again for touchup. – Bear Mountain Custom Painting

Don’t be afraid to mix it up

People often look at paint colors for individual spaces, but where the real magic happens is in the interplay of colors from room to room. So, make sure you “take the long view” and creatively combine colors so that they “stack up” in a pleasing way. Don’t be afraid to mix warms & cools or lights & darks — that’s what gives a home a dynamic and visually appealing quality. What you should avoid mixing are clean colors and dirty colors…stick with the clear brights or the more muted neutral-leaning colors and you’ll have a more harmonious color scheme for your home. – Amy Woolf Color & Design

Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to add a bright new look to your kitchen and your entire home. While not the most DIY-friendly, hiring a professional will still save you a lot compared to replacing the cabinets. Be sure to use a product certified for use on cabinets for the best, most durable result. Painting the inside of your front door a bold color can provide a pop to your entry foyer and can usually be accomplished in only a couple of hours. Lastly, very light-colored walls (such as a light gray) are very popular and make it easy to decorate with fun, pops of bright bold colors throughout the room. – Textbook Painting

Give your ceiling a fresh look

Our company always recommends painting ceilings when repainting any space. Ceilings are supposed to be painted with a flat bright white paint color (rule of thumb for painters). White is a reflective color and allows the hues from the colors on the walls to “pop” or stand out more, giving them room a cleaner look. In addition, we offer custom paint accent wall services that add personality to the space. Painting the one wall in a room a different color is a way to add some flare to a room, especially if it’s a vibrant color, without locking yourself into the vibrant color throughout the entire room. Accent custom walls are good for rooms that have been painted utilizing neutral or calming colors, such as grays & tans. – NyRai Designs

One of the best tips for transforming your home using only paint is to select from a neutral color palette and choose shades and sheens that accentuate your canvas. Choose lighter shades for smaller rooms and lighter ceilings for rooms with lower ceilings. Using a lighter ceiling color, although an added cost, can eliminate the feeling of a room being “closed in”. Using a little more sheen on the walls in a room with less natural light can help promote more light reflectivity, effectively brightening the room. For areas with taller ceilings and more natural light, don’t be afraid to use one color for both walls and ceilings….this can lead to a more seamless and modern aesthetic. – Martinson Painting

Originally published on Redfin

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