Let's talk about paint, baby!
So you decided it’s time to update your space with a fresh coat of paint. Excellent!
But before you run to the nearest Lowe's, check out some tips that could make or break your entire project.
Colors and Emotion
Colors have an influence on the mood of spaces and they can affect your emotional wellbeing. These moods can be tranquil, cheerful, optimistic, grungy, dramatic, focus or introspective.
Let's start with a few color groups to understand color's emotional impact:
Pales - The light, airy qualities make pale hues feel uplifting.
Neutrals - Earthy, natural colors keep you grounded
Whites - Pure and pristine, these timeless colors offer a blank canvas to express your style.
Deeps - Bring drama to a room with colors that are rich and mysterious.
When selecting tones for your own space, focus on how you want to feel before jumping right into the current color trends.
Mental Health Affects Space
My energy has shifted over this past year or so, as many of us living thru the pandemic could probably say. With that mental shift, my physical space also needed to be updated.
My space was very neutral and grey with teal accents and a couple pops of yellow here and there. I don't know if it's been the result of spending so much time indoors for the past
18 months, but my grey walls were making me feel gloomy. We had been living with the grey walls for 10 years and I wanted to switch the vibe to be peaceful and calm, light and airy.
I wanted to breathe life into my space. These days I have been leaning into more muted, pastel hues instead of the deeper richer jewel tones that I normally admire.
My mind wanted my space to be more neutral. I was on the hunt for the perfect greige and I brought home so many neutral paint chips. (Stay tuned for my post on the perfect greige) Neutrals are grounding and none of them gave me the light and airy feeling my spirit desired.
My soul knew what it needed and I leaped into light blue/greens and everything immediately shifted. I settled on a light neutral Benjamin Moore Seafoam color called Swept Away. The paint truly lives up to its name. The moment I filled an 8ft space of my wall with the color my soul felt rejuvenated. I feel lighter and happier in my space but I also have the calm that I wanted.
The power of color is impactful. Listen to your intuition when choosing paint colors, think about the mood you want to invoke before jumping right into the current color trend. How do you ultimately want the space to feel?
SAMPLE, SAMPLE, SAMPLE.
So you’ve made it to the nearest hardware store in search of the perfect shade. You pull a paint chip that you like and head toward the counter to get your first gallon made. STOP RIGHT THERE!
Head back over to the chips and pull 2 or 3 or even 5 other colors close to your choice. Maybe one shade darker and one shade lighter, or one shade more blue and one shade more yellow. Then, head outside to view those colors properly in the DAYLIGHT. Those retailers have harsh often blue-tone fluorescent lighting that completely skews the shade of your choice. Once you go outside you may pick up on undertones that you hadn’t noticed before. Have you ever bought a can of paint and after you got home it’s completely different than you thought? It’s because their lighting affected its tone. Take those chips home and compare them on your walls with all your belongings.
Now, you can head back to the store and make more conscious decisions.
Before starting a paint project I get at least 4-5 samples. Samples are a good way to test out how the color will actually look with the rest of your surfaces and furnishings. The way the light is reflected in your home is different at different times of the day. So it's very important that you sample several walls on the lightest areas as well as the darkest corners and live with them for a few days.
Paints also have undertones which you can usually find by looking at the darkest color on your paint chip. If that color is a deep orange then that means your paint will reflect orange at home which you may or may not like.
Always sample and wait a few days before making a decision. There's nothing worse than painting a whole room and hating it when you're done.
With this paint project, I’ll be honest, I had a hard time making a decision. Picking neutrals are easier because no matter what your decor will most likely flow with the color. Choosing a color will change the whole dynamic and I want to live with this decision for at least the next 5 - 10 years.
I love the results of a fresh coat of paint. It can brighten the walls, add personality to a space. Refresh a piece of furniture or completely give a piece a whole new vibe. But the process of painting is a whole other thing. Painting is 90% prep and 10% paint. It’s the cleaning, sanding, taping, covering, and just prepping the surfaces that I just don't enjoy. But paint prep is so integral to the process. Before you even think about covering those walls with your beautiful shade of goodness:
Invest in high-quality paint; I know those premium brand gallons can cost over $40 but the value is worth it in the long run. The coverage is so much better and you’ll actually use less of it.
Use better quality brushes and rollers. - Always invest in quality tools for whatever project you are tackling.
Take time to cut into corners and edges. - If you do this first you will spend much less time trying to be careful around those areas with your roller.
Wait for the paint to fully dry before peeling the tape. - I’ve heard different opinions on this one, some say it’s better to do just after your 2nd coat before the paint dries. I’ve tested that method and I just think in the desert, when your paint is drying minutes after it’s applied, it’s best to wait until it’s completely dry.
Touch up. - This is actually my favorite part. I can see the results and just have to make it perfect.