The most important question you can ask yourself is, “what is the meaning of life” and then right after that is, “what color should I paint my walls?”
One of the best ways to refresh your home is by painting the walls. However, with so many paint trends out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily for you, we have the perfect guide to paint, from preparation & color palettes to lighting & finishes. Straight from our top interior designers, here are 7 tips to help you succeed in rolling out your fresh look.
Tip #1: Pick Your Paint Color Last
We know that picking a paint color is one of the most exciting parts of refreshing a room, but we encourage you to temper your enthusiasm. One of the best interior design practices is to work from the floor up, selecting your flooring and furniture before your paint color. In doing so, you ensure a seamless transition from floor to ceiling. Say it with us: “flooring, furniture, then fun”.
Walking into a paint store and eyeballing 1,000 paint swatches can be overwhelming and may send you home with only a bucket filled with tears. Before you stop into your local paint store, make sure you’re fully prepared. Take some time to create an inspiration board, focusing on your desired interior style, particular designs you love, and paint colors that stand out. Exploring Pinterest is a great way to expand your palette testing neutral, warm, cool, and bold ideas. There are also fun color tools on websites like Behr or Sherwin Williams where you can virtually paint your rooms.
Tip #3: Invest
Don’t be a penny pinch. It’s worth investing a little more to get high quality paint that will really give you the goodies. Trust us, purchasing paint is not pouring money down the drain. In fact, a high-quality paint will give you a breathtaking, rich transformation that can last for years to come. Cheap paints usually have less pigment which will affect your overall painting experience, oftentimes becoming more costly as you continue to slap on more coats to hide the flaws. Sherwin Williams is tried, tested, and true! They have a great selection of neutrals we consistently find ourselves returning to. For richly pigmented colors Farrow and Ball is a standout, we absolutely love their color selection!
Tip #4: Pick a Finish
While it may seem like a trivial detail, your paint finish can set the entire tone of your space. Our expert designers like to compare choosing the right paint finish to deciding how to top off your ice cream. So, will you choose a cherry, sprinkles, or the hot fudge? Here are some of our favorite finishes and where best to use them:
- Flat- this finish is very matte, difficult to clean, but hides imperfections well. Typically, it is used on ceilings or in studies.
- Eggshell- this is a very common finish for use in any room from bedrooms to kitchens. Slightly textured, the eggshell finish can be lightly cleaned while still providing coverage.
- Satin- this finish has a medium gloss, is easy to clean, provides a medium amount of camouflage, and it can be used in every room. For those with little ones, this paint finish is perfect for a kid’s room, durable enough to withstand fingerprints and everyday wear and tear.
- Semi-Gloss-this has a glossy look to it, higher durability, but with less ability to hide imperfections. Typically used for doors, utility room, bathrooms, trim, baseboards, and molding.
- Gloss- this is used infrequently, high gloss, high sheen, easily scrubbed clean, used on doors, trims, and sometimes kitchens cabinets.
Tip #5: Lighting
Different lighting sources will bring out dramatically different looks for your paint. For true paint selection success, heed the following lighting advice:
- Direct Sunlight will be the most “true to color” lighting.
- North facing rooms naturally pull cool tones. For the best results, we recommend avoiding green or gray based paints here.
- South facing rooms look great with pale tones or bright whites.
- East and West facing rooms will vary depending on the time of day.
- Indirect Sunlight warms things up and alters paint tones to be warmer than they actually are. We recommend choosing a paint color that isn’t too drastically warm for rooms with indirect sunlight.
- Artificial Lighting can bring out cool or warm tones depending on the bulb. Halogen and incandescent bulbs have a base yellow color that will warm up paint. On the other end of the spectrum we have white bulbs, which will give a cast on your walls that is much cooler.
Tip #6: Patch Test
As was mentioned, lighting has a significant impact on paint. So, once you’ve found your perfect paint color, grab a sample in the shade you want (we usually get 3-5 variations that are warmer or cooler to test out). Patch test in a place that is most representative of the major lighting on the wall. For example, painting in corners may have shadows and make the paint present darker than it will look across your entire wall. Wait, let it simmer, and then dive in with intention.
It’s back baby! Yes, the decorative wallpaper of our mother’s generation got a bad rap, but wallpaper saw your cringing and got themselves a PR team! What was once tacky is now a head turner! When you want to really be bold, wallpaper is a great option. Just check out the elegant prints at Anthropologie and Farrow and Ball. If you need additional assistance choosing between paint or wallpaper, check out this blog post.
Painting a room or even just switching up your trim finish can feel like a daunting task, but with these 7 tips we feel confident that you will be an expert in no time! For more painting advice from our top interior designers, contact Miya Design. We can help you transform any space from top to bottom. Call today to get started!