Choosing Interior Painting Colors

Tips for Choosing Interior Paint Colors

Choosing Interior Paint Colors Is Easier Than You Think

The easiest way to choose the best interior paint colors is to start with the colors you love. When you start with the colors you love, you are not bound by the traditional color schemes for a particular decorating style. Using your favorite color as your base color, you can use it to create a color scheme around it. Your favorite colors can be the perfect inspiration for your new color palette for the whole room. Here’s how to find out what your favorite color means, and how you can decorate with it.

Find Paint Color Inspiration

Magazines and catalogs have always been the staple of decorating inspiration. You have access to thousands of pages of inspiration on the internet. Retailer sites can be inspiring with their room vignettes, and paint company sites can also show you ways to use color in your home. Social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram offer color inspiration that is refreshed in real-time. Pinterest is great for creating inspiration boards for your favorite ideas, so you can keep all your ideas in one spot.

Use Color Theory to Create a Color Scheme

You don’t have to study color theory to get great ideas from a little color wheel. These inexpensive color tools can generate color scheme ideas quickly. With a turn of the wheel, you can see how colors might relate to each other and learn the basics of color theory. While you probably won’t be painting your home in the exact colors you see on the wheel, you can choose shades of those colors at your favorite paint store.

Get Creative With Neutral Paint Colors

Just because you choose neutral paint colors doesn’t mean they have to be laid-back. You can rev up your neutral color palette by being creative with how the colors are used. A striped wall in neutral colors adds tons of style but still keeps the room looking relaxed. Neutral wall color with a pastel ceiling is a sneaky way to add color without losing the soothing vibe of the space

Pull Your Paint Color From a Print

One of the easiest ways to choose interior paint colors is to start with a print fabric. Throw pillows, bedding, and even table linens can provide you with paint color ideas. If you’re creating an accent wall, look to the boldest colors in the print. If you would like to choose a paint color that is more subtle or for a larger space, look at the color in the small details of your print fabric. Take a fabric swatch to the paint store so you can choose paint strips to view at home.

 

Interior Painting

Choosing paint colors

Just as with exterior painting, picking the right color scheme for interior spaces requires a certain amount of imagination and creativity. Simply thinking about what color would look best on a wall isn’t enough to ensure a positive paint job. Virtually any color will look good on a surface as long as it is applied correctly, but choosing the right color involves looking at an interior space with a very critical eye

The floor and ceiling surfaces cannot be ignored, as they are crucial elements of color combination. Most ceilings are traditionally painted white for a number of reasons — particularly for their ability to keep rooms looking bright and to avoid taking attention away from the walls. Lighter ceiling colors can also help to make a room appear larger and more open.

Deviating from white ceilings is a great way to change the overall appearance of a house, but since darkening a ceiling can steal some of the light and visually shorten the height of the room. Ceiling colors should offset and complement the walls and the floor instead of calling attention above.

Black and gray

While black is usually associated with somberness and malignity, it can also represent sophistication, reverence and physical attraction. Interior designers have traditionally shunned black paint, but homeowners increasingly choose it for trim and accents that are meant to be dramatic and striking. Black is the perfect match and contrast for white, and the amount used can range from trim areas to an accent wall. With the right furniture and décor, black is ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and ultra-modern kitchens.

Brown

Brown denotes a personality that is earthy, realistic and trustworthy. This classic earth tone can be applied to living and work areas alike, as it evokes a feeling of being well-rounded and connected with nature. Terracotta and dark mustard brown combinations are perfect for Latin American and Santa Fe-style décor. Brown hues are great for interior spaces that get a lot of sunlight. Lighter shades of brown, such as beige and taupe, are neutral colors that particularly work well in homes that are being shown to potential buyers.

 

Painting & Decorating KNOW-HOW: The Novice Guide to Paint like a PRO

If the walls in your living room are coloured in the incredibly dull hues of white or beige, then you have a problem that affects millions of people worldwide. But before you grab the nearest brush and give it your best shot, ask yourself this – do you really know what you’re doing?

If your answer is anywhere between “No” and “Maybe”, then we strongly encourage you to check out our detailed list of painting and decorating tips. Who knows, when you’re done reading this, you might actually enjoy the whole process as much as you would enjoy the final result!

Foreword: There’s More to Painting Than You May Think!

It’s tempting to approach a painting job as if it is child’s play. Unfortunately this is not the case, otherwise, the countless professional painters and decorators across the globe would not be there in the first place, would they? Truth is, there are one too many things that can go awry with your interior redecoration, especially if hastily put together

Set aside a prep day. Let’s begin by stating the obvious – you cannot do everything all at once, so arm yourself with a bit of patience and devote an entire day or so to various painting preparation tasks before moving on to the project itself.

Free up some space. All those wall shelves, paintings, drawers, wardrobes, and lamps will only slow you down. If you cannot move everything into an adjacent room, then consider placing your furnishings in the middle of the room and hiding them under a generous amount of drop cloth. Don’t forget to also tape the cloth in place and add an extra cover on top to protect your belongings from splashes.

 

How to Paint a Room: Steps to Painting Walls Like a DIY Pro

Painting a room is a popular project for beginning DIYers and veteran renovators alike. After all, it’s pretty painless, relatively inexpensive, and should something go horribly wrong, easy to fix. But before you grab your roller and get started, it’s important to have a plan of attack. Read on to learn how to paint a room and see the steps you’ll need to follow to make sure your project is a success

Plan your approach

Start by thinking about how you want the finished project to look and remember that you’re not limited to four walls in the same color. Consider painting an accent wall in a bold hue or highlighting moldings in a contrasting shade or finish. And don’t forget to look up and see whether the ceiling could use a refresh as well.

Choose your color

Browsing through fan decks and paint chips can be overwhelming. Start by figuring out the general color characteristics: Do you want a warm or cool shade? A neutral or a saturated shade? If you have existing furniture or art, you’ll also want to consider how the shade will compliment them. Once you have a sense of what you’re looking for, pick a few shades and get samples. Test the shades to see how they look in the room at different times of day.

Pick out your tools and materials

Every project is unique and you may need different tools depending on the paint you choose and the condition of your walls, but there are a few must-haves.

Determine how much paint you’ll need

Whether you’re painting a powder room or the exterior of your house, the general rule of thumb is one gallon per 400 square feet, says Carl Minchew, vice president of color innovation and design at Benjamin Moore. But that’s just a rough guideline: To get a more precise number, which you’ll definitely want for large projects, use a paint calculator like the ones provided by Benjamin Moore or Pratt & Lambert; they take into account window and door measurements. (And both assume two coats of paint per project.)

 

How To Paint A Room: Tips & Tricks for Beginners

A Beginners Guide

It’s the summer holidays, and we all know what that means – time to redecorate while it’s warm, breezy and dry, and get started on that painting job that’s been looming all year. To help you in completing this feat, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to show all you painting beginners how to paint a room.

But we’re here to show you that interior painting doesn’t have to be so much of a pain, it can be quite simple if you’ve got the right tools and know how – no really!

How to Paint a Room: Picking Paint

Now, this is an essential step in interior painting – as you could probably have worked out. It’s not exactly how to paint a room, but the equipment is just as important as the actual painting.  The most important thing to do is to carefully choose a colour, and it may seem like an arduous process, but it’s worth it and very important.

Gather Paint Testers

Gather as many paint testers that take your fancy, and take them home. It’s important to remember how many factors change the appearance of a colour that could affect your decision – from lighting to finishes to even the colour when dried!

Try the Testers in the Light

You should place the testers against each wall, in natural light, to see how the paint colour changes in differing daylight in the room you’re painting. Paint colours will react differently when in sunlight against artificial light, so factor this in when painting a north facing room versus a more sunlit one

The Best Way To Paint The Ceiling

Why (and How!) You Should Paint Your Ceiling

Assuming you can find a ladder tall enough, a painted ceiling is very much within reach. (Or you can hire a professional and spare yourself the neck crick.) Furthermore, many designers consider painting the ceiling an essential step: You don’t want a murky yellow-white from a previous tenant mucking up the otherwise crisp design of a room. The much-agreed-upon approach is to mix white paint with a few drops of whatever color you’ve used on the walls—and we support this formula, for those wanting an easy fix—but it isn’t the only way. “I have been considering it the fifth wall for some time,” says colorist and interiors consultant Martin Kesselman, who says that a ceiling should always be painted. “I encourage my clients to be creative with a surface that is equal in size to their total floor space.” Below, he and Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design share their tips for painting a ceiling right.

See it As an Opportunity, Rather Than a Task

Kesselman points out that in a small space, where opportunities for design are limited, a ceiling presents itself as an additional canvas. “Thankfully, from a color perspective, I have the ceiling to work with,” he says of rooms that don’t fit too much else. If you don’t know where to start, and are starting from scratch, look up.

To Play It Safe, Play Off the Walls

Add that barely perceptible few drops of the wall color into your white ceiling paint, or try a more obviously related (and bold) combo like a pale blue ceiling and navy walls. “I love the idea of color-blocking with a light and dark version of the same hue,” says Murray. Red walls and a pink ceiling, or a hunter green ceiling atop mossy walls, are some other variations.

Or Get One More Bucket of Your Wall Color

Kesselman has become fond of painting ceilings the same color as the walls for an enveloping look, sometimes even coating the cornice and base skirting too if they have clean lines. You can even try matching your furniture to this color scheme for a monochromatic look—we’ve got tips for pulling it off right.

Try a Dark Color to Open Up a Space

“Sometimes clients are reluctant to go so dark for fear that it will enclose rather than open the room,” Murray says, “but instead it almost gives a feeling of infinity—like outer space.” Kesselman echoes the sentiment, recommending dark paint especially if you have a low-slung ceiling. “A darker value creates the illusion that the ceiling opens up like a night sky—I’ve taken this approach in many bedroom designs. It’s a warm, comforting feeling, like resting under the stars, all blanketed up. It’s also quite romantic.”

Choose Your Finishes Wisely

While a high-gloss finish can lend a striking appearance to a ceiling, as in this svelte Brooklyn living room, Murray points out that it’ll highlight any imperfections: “Both natural and artificial light have a tendency to bounce off of ceilings in a way that shows all flaws if there’s the smallest hint of sheen.” For that reason, she prefers a flat finish, especially if you’ve selected a dark color.

Don’t Forget About Wallpaper

A little more time-intensive, yes, but the look will feel so customized. Murray loves it especially in smaller rooms, like bathrooms. “A contrasting or unexpected ceiling paint color can add instant interest and anchor a room,” she says.

 

How to paint a ceiling and walls

Painting tips from Which? Trusted trader, Extreme Handyman Fencing & Decorating Service’ Dene Walker will help you get your home decorating done in no time.

You don’t have to be Michelangelo to paint a ceiling. Admittedly, it might help if you’re attempting something along the lines of the Sistine Chapel, but if you just want a couple of coats of emulsion, it’s definitely something you can tackle yourself. If the idea of painting above your head makes your shoulders ache, you can find an endorsed painter & decorator with Which? Trusted Traders to take it on for you.

If you’re up to the challenge, ensure you have the right tools for the job. As a minimum, you’ll need:

  • a roller
  • a telescopic roller extension to avoid needing to use a ladder
  • a 2 or 3-inch paintbrush

The best paint for ceilings is a simple matt emulsion. Specialist ceiling paints do exist – they’re formulated to avoid spatter and dry slowly – but a simple white matt emulsion is fine for most jobs.

Prepare the room

You’ll need to clear and cover the area to avoid damage from drips or spatters. Remove as much of your furniture and ornaments as possible from the room, then cover the floor and anything you can’t move with dust sheets or protective plastic.

If you’re planning to protect areas you don’t want painting with masking tape, use the best tape you can afford, and be aware that it may still allow some paint underneath. An alternative is a painting shield, which costs about £5 and can be reused. You hold the shield with one hand to mask an area, while you paint with the other hand.

Prepare the surfaces

Planning and preparation is the secret to a professional finish when painting. With any decorating project, you start at the top and work your way down, so always work on the ceiling first.

Start by scraping away any flaking paint or other lumps. Fill any large holes or cracks with a suitable filler product.

If there are stains on the surfaces, such as grease or watermarks, these need treating with a shellac-based stain blocker product to seal them in, before you start painting.

For hairline cracks in the ceilings or walls use a knife or old screwdriver to enlarge the crack slightly before filling. Giving the filler more space means it won’t fall out as it dries.

If you need to deal with a hairline crack in a corner or around woodwork, use a cartridge gun to apply decorative caulk (not silicone). Squeeze it into the gap and carefully smooth it with a wet finger or sponge. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions – you can overpaint most varieties within an hour.

All surfaces must be clean, dust-free, and completely dry before you start.

Cover any light fittings in the ceiling with low-tack masking tape to keep them free from paint. If you’re planning to paint the walls next, you may want to cover the wall fittings at this stage, too.

Painting the ceiling

Once the walls are ready you can prepare the paint. Dilute the paint with water or commercial thinner by 10% to reduce the ‘orange peel’ effect left by rollers.

Use a medium pile roller, with a telescopic roller pole, that holds enough paint to cover a large area at a time. Work across the width of the room for the first coat and along the length of the room for the second, working away from the direction of the light. Always leave four hours between coats to avoid peeling in the future.

Ensure you keep a wet paint edge while you are working, otherwise you will get a ‘shut’, which is a line created where you overlap and have let the leading edge dry. This means that once you start, you cannot stop until the wall or ceiling is completed.

If the ceiling starts peeling then stop painting, as the roller will cause more damage and deposit the peeled paint onto other area which will ruin all your hard work. You will need to paint the ceiling with specialist anti-peel paint before reapplying the top coat.

Always cut in (paint the areas that are too tight for large rollers) while the ceiling is still wet. You can quickly get around the ceiling edges using a 2-inch brush or a mini roller – a small step or ‘hop up’ will help with this.

Try to avoid getting paint down the walls, even if you are going to paint them afterwards as the white ceiling paint may ‘flash’  through the new wall colours.

Allow the paint to dry before removing any masking tape from around fittings.

Painting newly plastered surfaces

If you’re working with newly plastered ceiling or walls, or you’ve filled any holes, start by painting a mist coat. A mist coat is a matt emulsion, thinned right down with water or a commercial thinner, to seal the surface and provide a strong base for the top coat of paint to stick to. Never use emulsions with vinyl for a mist coat. You can buy paints designed for new plaster if you don’t fancy mixing your own. The mist coat will reveal smaller imperfections that you can tackle with filler and sand flat. You may need more than one coat to cover the wall evenly.

It is a good idea to do a mist coat under any strong colour change, particularly if you are going over reds or blues.

Painting walls

If you needed a mist coat, wait for it to dry before applying the first coat. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for ventilation, drying time and other instructions and once again thin the paint slightly. Paint with vinyl in it is more durable and preferable for heavy-use areas. Apply at least two coats – several light coats of paint are usually better than one heavy one. Painting in daylight will help you to avoid getting a patchy finish.

Once again, roll the main body of the wall first. Use a paint tray and apply the roller with gentle, steady pressure. Be careful not to overload it. When the roller stops sounding ‘wet’, reload it with paint.

Roll one wall then cut it in whilst it is wet before proceeding to the next wall. Start at the top and work your way down. Begin by ‘cutting in’ (using a paint brush to cover the areas that are too tight for rollers) at the ceiling line, painting each wall methodically. Use firm, horizontal strokes in line with the ceiling for a straight line. If you’re working on a vertical join, you may find it easier to rotate the brush to paint with the narrow side.

If you’ve used masking tape, peel this off gently while the wall is still wet before starting on the next wall. If paint seeps through the tape, wipe away with a damp cloth.

 

Helpful Tips for Painting a Ceiling

If you fear painting your ceiling, you are not alone. Most painters, professional, amateur, and otherwise, dislike this uniquely awkward and messy job. Painting over your head is strenuous and full of drips making it hard to judge whether you are getting all of it covered. To add insult to injury, in most cases you are only re-painting the ceiling white again. While it is always nice to freshen up your space, this is not a change that will rock your world. With all that in mind, there are several ways to make your ceiling painting project go as smoothly as possible.

Stick With a Roller

You can paint a ceiling with a paint sprayer, but by the time you get the sprayer set up and every non-paintable item covered—which usually means every single item in the room—you could have already painted your ceiling with a roller. Paint rollers will give you the best coverage with much less splatter than paint sprayers.

Use Good Ladders

Scaffolding is certainly nice to work from, but it takes forever to build up a room’s worth of scaffolding, or you have to move around a smaller portion of scaffolding to follow your painting. Plus, the only real scaffolding you should use comes at a cost from a rental yard, not from scraps of wood and cinder blocks lying around your yard.

A good stepladder is stable and easy to move around. Make sure the ladder is tall enough so that you’re not going higher than two rungs from the top (your knees should be below the top of the ladder. If your ceiling isn’t very tall, you might get away with a good 4-foot ladder, which is easy to move with one hand.

Use the Right Extension Pole

For a standard 8-, 9-, or 10-foot ceiling, you can do much of the rolling from the ground, using an extension pole. Just be sure to use the shortest possible extension to minimize the weight of the pole. For example, if you have a 17-foot extension to paint an 8-foot ceiling, that means that nearly 10 feet of the aluminum pole is collapsed into the handle. This creates more weight for you and will cause strain on your shoulders, arms, and lower back.

Accept That the Ceiling Is Its Own Project

After a long weekend of painting your room’s walls and trim, it is tempting to want to dash off a coat of paint on your ceiling. Bad idea. Ceilings are often called the “fifth wall.” It is a saying that emphasizes the oft-forgotten design aspects of the ceiling. But it also emphasizes that ceilings are a big, gnarly project. Devote an entire weekend to a ceiling or two, and you will be happier.

Go With Flat White Ceiling Paint

Resist the temptation to paint your ceiling a funky color. If you want funk, there are lots of walls and other surfaces for adding bold colors. Accent walls are practically begging for them. Ceilings? Not so much. It is no mistake or accidental omission flat white is still the preferred finish for most ceilings. Flat white ceiling paint has the advantages of:

  • More light: White offers a high degree of light bounce, making your entire room brighter.
  • Infinite view: White provides a limitless vista that your eyes have a hard time focusing on. In other words, when you look at a blue surface, it appears to have a stopping point. However, when you look at a well-painted flat white surface, it appears to go on infinitely. This gives the room a feeling of more space.
  • Flat is best: A flat or matte sheen—as opposed to satin, eggshell, glossy, or otherwise—further enhances the appearance of a limitless vista. Reflections of light on a ceiling, due to any type of gloss, will tell the eye that this is where the surface “stops.” Flat paint also hides imperfections much better than glossy paint.

Prepare for Inevitable Drips

Just try painting a ceiling without creating drips. This will not work. Even the most fastidious professional will create drips when painting ceilings. Yes, you might get by without drop cloths (if you want) for walls and other vertical areas, but this is impossible to do with ceilings.

Work in Grids

Work in (imaginary) 3-by-3-foot sections. If you work in larger areas than that, you lose track of where you have painted, especially since this is a white-on-white project. One trick is to cast a laser level’s light on the ceiling. The line keeps you on track, and you can move the line as you progress. To prevent permanent roller marks, start each new section by overlapping onto the wet edges of the preceding section. This is called “keeping a wet edge,” and it helps to blend each section seamlessly into the next.

 

How to Minimize Streaking When Painting a Ceiling

It’s more difficult to paint the ceiling of a room than the walls. It’s tiring to apply upward force on a roller, and you can’t always get the paint to spread out evenly. Moreover, the ceiling usually has a larger surface area than any of the walls, and instead of painting it all at once, you may have to divide it into sections. All of these factors can combine to make it harder to avoid streaking and lap marks. You don’t have to settle for a subpar paint job, though, if you know a few pointers.

  • Use ceiling paint. Manufacturers produce specialty products for use on the ceiling that spatter less, and show areas of poor coverage and streaks. These areas remain obvious while the paint is wet so you know where to re-coat.
  • Roll with a medium- to thick-nap roller and frequently reload it. A roller is more likely to streak when it runs out of paint.
  • Cut-in the corners of the ceiling by painting them with a paintbrush, then roll the rest of the ceiling before the corners dry. It’s easier to avoid streaks if you roll over paint that is still wet. For the same reason, you should roll the entire length of the ceiling at once. If that isn’t possible, work in the largest sections you can manage.
  • Spread paint over a section by making several “M” patterns, then roll in parallel lines, overlapping the previous line by one-third of the width of the roller when you make a new one.
  • Hold the roller so its open side faces the part of the wall you’ve already painted. There is less pressure on that side, so there is less likelihood of forming ridges on the overlap.
  • Let the paint dry after rolling the ceiling, then re-roll it in the perpendicular direction. This produces a cross-hatch pattern that virtually eliminates streaking and lap marks.

Things You Will Need:

  • Ceiling paint
  • Medium- or thick-nap roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller

Tip :Avoid blotches caused by uneven paint absorption by priming the ceiling with drywall primer before you paint it.

Make sure you have enough paint for complete coverage. If you start to run out and try to stretch it by pushing hard on the roller, you’re more likely to create streaks.

 

How to Fix Paint Roller Marks After Drying

Despite the proliferation of hand-held airless sprayers on the market, using a roller remains the most efficient way to paint a single room, especially one that is full of furniture. Roller marks, which painters sometimes call “holidays,” are a routine hazard when painting with a roller, and there are many ways to avoid them. When you notice holidays after the paint has dried, you can usually make them disappear by applying another coat after sanding lightly—if necessary—to remove drips and humps. If your wall is full of roller marks after the second coat, chances are you forgot to clean and prime the wall before painting, or you’re using the wrong type of paint or the wrong mixture.

Touching Up Holidays

Holidays can occur when you’re trying to save paint and you attempt to squeeze more out of your roller than is actually there. They can also occur because the nap of the roller sleeve is too short. Either way, the result is a noticeable lack of paint in one or more parts of the surface you’re painting. The remedy is simple: cover the holidays with more paint.

In most cases, you can use a brush to touch up roller marks, but that might not work in high-end jobs because brush streaks can be noticeable on a rolled wall. In that case, you should use a roller to make the touch-up, and the roller should preferably be the same one you’ve already been using. The marks will tell you which way the roller was moving when it made them. Move the roller in the same direction when touching up to ensure uniformity of texture.

What About Sanding?

It’s rare to have to sand a wall or ceiling before touching up roller marks, but that may be necessary if you notice drips or if you’re if using textured paint. When you have to sand, use 120- or 150-grit sandpaper, and apply light pressure. The point is simply to flatten the dried paint, not remove it. Be sure to wipe the sanding dust off the surface before you repaint.

Avoiding Roller Marks

It’s virtually impossible to avoid roller marks when applying a single coat of paint to a wall or ceiling. Most jobs require two coats, especially if there is a significant color difference between the existing color and the new one. If you still have holidays after applying two coats, here are some changes you can make to your technique and equipment:

Use a 1/2-inch roller cover. You may be using a cover with a 1/4-inch nap, which is intended for use on perfectly smooth surfaces. Your wall may look smooth, but the roller marks are telling you that it isn’t. Change the cover.

Load up more frequently. Whenever you notice yourself putting pressure on the roller to squeeze out paint, it’s time to load up. You won’t save any paint by squeezing out paint if you have to go back and apply another coat.

Roll over the wet edge. A natural consequence of the U-shape construction of most rollers is that the end of the roller near the handle exerts more pressure on the wall than the other end. Keeping the far end of the roller on a part of the surface you’ve already painted minimizes roller marks that occur because of this pressure difference.

Always prime new wood, masonry and drywall: Primer is an adhesive that seals porous materials and prevents paint from soaking in. If you omit the primer, you’ll find it difficult to avoid roller marks, even after applying two coats or more.