Having trouble picking the
perfect paint color for your home decorating project? Not
sure what type of paint you should use? Don't feel bad --
even the pros need help from time to time.
What is the best way to decide which color is best for my
The first step is determining your color scheme by
examining your existing furniture, window treatments, and
other accessories (or shop for these items first). Choose
your favorite colors in these items and visit your paint
dealer to get coordinating color chips. Look at the color
chips in the daylight and at night so you will see how
lighting will affect your color choices. As a last resort,
you might want to buy a quart of your chosen color and
test it on one of your walls.
My room has a chair rail and I am using two colors. Which
one goes where?
If you want an open, airy look, always paint the portion
of the wall below the chair rail with the darker color.
This allows the lighter color to dominate.
Should trim work be painted the same color as the walls,
or a different shade?
The answer to this question depends on what you are trying
to achieve with your room. Use the same color on the trim
if you are trying to disguise ordinary or unattractive
trim work, or if you are trying to create a uniform,
monochromatic look. Use a lighter or darker color to
accentuate trim work or to add subtle hints or bold
flashes of color to your room.
Will the paint I chose look lighter or darker on the wall?
Over a larger surface area, most colors appear darker.
It's a good idea to choose colors a shade or two lighter
than what you want. Clean, bright colors can appear either
lighter or darker depending on the surrounding colors and
lighting in the room.
I've just finished painting my room and the color is
bolder than I expected. How can I soften the look?
Try applying a lighter or more muted color over the
original color using a design technique such as rag
rolling, sponging, or color washing.
How do colors affect a room's size?
Generally, strong, warm colors like reds, oranges and
yellows tend to close a space. These colors are known as
advancing colors because they jump out and meet the eye.
Conversely, receding colors like blue, green and violet
tend to make a room look larger because they "stand back"
visually. However, the darkest values of the receding
colors, like navy blue or hunter green, also tend to have
a diminishing effect on a room's size. Small rooms are
best made to appear larger by painting them white or a
light neutral color.
What color should I paint my ceiling?
It is customary to paint ceilings white or off-white. This
creates the illusion of higher ceilings and a more open
space. Medium to dark colors will create the illusion of
lowering the ceiling, which can create a cozy look if the
ceiling is higher than usual. With normal height ceilings,
medium and dark colors could close in the area too much
creating a cave-like appearance.
What's the difference between different types of paint
finishes and which finish works best where?
Flat finishes have no shine, making them ideal for hiding
minor surface imperfections. While traditional flat
finishes are not usually stain-resistant, *C.I.L* is
designed to provide maximum stain resistance while
maintaining a beautiful flat finish.
Eggshell or velvet finishes work in just about any room.
They are easier to clean than flat finishes and offer a
soft glow that warms up any room.
Satin or semi-gloss finishes are easy to clean and are
good for highlighting architectural details. They work
well in kitchens, baths, and on doors and trim.
Gloss finishes are shiny and scrubable, so they are
perfect for doors, trim and specialty uses.
What is the difference between oil-based and water-based
paint, and what are the advantages of each?
Alkyd, or oil-based paint penetrates wood better than
latex (water-based) paint and won't stick when you keep
your doors and windows shut for the winter. For the bulk
of most jobs, latex (water-based) paint is the better
choice. It dries faster, doesn't yellow and can be cleaned
up with soap and water when you break for the day.
How do I determine the amount of paint I'll need for a
The first step is to add the width of all walls in the
room together. Multiply this sum by the height of one wall
from floor to ceiling. Take this total number and subtract
the total area of your doors, windows, archways, etc. to
get the exact area of wall space you will paint. A flat
surface usually requires one gallon for every 400 square
feet. Take into account the number of coats you will need
to do the job right. Blue and yellow are hard colors to
cover up with just one coat.
glossary of Paint terms is one of the largest
available on the Internet.
Grease on walls
Oil, grease or grime on wall surfaces. Common in kitchens and garages.
Grease on the walls causes poor paint adhesion, stains, or small "pinpoint"
Wash the surface with detergent and warm water, apply an isolating primer
such as X-Terminator alkyd, and repaint with a coat of Kitchen and Bath