Perfectly Pleasing Palettes

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements a homeowner can make to their home is to paint. Whether you choose to paint the exterior of your house or give your rooms an update, that will translate into value for your home.  It’s also one of the easiest things not-so-handy homeowners can do themselves without having to call in the pros.  Aside from the paint itself — and maybe a weekend of your time — the investment is minimal: A set of paint rollers and brushes for the walls and trim, drop cloths to keep your floors and furniture paint-free and painter’s tape to protect ceilings, baseboards and so on, and you’re ready to go.  If the thought of spending a solitary weekend painting is not your idea of fun, how about inviting some friends over for a paint party!


Preparing the surface prior to painting can make or break your paint job. It is rarely the paint itself that fails but rather the adhesion of the paint to the surface below. The reason paint fails to adhere is because the surface to which it was applied was dirty, wet or was loose itself, so make sure your paint surface is clean, dry, free from grease, oils and flaking or loose paint.  This will give your primer and paint a good surface on which to bond.  Use painter’s tape to tape the trim, window, and doorframes but remove the tape immediately after painting, before the wall dries, so you don’t peel off any paint with it.  You should have a steady hand and attention to detail while ‘cutting in’; using a brush to paint around trim and the corners of the walls where your roller cannot reach.  Do not underestimate the importance of cutting in well; a poor, jagged or wavy cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it!  Once the walls are cut in, roll out the paint using good quality rollers.


Color has the power to affect moods and productivity, so painting a room with the right color does have an impact.  When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable for sales.  If you are not seeking to sell your home, have fun selecting colors that compliment your style and personality.


Step into any paint store and you will know the sky is the limit when it comes to color selection!  Selecting the right paint color to complement your furniture and accessories can be daunting, however, a good rule of thumb is to remember the color wheel. We all learned about the primary colors in school – red, yellow and blue. Combining any two of these will give you a secondary color (i.e. purple, orange). Colors near each other on the color wheel such as blue and purple are analogous to each other and will allow one color to stand out more. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel such as yellow and purple are complementary to one another and will give you a vibrant look. Staying within the same shade of color (i.e. greens) is monochromatic and will give you a subtle and soothing look. Using a triadic color scheme (three colors equally spaced apart on the color wheel) can create a bold look. Painting with cool colors such as blues, greens and purples makes small rooms appear larger and airy while colors such as reds, yellows and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance. You can vary the warmth even with a red or yellow by choosing muted shades of those colors such as pink, peach or a buttery yellow.  Neutral schemes include colors that are not included in the color wheel, such as whites, browns, and blacks.  Neutral colors offer elegance and flexibility in a room.


While deciding on the colors for your home, it is also important to assess the intensity of colors. For example, different shades of blue include, sky blue, royal blue, cyan, baby blue etc. Out of these shades, baby blue and sky blue are of low intensity. In the same way, every color has a range of shades from high to low intensity.  High intensity colors are better suited as accent walls in your main living areas whereas low intensity colors would be better suited in the bedrooms.


Exterior paint selection also requires some thought and, as shown in the photo, color selection can enhance the architectural features of a home.  Bermuda vernacular style homes look stunning in white, brick red, terra cotta, a variety of pastels or even cement wash.  All pair well with dark green or white trim.  Small cottages can handle the intensity of bright pops of color; turquoise, bubble gum pink and sunny yellow are great color choices.  A large sprawling home benefits from a more muted palette.


Take full advantage of the hundreds of paint selections and brochures at our local paint stores.  Talk to the sales staff for advice on various color schemes to achieve the look you want.  There are also pre-selected color palettes available at paint stores to assist in choosing the perfectly pleasing palette for you.