Makeover Your Room With Paint

Fear Not--Painting is Fun!

Using interior paint is the fastest and cheapest way to transform any room in your house. Whatever your objective, paint can help you achieve it. You can use paint to clean and freshen, to create a new canvas for art or furnishings, to convey a mood, or to express your own creativity. Paint is versatile enough for any decorating purpose!

When you move into a new home, there are many decisions to be made and much work to do. Perhaps you aren't looking to decide on decor immediately and instead want a fresher look to each room. When others move out, furniture marks, dust and dirt remain on walls. Spot cleaning of these areas may not be enough. A light neutral, such as Benjamin Moore's Decorator White is a good, no-fail choice. This white is not too stark and not too yellow and is a designer favorite. Two coats later, you have a room that feels clean and new.

Your walls can also be seen as a backdrop for art and furniture. For instance, chocolate sofas and medium-dark tables pop off of a lively medium blue, such as Behr's Allluring Blue, available at Home Depot stores. For lighter furniture and tables, you could use a moody, neutral purple such as Ralph Lauren's Chelsea, also available at Home Depot. It is charming and easy to live with, yet it provides drama when coupled with lighter furnishings.

If you have artwork you want to display, paint can add impact by highlighting the pieces and making them stand out. If you love your artwork, you want to notice it! Behr's Ultra Pure White is the perfect backdrop, because it is pure and luminous, making every picture hung on it a prominent feature. Or, if you are adventurous and you love deep paint color, you can try Behr's Sapphire Lace, a deep, jeweled blue with intense energy. The result will be rich and luxurious.

Using color offers a wonderful opportunity to set a mood. Although what one person considers calming or energizing can certainly differ, there are loose guidelines that can be helpful. Cool colors, including purple, blue, and shades of green, tend to be more mellow and contemplative, making them good choices for bedrooms and bathrooms. Warm colors, including orange, red, and yellow, are lively and exciting. These colors are often used in kitchens and dining rooms.

Following this wisdom, here are a few of my suggestions: For a vibrant, welcoming kitchen try Joyous by Behr. Not overly bright, it is a pure and glowing yellow that positively beckons! (In many homes the real "living room" is actually the kitchen.) Coming up Roses by Sherwin Williams is a grown-up pink that is a refreshingly "out of the box" choice for your dining room. Red and orange have dominated dining rooms for some time, which is why a shade of pink feels innovative and, yes, nervy! Go ahead and do it--this color is sure to please.

Moving toward cooler options, consider Mystical Sea by Behr for a bedroom. It is a cool, light green with an old-fashioned essence that feels gentle and familiar. Cosmos by Sherwin Williams is a medium paint color that hovers between purple and blue. Using this complex shade in a bathroom makes more of a statement than a pastel, and yet it is smooth and pleasant.

And, finally, unleash your creativity! You are qualified to choose your own paint colors according to what you love! Do what makes you feel good, and you will always be satisfied! Using paint in your home is artistic and personal. Concern about the opinions of others is a roadblock to loving your paint choices. Although it does feel good to have your friends and family compliment your DIY decorating, your motivation has to be making your home more the way you want it. Paint colors are not deadly serious--they can be changed if necessary. Nor are they forever--you are entitled to change colors when you are ready for something different.

Painting gives you the power to rehabilitate your walls, to focus attention on the things you love, and to give your room the feeling you desire. Above all, painting allows you to explore what makes you happy and bring your decorating vision to life. You can do it--enjoy!

Note to readers: Online paint color tools provided by manufacturers are helpful and fun, and I encourage you to use them. However, you must use the color swatches available in the store to make color decisions, as each computer may display colors differently. Greens may appear blue, blues may appear purple, and so on. Paper color swatches offer the truest representation of paint color.

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