Danielle Moser
Danielle Moser

If you're looking for a way to update your home on a budget, painting is probably the fastest and most cost-effective way to dramatically change the look of a room or even your entire home. Not to mention that painting is a great way to beat winter boredom. And, if you're planning on putting your home on the market in the coming year, it will go a long way toward making your home more sellable.

Color can make the single biggest difference in how a room looks and feels. We've all had the experience of rooms that just "feel" warm, cozy, intimate or stark based simply on the color of the walls and ceiling. However, many homeowners put off tend to put off painting the home simply because they don't know where to start with choosing colors. There are so many factors to consider. Light or dark? Bold or soft? Eggshell or semi-gloss?


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If you're ready to paint but need a little nudge when it comes to color, read on for some great advice to get you started:

Narrow down your colors: When it comes to choosing colors, there are four basic principles that you should consider. Many times when a homeowner is not happy with a paint job, it's not because it wasn't completed properly. Instead, it's because they did not consider one or more of the following rules.

•Mood — It's no secret that color has the ability to greatly affect mood. In fact, marketing companies have spent millions of dollars completing color studies aimed at determining which colors will entice you to spend more of your hard-earned money. When painting, first determine the mood you want to create with the room. Do you want the space to be fun and funky? Or a relaxing oasis? When it comes to color, warmer tones are friendly and inviting and cooler tones create calm spaces.

•Furniture — Consider your furniture and flooring when deciding on interior paint colors to ensure that they will go well together. If you want your furniture, carpets and artwork to be the focal points of the room, stay away from vibrant paint colors that will compete with the furnishings. When highlighting certain focal pieces, it's best to choose a wall color from a piece or two that will tie together all your decor.

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•Lighting — It is wise to consider lighting when choosing a color for your project. Does the room get a lot of natural light? Are there several light fixtures in the room? Since darker colors make rooms seem smaller, be especially careful selecting these if the room does not have a lot of natural light or if the ceilings are low.

•Flow — Last but not least, consider how the colors of neighboring rooms will flow together. Very dark to very light transitions, or transitions from rooms with highly contrasting colors can either be jarring or invigorating.

Pick trim/accent elements: After choosing your wall colors, your next step will be to choose trim and accent colors. Trim is typically painted in a glossy or semi-glossy neutral color, such as bright white or ivory, to provide a nice contrast to the wall color, creating a very formal look. Keeping the trim all one color provides continuity as you move from room to room. You may also choose to add accents to your walls and trim. For accents, it is recommended to choose complementary hues in different shades.

Choose a finish: Different rooms may require different paint finishes. Wet rooms such as kitchens and baths, as well as hallways, benefit from having paints applied that can withstand scrubbing. The satin and eggshell finishes are better at resisting moisture from cooking and cleaning, as well as resisting oils and dirt from hands.

Sample paints: Lastly, once you've narrowed your choices to a few or maybe even one, be sure to test a few swatches on your walls for comparison. Paint will go on lighter when first applied, so let it dry completely before making your decision. It is quite common to absolutely love a color and then hate it after you see it on your walls.

Painting will be one of the best investments that you make in your home. Take the time to choose your colors wisely and prevent painter's remorse.

Danielle Moser is a Reisterstown resident and can be reached via email at threepeasservices@gmail.com.