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With so many options out there, how can you tell which paints are the best choices for your project? Which ones offer the best value for the money? What should you consider? How can you pick a paint most professionals would use?
Most shoppers begin with color. However, these days most brands can mix paint well enough to satisfy any color desired. The process is performed using a programmed machine.
With color choice, neutral colors work best on the exterior whereby accents can be applied to trim. It is best to select just one main color for the exterior. Also, keep in mind color also affects resale value. A white or off-white color is easier for the next owner to paint over. Colors that blend well with the environment where the home is located are also more aesthetically pleasing. You wouldn’t want a southwestern-looking home in Seattle, nor would the next owner.
For indoors, choosing an appropriate sheen is also a consideration. Bring home those paint sample color cards from the store and place them against the walls in different lighting situations to gain the right perception. Colors look different under various store lights, under direct sunlight or natural light, and under various home lights. They look different during the day versus during the evening. Therefore, be sure to take the time to assess your choice. To be extra certain, buy small sample sizes and paint them on a blank canvas. Allow them to settle for a few days while placing them next to the walls you intend to paint. See how it looks under various lighting conditions.
For exteriors, try using a sample size to paint a small area that gets direct sunlight. See how it looks at different times of the day as well as cloudy days. It is also wise to choose a long lasting exterior paint.
If you buy a cheap paint, you may find yourself applying several coats while quality paints can do the job in one coat.
Paints come in these sheens: flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. For interiors, flat is best for low traffic areas because it is least stain-resistant. For exteriors, flat works best on older, more worn walls.
Flat hides imperfections best. Flat works well with adult bedrooms and other low traffic rooms.
Semi-gloss is on the opposite end of the spectrum from flat. Semi-gloss, as the name suggests, is shiny, but they are easiest to clean and most stain resistant. For interiors, semi-gloss is typically used for kitchens, bathrooms, and windowsills. Semi-gloss works best with smooth surfaces. For exteriors, semi-gloss (and full gloss which is only used for exteriors) is best used for trim.
Between flat and semi-gloss sheens sit eggshell and satin with eggshell closer to flat and satin closer to semi-gloss. These sheens also work best on smooth surfaces. For interiors, satin is durable enough for typical high traffic areas or high use rooms such as the family room, children’s rooms, and hallways. Eggshell finish works best for dining rooms and sitting rooms. For exteriors, these sheens work better with new and smooth walls.
Finally, use your math skills to calculate the area of coverage you will need, so you don’t buy too much paint.
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