If you’ve ever walked into the hardware store to stare at the paint chips and felt overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. A color can set the mood for a room's future conversations and activities. Even years after the brush and roller have been set aside, the room color will be – figuratively, of course – speaking to you.
Whether you're in a new home and starting with a clean slate or updating your current home, the right paint is important. Initial decisions about paints tend to focus on color choices. Yet the finish, chemical composition and painting surface and area should be considered.
Paints come in a variety of colors, brands, and finishes. How do you differentiate between each to select one that will suit your tastes, budget, and lifestyle? (Carefully.) And does it make a difference where you use each color and type? (Yes.) Use this as a helpful guide for picking out the best paint for each room in your home.
Ask yourself these questions:
* How often – and for what purpose – will the area be used?
* Do I want this to feel relaxing or energizing?
* Will this room be frequently changed for the seasons?
* How big is the space?
* Do I want it to feel cozy and small or airy and large?
Such questions give you a clearer picture of what the room aesthetics should be. Put your answers to use in selecting the right paint for each space.
Your answer to the first question above is the key to selecting the right finish for a room. How often – and for what purpose – will this area be used? This matters because it dictates which paint finish will work for you. Paint finishes often correlate with the durability.
Flat finish is a matte finish. It's used often used on surfaces that may be slightly flawed to camouflage imperfections. Think aged furniture and walls that aren't perfectly smooth. This particular finish is beautiful but should be used in areas where fingerprints won’t be all over, as it's more difficult to clean than some of its counterparts.
This finish has a lot of similar properties to the flat finish but is slightly more durable. Marks and dirt are more easily wiped off of the surface when the slight sheen of the eggshell finish is used. The low-sheen makes it a popular choice for bedrooms and living rooms and other areas where there may be less heavy traffic.
Satin finish has more sheen than the two previous ones and reflects any lights in the space. The visible sheen indicates that it’s easier to clean and is best suited for areas where high traffic is the norm. Use a satin finish in areas like kids’ rooms, laundry rooms, and guest bathrooms.
Semi-gloss and Gloss
These finishes are the ideal choice for high-traffic areas and rooms where water and moisture may be a concern. Easily cleaned, use a semi-gloss or gloss on baseboards, kitchen walls and/or cabinets, bathrooms, and mudrooms.
Although this type of finish is usually used on the exterior of a home, it can also be used inside a home depending on how much the room is exposed to sunlight. For instance, you can use this kind of paint for sun-rooms that have walls exposed to higher levels of sunlight, as well as the exterior of your home such as garage doors and entryways. These projects don’t always have to be boring. Look for paints that will help your home look sleek as well as use solar technology to reflect the sun and help stop any potential sun damage.
Now that there’s some background into color psychology and paint finishes, here are a few suggestions for choosing the right paint in each room in your home:
Your solace may depend upon your paint choice in this room. Primarily used for sleeping and relaxation, you’ll want to choose calming hues that help you rest at the end of a long day. Blues and greens in an eggshell finish are perfect for this space, or choose a neutral that will allow you to add color with accessories. Think a warm greige (grey/beige) on the walls with white linens and pops of orange, blue, or your favorite color in the pillows and lamps.
A home office should feel like a workspace that allows you to focus and get creative. Use colors like yellow and orange to promote productivity. If neither color is your cup of tea, consider adding variations of the colors in some of the room's accessories. Doing so may just be able to help you check a few more items off of your to-do list.
Neutrals are often favored in nurseries as they can be easily modified with accent pieces. This versatility allows a room to transition between a calming baby space to a fun toddler room to an exciting playroom for older children simply by swapping out bedding. Choose a paint finish that will be able to stand up to the everyday wear and tear of kids’ play. A satin finish does well in this sort of space.
Pay attention – also – to the volatile organic compound (VOC) levels in the paint. Paints have toxicity levels that last long after the paint has dried. Low or zero VOC paint is highly recommended for nurseries and children’s spaces.
The living room is most often seen by guests. Because of this, it’s important to really show your personality in this space. Utilize color to set the tone for conversation and set your living room décor apart by adding personal touches, such as stripes, wall quotes, or crown molding. An eggshell finish is an elegant and natural choice for a living room space. Bathroom Bathrooms get a lot of use. For that reason, choose a finish with a little more sheen, like a satin or semi-gloss. These finishes can be wiped down quickly and easily for cleaning and will withstand more moisture. The color choice for a bathroom is completely dependent on your personality and how you want to feel in the space. Many designers model bathrooms to look and feel like a spa, using calming hues for the most impact.
The kitchen is another area where color can be utilized, though it’s recommended to stay with a neutral base and add pops of color in accessories. Doing so increases the longevity of your kitchen’s style. If using color, consider the impact it may have on your stomach: reds tend to increase appetite while blues suppress it. Durable semi-gloss is recommended for the kitchen space. Painting your home is an exciting venture. Consider the use of the space when selecting the right paint for each room.
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. She graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can finder her on Twitter and Pinterest. The Drifter Collective is An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.