Are you looking for a way to upgrade a room without renovating? Try some paint. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to make your space feel brand new. Just try to avoid these common painting mistakes.
1. Small Samples
Can you really get a good idea of what a shade will look like on your walls with only an itty-bitty swatch?
Can a tiny swatch paint the picture of what your room will look like? Not really. It’s a better idea to pick a big sample or better yet, a tester can. This can give you a better idea of how the new paint will look.
Check it after it dries, and during different times of day to see how it looks under different lights.
The finish you choose should match the purpose of the room.
You might feel uneasy about using shiny semi-gloss, but it’s more durable than flat or matte. It’s also more moisture-resistant, which makes it perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.
But flat and matte finishes still allow for easy touch-ups, so hang onto them for busy places like foyers/entrances, hallways, stairways, and kids’ spaces.
Think about the room’s undertones. Colors can look off kilter with the wrong pairings — a pink undertone with a yellow one, for example — so consider everything else in your space when choosing paint.
This includes counters, cabinets, metals, natural textures such as stone accents, and last but not least, flooring. A mahogany hardwood might look strange when paired with a cool gray paint. Make sure things tie together when you paint.
3. Choosing a Boring Color Palette
It’s tempting to go with dull shades like beige and white so you won’t need to repaint, but color reflects your personality and also the room’s mood.
And using the same color throughout creates a decor that lacks depth. Your colors should complement each other. Try mixing neutrals and soft colors, and don’t limit yourself to a single shade.
Anyone who’s spent time in the paint section of a home improvement store knows there’s no such thing as just “white” paint.
Some whites are cool, others warmer, some neutral, others bright. Consider your room’s finishes when choosing a new white paint.
And don’t overdo it with white paint, as this can make your room seem sterile. Pick a white that has a colorful tint to keep your space from feeling washed out.
5. Forgetting the Function of the Room
Different colors affect us in different ways:
- Red raises our blood pressure, making it a good choice for spaces where you entertain, but bad for bedrooms.
- Bright oranges and yellow make us feel anxious, while softer orange and yellows are warmer and inviting.
- Blue and green make us feel calm and are thus good colors for bedrooms, bathroom or any other spaces we want to relax.
6. Skipping the Ceiling
It’s even to overlook your ceiling when painting, but we’d suggest you should think of it as the fifth wall in your room, and approach the same way you would the other four.
Painting it properly can make your wall color pop. And you don’t need to repaint a ceiling as often as you do walls, but neglecting them will make them seem dull and dirty.
7. Adding an Obnoxious Accent Wall
Accent walls seem to be the go-to solution when property owners feel timid about using color.
Think hard before joining their ranks. To pull off an accent wall, you’ll need to find a bolder shade that fits the larger color scheme of your room. It’s a good choice for spaces where you want to show off a room, like a dining area.
When you see a color in the paint store, you’re seeing it under the glare of harsh industrial lighting. You likely have much softer light at home, not to mention natural light from your windows.
As we said earlier, make sure you test your sample colors under different lighting, and consider the direction your rooms face. Rooms that face south make colors seem warmer, while those that face north have the opposite effect.
9. Trying Trends Without Professional Help
The things that seem fun on TV home improvement show might be harder to pull off in real life. If you’re attempting a trendy wall finish like stencils and sponge painting, leave it to the professionals. Even if you’re a DIY veteran, an expert can preserve the integrity of your wall and give you the best possible finish.