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A new coat of paint in an exciting color can transform a dull and boring room into a warm and inviting living area. To choose your paint color, the best approach is to find a design program that allows you to enter the dimensions and key furniture pieces of your room, and try different colors on the walls. Chief Architect, used by many architects and contractors, does a beautiful job of this. If you are not working with a professional who has this software, many of the paint company websites offer a similar free service accessible from their site. Take a look at different colors imposed on the walls of your space and see what looks good. Many times, what looks great on a paint swatch will not look good over an entire wall.
After you have simulated your results, buy a small amount of two or three paint colors you like the best, some primer, and some pieces of plywood. Scrap wood works great here. Prime them first, then paint as large an area as you can with your chosen paint colors. Hold each piece of plywood up next to key pieces of your decor, such as paintings, sofas, and other furniture. Does it look good with all the colors you already have?
Finally, ask your family members for their opinions, as they live there too!
Some other basic rules of thumb are these:
1) Use a glossy paint in bathrooms and kitchens as it washes easily
2) Use a satin finish if you want an elegant look, and a matte finish if you want to make a nice backdrop for art and other wall hangings.
3) Dark colors make a room look smaller, and lighter colors make a room look bigger. If you have a small space, stick to light colors.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|