Brush on a New Look for Your Home this Spring

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

woman painting Welcome Spring into your home by brightening your rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Do-it-yourself diva Barbara K says painting is a relatively easy and quick way of breathing new life into a room. But she says the key to achieving a professional look is preparation. To get started, Barbara K suggests measuring the surfaces you’ll be painting. That way, you’ll have plenty of paint to complete the project and any touch-ups later on. The basic rule for buying paint is one gallon per 350 to 400 square feet of wall space. However, Barbara says if you are going from a dark color to a light color, or vice versa, you will likely have to buy a tinted primer in the same quantity. Using a tinted primer will usually allow you to get away with only one coat of paint. But if you are painting a room a very dark color, you may have to use a tinted primer and double the amount of paint and then give it two or three coats to get the true deep color you’re after. Choosing a color will probably be the biggest decision you make. “Don’t do beige,” says Barbara K. “Experiment with a favorite light, happy color or a warm romantic tone. It’s worth taking a chance on color because it’s a snap to paint over if you don’t like it at the end.” If the hundreds of paint chip samples at the store prove mind-boggling, Barbara says take a favorite sweater or comforter for a computer color match. Before buying gallons of paint, you may want to buy a sample and test it on a piece of scrap material – such as drywall, wood, brick or stone – that has been primed the same way as the surface you’re intending to paint. Put the sample on the wall and leave it there for several days. Check the room at various times of the day to see how the color changes with the lighting. After choosing a color, you must choose a type of paint. Here are the basic types of paint you will encounter and Barbara K’s tips for each:

  • Acrylic

    : Acrylic paint is a water-based paint commonly used in small painting jobs and craft projects. It’s excellent for painting small details on furniture and accessories.

  • Latex

    : Latex paint is a water-based paint with low fumes popular for its ease of use. Cleanup can be done with liquid soap and water. Make sure you buy either interior or exterior grade paint.

  • Oil-based

    : Oil-based or alkyd paint is thick and sticky, making it somewhat difficult to use. It also has a strong smell which means you must work in a well-ventilated area. Cleanup requires special products like paint thinner, which is another smelly and often dangerous chemical.

  • Spray paint

    : Spray paint is oil-based and perfect for painting garden furniture, wrought iron and just about anything made of metal. It’s easy to use and does not require the prep work that oil paint in a can demands.

  • Primer

    : Primer is used to prepare surfaces, like drywall, for paint. It can also be used when going from a dark to a light color or vice versa. Primer is essential when covering an oil-based paint with a latex paint. If you don’t use primer, the latex paint will peel right off the oil-based surface.

“You don’t always have to use a primer,” says Barbara K. “If you are painting flat beige or off-white walls, you can generally go right over the paint with your new color.”

Family Corner Staff (674 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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