March 10, 2014
Just as the right stain and finish will enhance the grain in wood floors, the correct finish on walls, trim and other surfaces will make a big difference in how they look over time. Anderson's Vintage Olde Paint collection of hardwood flooring is a good example. Colors and textures are emphasized after each board is painted and distressed for a unique rustic finish.
To achieve similar appeal on other surfaces, homeowners should consider the range of finishes as well as colors that are available now for home design. Along with the multitude of hues that have been developed by paint manufacturers, there have also been a number of changes made in paint chemistry in recent years.
Using high-gloss paint is no longer needed for many jobs - although still preferred in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture accumulates - because today's paints allow easy cleanup with flat or low-sheen choices.
"Finishes have come a long way. The surface of your walls no longer needs to be reflective to be cleanable," interior designer Marlene Pratt wrote in The Epoch Times. "Simply put, today's paint is very people-friendly. The smells of the past are gone, as well as the unwanted reflection from every direction."
Narrow the choices
Once they're past the fear of doing the job, Pratt said consumers still have to deal with color selections from dozens of shades in each hue. She suggested they take six to eight paint chips in different shades of one color, tape them together and hang the combined sample on the wall to get an idea of which looks best.
This Old House magazine advised home decorators to use a color wheel if they're looking at a combination of hues and aren't sure how well they will look together. The wheel is set up so homeowners can see the relationship of different hues, including primary colors of red, blue and yellow to secondary and tertiary shades that are various mixes of the primaries.
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the wheel and are often among the best combos. If home decorators don't want to use them at full strength, each color can be muted by mixing in a neutral gray or beige for a toned-down look.
Pratt also suggested homeowners see their choices at three different times - morning, mid-day and evening with artificial lighting - to be assured they've made the right choices.