Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Painting...

I know I'm guilty of not following all the rules when it comes to choosing my paint or even when it comes to mixing my colors. However, I have yet to be disappointed with the outcomes.

Yes, I often buy the "oops" paint. I also will take paint that I have and blend colors. For example, I bought a color that I like, but would like to have a wall painted lighter. If I have a white paint, I will add it to the color I have and create the shade I want. I have also gone to the paint store and just purchased a tube of "tint" to change the color I have on hand. I always measure out the mix, and write down my "recipe" just in case I need to make up more of the color.

Just to be really fair, I have to say that when I have been at the paint stores and commented that "I might mix in some white that I have" or something similar, I have been met with shock! Comments like "you can't do that! Every paint has differences in it, even in the amounts of water!" I'm sure they are right, but it has always worked for me. In fact, I think about the number of times I have had latex paint sitting in a tray and it gets "thick", what do I do? Add water. What do I do when an oil based paint is "thick", I add paint thinner. Granted, I would NEVER mix an oil base paint & a latex paint together! Nor would I take a priceless piece and try to play with paints, but then I probably wouldn't be painting that at all!

The other advise I have found at the paint store is they always sell me way too much paint for my project. I am really "picky" so I don't want to feel like I've "stretched" my paint and can see any type of color distortions after it is on the wall. In my experience, usually the store recommends a gallon of paint for every 400 sq. ft., selling me (usually) two gallons of paint. I find that I paint two coats of paint, everything is evenly covered, and I have one gallon unopened and paint still left in the first gallon! Of course, you can't return the unopend gallon! I would rather order more if I run out - which has only happened to me once!

The only time I ever ran out of paint, I really feel had to do with the color I chose and quality of it. It was probably my mistake. I need to paint a fairly small bedroom and didn't want to spend much money. I went to Wal-Mart and found a beautiful shade of orange that "picked up" the shade of a thread in a brown bedspread. It was the perfect color! To be fair, the salesperson said the Wal-Mart brand was "good", but did recommend that I "step up" to their "better" paint, which was twice the money. I painted over a off-white wall so I didn't use a primer. The paint seemed "runny" and didn't cover well. I intended to paint a second coat and did, but I had to stretch every drop of the paint to get through the next coat. It appeared uneven with some shading. I hoped that when it dried thoroughly it would be even, it didn't. Granted, I was the only person that could "see" it, but for me--I could never see anything else!

I should have taken the advise of the salesperson in this instance. I have never used Wal-Mart's brand of interior paint since, perhaps had I not painted such a strong color the experience would have been better. I was confident their "cheap" paint ($11/gal.) was okay because I had helped someone paint the exterior of their house using Wal-Mart paint and I was very pleased when using it.

My favorite type of paint for walls is usually an "eggshell" finish. "Flat paints" are often recommended for bedrooms, but I find them dull. Eggshell is the step betwen flat and semi-gloss. Semi-glosses are good in kitchens or kids rooms because they can be washed easily, they are okay, but reflect a lot of light. So, if their are imperfections on the walls they will show up more as light hits them. High-gloss paints can be fun, but be selective to where they are used...perhaps a chair or other furniture in a childs room. When you are looking at paint charts, they will also have a chart of "glosses".

Paint stores will often have paint samples if you are not sure of the color. Martha Stewart paints sells a tiny jar for $3. It is a lot of money for a small amount of paint, but if you are doing a special project and just not sure, it can also save a lot of time and repainting! I'm sure there are many others that do the same or similar. I know that now many companies offer swatches that are as large as a sheet of paper. It is best to take your swatches to your home to select the color, rather than in lighting at the paint store unless you have a really good "eye for color". I also take swatches of fabric, etc., to the store with me. I have even been lucky enough to find the right "paint mixer" to make the exact color I need from my fabric swatch.

Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make dramatic changes in your home environment. The best part is only paint! If you don't like it, repaint it!

Good Luck!

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