Guest editor and very best painting buddy, Debbie Zimmer, has become a fixture here at Home and Living because we love her tips, color ideas and, this time, information how to save money (always a good thing here).
Interior Painting The Real Deal for Frugal Consumers
The worst of the recession may be over, but that doesn’t mean consumers will soon return to the rampant spending of years past. Recent research, such as the AP Economy Survey, shows that tightfisted spending habits will be here for a while. What does that mean for the remodeling industry? Very likely, it signals a shift to more affordable projects, with things like interior painting at the top of the list.
The Lure of Savings
“Affordability has always been one of the attractions of interior painting, especially when it is approached as a do-it-yourself project” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “When you compare it to every other type of home remodeling, interior painting comes out the winner, especially for the budget-minded.”
A quick look at the minimal cost involved in interior painting shows why.
For all but the most complex interior painting projects, the only things that are required are some tape, a good brush or two, a roller and roller tray, and one or more gallons of paint. (A dropcloth is also desirable, but those on a limited budget can simply use newspaper.) The total cost is typically under $100. . .even less if you already have some of these items in your garage.
Refresh and Update
Low cost may be one reason that today’s homeowners like to remodel by doing interior painting, but it’s only part of the story, according to Zimmer. “Smart consumers know that a nice paint job can be a terrific way to refresh and enhance any room in the home. By adding a new color to the walls, it is also possible to completely change the appearance and even the ambience of an interior.
“As an example, if one of your rooms is too dark, you don’t have to add a skylight,” says Zimmer. “Often, you can simply use a light-colored wall paint to brighten, visually open up, and ‘enlarge’ a room, giving the impression that it is more spacious. Conversely, painting the walls in a dark shade can make an overly-large room seem smaller and more intimate.”
The Sophisticated Palette of Today
Yet most do-it-yourselfers undertake interior painting not to fool the eye, but rather, to please it. “Today’s sophisticated paint palette allows anyone to be his or her own interior designer and totally transform a room,” Zimmer says. “All it takes is some basic color sense and a little flair.”
“…top quality 100% acrylic latex paints typically provide one-coat coverage…”
If you are one of the many homeowners who have interior painting at the top of your to-do (or wish) list, here are some tips on color selection:
— Assuming that you are a novice painter and you simply want a room to look neat and freshly painted, then choose a neutral color like beige or off-white. You can add pizzazz to your decor with colorful pillows, art, and other accessories.
— Experienced do-it-yourself painters may feel comfortable using more color-saturated shades. But it’s easy to go overboard and select a color that is too deep. Remember, all paint colors look much darker when light is scarce. Be sure to take into account what the walls will look like in the evening, when the only light comes from your lamps and fixtures.
— Regardless of the level of your painting expertise, keep in mind that colors do not exist in isolation. When selecting a paint color, it is important to take into account not only the color of furnishings in the room, but also the hues on walls and furniture in adjacent rooms. In short, take in the whole picture to make the best color choice when painting a room.
Clearly, color selection occupies a lot of our thinking when it comes to interior painting, but Zimmer says that something else is even more important: the quality of paint you apply.
“Whether you are on a tight budget or not, you may be tempted to purchase a low-cost ‘economy’ paint, but that’s the last thing you should do,” she says. “Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints spatter less, go on more smoothly, and provide a durable finish that will keep your interior paint job looking good for years.
“Frugal consumers also need to understand that top quality 100% acrylic latex paints—which cost a few dollars more per gallon—actually end up being less expensive than ordinary paint on most projects,” says Zimmer.
How can that be? While it often takes two coats of ordinary paint to conceal the color below, top quality 100% acrylic latex paints typically provide one-coat coverage. So, you’ll not only need less paint to complete your project, you’ll save something else in the process: time.
For more tips on decorating with interior paint, visit the website of the Paint Quality Institute at www.paintquality.com.