Let a Fresh Splash of Color Spruce Up Your Home


By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC

President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

   Whether preparing a home for sale or just freshening up your home’s appearance- the easiest and most economical way to give your home a quick update is to add new color with a fresh coat of paint. A well-planned and executed paint job can accent features, correct flaws and make rooms look larger or cozier. So, if you are considering giving a door, a room or a wall a new look, here are some tips courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders to help you realize your vision.

     If you are an old hand at home improvements, you will want to begin by inventorying all of the essential supplies you may already have such as brushes and rollers, paint trays, painter’s tape and sheets and tarps to cover floors and furniture.  Then, visit your local neighborhood paint or home improvement center to pick up the supplies you will need to finish the job.

     Once you have established a budget for supplies, get swatches of colors to take home. Select a lot of options because the lights in the store may make the colors look completely different than they will in your home. See how you like the colors on different walls and in different lighting conditions-early morning sun, midday, night time and lamp light-to ensure you're happy with your final choice. Many companies offer sample sizes of paint in either a selection of popular colors, or in any color they offer. These samples cost much less than a full gallon and give you the opportunity to try them out on the wall before spending a lot of money.

     Select your paint finish depending on how the room or surface will be used. For instance, a flat or matte finish helps conceal flaws and absorbs light in well-lit rooms. Satin or eggshell finishes are a good choice for high-traffic areas such as foyers, family rooms, kitchens and bathrooms because they clean more easily than flat or matte paint. Baseboards, molding and railings look best in a semi-gloss finish, which is a shiny finish that is the easiest to clean and provides a contrast to the walls.

     Today, many paint companies also now offer “all-in-one” paints that already contain primer. These enable you to paint over a darker paint color or area that’s been repaired with patching compound without having to apply a coat of primer before the paint. Then prepare the room. Give yourself adequate space to maneuver while you paint and protect your valuable furniture and belongings. Move as much of the room’s contents as you can either out of the room or away from the walls. Cover whatever is going to stay and the floor, especially where it meets the walls, with old sheets or plastic tarps.

      Consider turning off your electricity to remove the switch plates and electrical outlet covers. For some homes, it might be easier than trying to cover them with painter's tape and just painting over them. Don’t forget to repair nail holes, dents or chipped spots with a patching compound. If you have any doubt about your ability to paint a perfectly straight line, or you don’t have a very steady hand, use painters tape to protect features you don’t want paint to get on. This could include baseboards, window and door trim, and where the wall meets the ceiling or crown molding. Make sure the tape adheres properly by running a finger or mixing stick along the tape.

     Clean the walls with a mild detergent solution or wipe them with a damp lint-free cloth to remove cobwebs and dust that will cause blemishes in your paint. Vacuum or dust the room to make sure dust or animal hair doesn’t get in your paint and on your walls. Remember, too, if you are painting a home you are preparing for sale, choose a neutral color such as beige in case the buyer has plans for their own painting project.

     When you are finished, carefully clean and store all of your brushes and rollers and carefully seal any paint cans. Store any surplus paint, primers or compounds carefully in a well-ventilated are where they won’t be near any heat sources, obscured by other stored items and will be safe from children.

     One of the best benefits of homeownership is the ability to make your home reflect your own personal style and nothing says it better than a fresh coat of color.