Now that you own your brand new Maronda home, let us talk about some inexpensive ways to make it uniquely your own. One of the best ways to customize your new home on a budget is with paint, especially if you provide the labor yourself. There are many choices when it comes to interior painting, from exotic colors and faux finishes, to custom murals and effects. One of the most important things to consider is your abilities and experience. Interior painting is a very popular DIY project, however, proper preparation and planning is critical to obtaining a professional result.
One of the first things to consider is the brand and type of paint to use. Most interior paints that are designed for residential use have low V.O.C’s. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
The next thing to consider is the type of finish that is appropriate for the use intended. The following is a list of the different finishes available and their uses:
Flat finish- This type of interior paint has a matte surface. This paint finish is usually used on interior sheet rock walls. It is especially good if you have to camouflage small wall bumps, cracks, or other imperfections, as this finish does not reflect light. While some flat paints are advertised as washable today, you may need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint, so be sure you keep some on hand after you’ve finished painting.
Flat Enamel- Flat enamel is paint with a durable flat, matte finish. It’s a good choice for powder rooms and halls, as it holds up to occasional cleaning.
Eggshell Finish- If you can picture the very low sheen of the shell of an egg, you have an idea of how an eggshell paint finish will appear. With only a slight hint of shine or gloss, it’s good for walls and holds up better with cleaning than a flat finish paint.
Satin Finish- Satin finish paint has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more gloss. It is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but can also be used as wall paint. This is particularly suitable for kids’ room walls, kitchens, or bathrooms, or in areas which get a lot of traffic. Paint with a satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing.
Semi-Gloss- Semi-gloss paint is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easily cleaned and lays down a nice, subtle shine, without being too glitzy. Take care with pre-paint preparation work, as poorly prepared surfaces can be a bit distracting when highlighted by a semi-gloss surface.
Glossy- High gloss paints have an almost reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. Though not widely used in home interiors, it is becoming more popular for a dramatic look on cabinets, trim, and furniture, in very formal and very contemporary settings. This finish will magnify any surface imperfections, so careful preparation and sanding is essential before painting with high gloss paints.
Now that you have chosen your paint, let’s talk about preparation. Preparing the surface for paint is very important for not only aesthetic reasons, but durability as well. Improperly prepared walls, doors, and trim can cause the new paint to peel, flake, and bleed. First, any loose or flaking paint must be removed and sanded. Then the surface should be primed to provide a seal and to allow the new paint to stick properly. Primer is also needed to cover dark or bright colors to prevent bleed through. All holes and dents should be filled with a quality spackling compound, cracks and gaps should be caulked with a quality caulking compound.
The tools you use to apply the paint are important as well. Quality brushes and rollers that are designed for the paint being used and the surfaces being painted are critical. Most home improvement centers have dedicated paint departments with trained staff available to recommend the proper tools.
On a more artistic note, there are a few things to consider when painting your home. If you are the type of person who likes something new every few years, never add too much color anywhere that you can’t change with a can of paint. If you keep flooring and counter tops a neutral color, you can change the whole look of the room just by painting the walls. Never paint the trim to match the room, not only does it look better to have all of the trim in the house the same color, but it is a lot of work to repaint trim. Keep all of the trim either stained wood, or a shade of white, depending on the style of your home.
If you have pets or children, there are a few things you can do to keep the walls looking cleaner. You can paint a faux finish to look like plaster or marble, or a decorative mural, which not only hides hand prints, but adds character. Another idea is to add a chair railing to the walls, and paint the lower section of the walls a darker color, which also helps to hide dirt. Never paint the top half of the room a dark color, as this will make the space seem smaller since darker colors will absorb the light. Also, remember to keep adjoining rooms similar in color.
Good luck on your decorating project, and if you don’t own a Maronda home yet, stop in to one of their decorated models and get started today!