When you decide to paint your room, there are a few mistakes to avoid and tips to follow:

First, be sure to choose the right paint colour; often, people have a great decorating idea, but they don’t know how to get precisely the right colour. The project doesn’t turn out quite the way they envisioned. If you have a pillow or a picture in the room, this can serve as your “inspiration” piece. Use a fan deck from your local paint store to find a colour you think will make your piece “pop”. You may need to get someone with a good eye for colour to help you pick out a complementary colour that will highlight your focal piece. You may choose an orange, but it’s the WRONG orange, and it looks too bright; the same thing can happen with yellow; it looks like a nice creamy colour, but then when the wall is finished, it’s too yellow. The best way to avoid this is to have a colour consultant come out and help you pick the colour. This costs money but is well worth it if you will spend money on paint and labour. If you can’t afford to do that, you can take your pillow into the store and ask them to assist you.

Once you get in the right colour range, you can use the fan deck to choose a darker or lighter colour. Or you can move to the left or right one step to see how that looks. The final part of getting the colour right is to ask the store to prepare a colour sample: Take this home and paint it in several areas of the room. Wait a couple of days so you can look at it in daylight and at night. This way, you can decide if you like it before you move forward with the painting. Another important note: A lot of people are using reds these days. Some reds require a special primer, so be sure to ask at the store if this step is necessary.

Paint everything in the room; another big mistake is deciding to paint only the walls and ignore the trim, crown moulding, and ceilings. Sometimes you can get away with this, but more often than not the trim has pulled away from the walls and requires new caulking. After it’s caulked, it needs to be painted. Also, trim paint can yellow over the years, and a fresh coat of paint will make everything look new.

Do not forget your radiators if you have them; paint them to match the walls, or in a contrasting colour, but always use special radiator paint; or you will affect the heat output.

You may not really notice the ceiling, but it can be dirty or have lots of nail pops, which also need attention. Nowadays, many people are using soft colours on the ceiling instead of the traditional flat white.

Taking care of the small details will give your room a finished professional look: Patch the nail pops and holes properly before painting; you see people putting caulk into nail pops, holes, and divets in their walls. Caulk is not the right product to use. Professionals will use a quick set joint compound mixture to fill these. My advice is if you don’t know how to do this, leave it to a professional painter: They will do it quickly and effortlessly, and you will never even see the hole was there.





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