Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DIY Paint

Have you seen that commercial with the couple standing in the middle of their empty family room? They are staring at these large, blank, white walls. The husband sighs a heavy sigh and the words "It looks great..." (or something along those lines) and asks the wife..."what do you think?" Her reply is "It looks like we couldn't figure out what color to paint." Brutal but honest.

Are you suffering from White Wall Syndrome? I say to you, heal thyself. Don't be afraid of color on your walls.The worst that can happen is you paint over it. Reality in today's world is not the repaint but the time to repaint right? Maybe I can help you get it right the first time.
There are a lot of Paint manufacturers out there. I am going to reference Behr and Sherwin Williams because most of us know where to go to get either of those brands without having to drive into the next state.

I want to start at the beginning. First things first, don't start with your walls. Start with a fabric or art pallette that you will have in the room. What I mean is if you already have your furniture and it is not going to change in the next 12 months or more, that is where you start. If you are purchasing new furniture then you will need your fabric swatches from the new upholstery. Lay your fabrics all out on the table/ottoman in the room you are wanting to paint. Lay them together and overlapping so that your entire pallette of fabrics will be seen all together with your possible paint selections. Look closely at the fabrics in front of you. Which color is least represented in the group? For example: Note this pair of fabrics....

it looks as though there are not a lot of color options here. Look more closely. I know I do not want a color to match the fabric on the left. That is my sofa and it is a big piece in the room. If I paint the walls to match, my beautiful sofa will disappear. I will be living in a monochromatic cavelike room. I want bright and I want airy feeling. Don't dispair.The swatch to the right has more options. It is the pair of chairs that sit opposite the sofa. Although I LOVE the blue tones in the fabric I don't want to live in a blue room. Bright and airy is my wish but in addition I want warm and inviting. Besides, if I paint the walls blue, my chairs will not feel as significant as I want them to be. I want this fabric to be conversational. So, beige? Am I stuck with beige walls? No. Look more closely, what color is LEAST represented in this fabric? It's a golden hued taupe. I like it. this color is warm like the sofa I love and it will allow the blue colors to really make a statement in my room. Choose a paint color that will allow your furniture to come to life. Am I making sense? To bring life to my big chocolate sofa I am going to add pillows that bring the chairs over. My drapes are going to be a beautiful slate blue mingled with teal and a drop of chocolate. A strong contrast against the taupe hued walls. Exactly what we were looking for!

Need another example? Okay, lets go with a more traditional scheme....

Our dominant color here is our "Brick" color. Automatically I know brick will not be my wall color. Remember, we want our fabrics to pop. How about gold?....well there is an awfully lot of it. I like gold. Will that enhance my fabrics or cause them to blend? ...I am thinking, it won't look bad, it will definitely be a safe choice, but I want more than safe. I want "WOW" I want "panache". What are my other choices? Looking closely at the fabric on the left there is a very subtle hue of olive in the Tapestry. Olive, yuck, I really dislike green. Besides, won't it feel like Christmas? No. It will not feel like Christmas unless you adorn everything with lights and glass ornaments. So, green isn't a color of choice. Let me ask this question....Do you love your fabrics? Do you love your upholstery pieces? Don't you want them to come to life the way you imagined they could. Olive is the answer. Not a dark overwhelming color. Keep it light-not pastel- light. The fabric to the right is a mingled chenille and has a tiny hint of olive running through it as well. WOW that olive really makes this one POP. Use the fabric to find the right hue. Don't try to guess it. If you can't take your fabric with you to the paint store then grab every swatch of "olivey green" you can find. Bring them home and lay them out on your fabrics. The color will choose itself. You won't have to guess.

Now, inspite of all of this, you are still a Designer. Ask them for a simple paint consultation. Most designers offer this service. Isn't it worth the consult fee? Time is money, if you have limited time, spend the money. If you call a designer and it isn't something they offer, you wouldn't want to work with them anyway. They are after the High end dollar and don't have time for paint chips with a do it yourselfer. Don't take it personal, just go to the next name in the yellow pages.
I am including a link to SW and Behr for you. They offer a program online where you can "try on" color combos before you start. It can give you a feeling for your color before you leap. It won't be exact because color will change in your own lighting. Swatches are the way to go. If you buy a sample jar and paint a small swatch on your wall, you could still be misled. Imagine a huge white wall with a tiny square of color. Your color will be intensified by all of the white. Keep an open mind. Still cannot decide? Call that Designer I told you about.

Best of luck, any questions or a need for clarification, just ask.

Thanks for stopping in,

Diana Taylor