Selecting Paint for Your Project

A do-it-yourself guide to the basics of selecting paint color and finish for your home decorating project.

If you’ve never attempted a painting project in your home before it may seem like a daunting task, and even if you’ve done it a couple of times it can still be intimidating. Paint is fairly permanent, and there are so many color and finish options to choose from. Just remember that it’s only paint, which means it can be painted over if you don’t like the results. By using the do-it-yourself paint selection tips below you’ll get the painting basics you need to create a finish that will be similar to what you’d get if you hired professional painters.

Picking the Right Paint Color

Getting just the right color is difficult as personal taste plays into your selection, but there are some guidelines that can help you select a paint color that will work perfectly in your room. Remember that colors create mood and they can excite the emotions of people in that room. So you need to consider your project room and then what sort of feeling you want the room to evoke.

A simple guide is that blues, greens and purples have a calming effect. Red, orange, and yellow create a sense of excitement or energy. While neutral colors tend to give a room a sense of cleanliness and order. Light neutral colors can also give the illusion of more space while darker colors can make rooms seem smaller or cozier.

Once you’ve got your colors narrowed down a bit, it’s time to go browsing. The paint chips you get at your local paint store can be helpful but can also be very overwhelming. Instead of heading directly to the paint store, try simply looking around you and examining the colors you see to determine if any particular color, hue, shade really motivates you. Then start picking up those chips and selecting your paint color.

Selecting a Paint Finish

Paints come in different finishes. Most people are familiar with glossy and matte finishes and know that one is shiny while the other is dull. But there are more than two paint finishes, and each one has some attributes that make it easier to pick the right paint finish for your project. The type of paint you pick is important – for example, if you are looking to buy car paint online, you won’t find it on the Tesco or Delux websites, as there they sell domestic paints.

Basically paints come in flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. A flat paint finish is the matte look which will minimize any imperfections in your wall surface. This is great for homes with some textural issues. But flat paint is not easy to clean and you may actually remove paint if you have to scrub the wall for any reason.

Eggshell paint is probably the most common finish today and it gives off a more matte look from the front while showing just a bit of shine from the side. This is a good alternative to flat paint if you need to wash walls or clean stains.

Satin paint finishes are just a bit shinier than the eggshell and they look almost pearlized even when viewing them straight on. Again, this finish is a bit easier to clean.

A semi-gloss paint is pretty shiny and extremely durable. If you’re painting a bathroom or a kitchen you may want to opt for this paint finish.

High-gloss paints look almost wet when they are dry because the finish has such a shine to it. This is typically not the choice for most home decorating but it works great with accessory or furniture items. It’s also a good choice if you’re painting a child’s playroom.

By carefully analyzing your painting project, its function and the results you hope to achieve you should have a much better idea of what paint to buy. Get colors that complement the mood you’re trying to establish while also reflecting your taste and personality. Select paint finishes that not only have the appearance you’re going for but use finishes that also are functional for your painting project. Once you’ve selected the right paint for your project, it’s time to move on and learn the basics of paint application.