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DIY: Painting the Perfect Room


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Jonathan Morin of Logan Hardware gives tips on painting the perfect room.

Jonathan Morin of Logan Hardware gives tips on painting the perfect room.

Published on: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

by Tracey Gold Bennett, Special to The Sentinel

 

If you thought the Pantone Institute color of the year for 2013 was Emerald you're right. Emerald is everywhere, in the news, in retail stores, everything from makeup... to dog collars, dresses and paint. But before you go blow your home do it yourself (DIY) budget on green paint (or hire a painter) there are a few things you should know.  Trends change, quickly, even for Panetone Institute, the authority on color trends.

In fact, the organization has already released its 2014 Color Inspiration for Home Interiors and Design report www.pantone.com. That's right, nine more palettes of color for you to choose from to infuse color into your home.  Nine more high-fashion decisions on top of the plethora of practical things to think about when painting your home, and you thought this was going to be easy.

Painting need not be daunting, but there are a few things to consider to save time and money, and to help prevent mistakes, before you begin painting your home.  Here's a rule of thumb: even if you have painted before, consult an expert.   Jonathan Morin is the paint expert at Logan Hardware in the hip tony Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; it's an understatement to say he knows paint. You could call him "The Human Paint Guide."

According to Morin, the kind of project, where you intend to paint (indoors, outdoors, what kind of room nursery, kitchen, bedroom or bath etc.) will influence your budget, materials you will need and techniques that will be used. 

"People should consider, the type of light in the room, natural light vs. light bulbs when painting [the light in the kitchen, living room and bathrooms will vary], the approximate square ft. of wall, and  the customer should come into the store with a  general idea of what what the project looks like. We explain the painting techniques and the finer details," he said.

"We then walk with the customer and get them outfitted with the proper supplies, such as brushes, rollers, painters tape, drop cloth. paint thinner, or acetone for clean up. Soap, water and a cloth works best for latex paint spills."

Color choices can be confusing, but Morin offers a simple solution for deciding which color works best in your environment.

"I always tell customers to take as many paint chips (color sample cards akin to swatches) home with them as they like, tape them on the wall, look at them in different light and sleep on it before making a decision on the color."

If you're of the mind that more expensive paint means better quality paint, Morin says you might be surprised to find some affordable paints are great options which produce great results.

"At Logan Hardware, we carry three brands of paint: our two house brands ACE ROYAL, CLARK and KENSINGTON, and we also have PRATT and LAMBERT, (high quality designer paint)  and my personal favorite.  It is all up to personal taste where brand is concerned, each brand has a wide range of  colors, some more vibrant and some subdued."

Morin talked about how the consistency and thickness of the paint varies between brands.

"You have for instance ACE ROYAL which is different from PRATT and LAMBERT.  The ACE is basic paint, while Pratt and Lambert is a thicker paint which gives you more wall coverage, and it is a self-priming paint.  That means the paint and primer are combined into one product.  Sometimes you get a nicer finish with a high quality paint, but there are basic brands that work nicely too."

If you've ever thought about cutting corners by painting a wall before priming it. Think again. Morin recommends always priming before you paint, or opting to use a self primer.

"On any project you need primer to hide dark colors and stains.  Lets say your wall is a electric blue or lime green and you want to re-paint it creamy white; Without the primer the green would bleed through and show, so you would have to do a second, and maybe a third coat. Primer is used to seal porous surfaces; some types of wood and stucco will absorb the paint as you apply it leaving a uneven finish," he said.

"Depending on the surface you may even need a few coats of primer for a complete seal. If you are painting over a slick surface such as tile, vinyl, or fiberglass, you would certainly need to prime first, paint does not adhere well to slick surfaces. Primer will help the paint stick to the surface. Some of the nice features  about primer include hiding grease stains, smoke stains, and odors."

Morin sometimes sees customers return who thought they had the right color but found that once they've painted, natural light affected the way the color appears in their room.

"The good thing about paint is: if you're really unhappy with your color, you can paint over it. We try to explain to the customer about how lighting changes the appearance of color, so before they walk out with a color we try to get a good understanding of their lighting situation. Some folks will by a quart size can of paint and paint a small portion of their wall before they make a huge color commitment."

There are different paint options for exteriors and interiors, and also several finishes that are available.

 

"Flat paint works well for any accent wall, living room, hallway or interior doors. Need a shiner finish? Eggshell has more enamel than flat, and offers a velvety finish, while a satin finish is in-between flat and semi gloss," Morin offered.

 "Satin is good for kitchens and bathrooms and is washable with soap and water.  Semi-gloss and high gloss are the most durable of the paints, and are used for kitchens, bathrooms which are high moisture areas. They also work well for trim."

While there may be some universal rules in painting, there is some flexibility where style and personal preference are considered. Finally, you're probably wondering what the worst possible thing is that could happen when painting.

"The worst possible thing that could happen while painting,  in my opinion,  is knocking the paint can over, ruining your hardwood or carpeted floor and wasting paint. A painting project may looks way more difficult than it  really is... but overall there is not that much that can go wrong."

 

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