Painting a room may seem simple enough, but there are actually many factors to consider besides color. To get the most out of your interior painting project, consider the following tips:

The complexities of color
The effects of paint color can vary significantly depending on how it’s used, so it’s important to consider the specific room or area to be painted beforehand. Color can be used to accentuate the good and mute the bad, and it can also be the difference between a room that feels inviting and one that feels inhospitable. A light color can be used to make a small room feel spacious, and a darker hue can be used to make a large room seem warmer and more intimate.

Distribution of color is a key aspect of painting any room. Photo: Solidarity Painting, Inc. (2013)

Distribution of color is a key aspect of painting any room. Photo: Solidarity Painting, Inc. (2013)

The distribution of color is also central to its overall effect. You shouldn’t be afraid of bold and bright colors, but remember that less is more in most cases. Using spare and varied hues to complement architectural aspects such as trim, molding, and columns is a good example of this. The colors should also reflect the purpose of the room—a living room should be warm and inviting, and a bedroom should be calming. It’s also a good idea to think of the room as a whole and coordinate the paint colors with the furniture and décor. If you want, you can purchase test quarts and paint a piece of scrap material or part of a wall to get a more accurate idea of how the color will look.

The right sheen
When it comes to sheen, function is as important as fashion. For example, flat paint works best for low-traffic areas in a home because it takes more effort to remove stains from this type of paint. It’s also a good option for areas with surface imperfections, as it gives a muting effect. On the flip side, low-luster, satin and eggshell paints provide a bright sheen that’s easy to clean and can withstand the wear-and-tear of high-traffic areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. If you want to accentuate architectural features such as banisters, railings, windowsills, and doorjambs, semigloss and high-gloss paint and enamel are ideal choices.

Water-based is best
When selecting an interior finish, water-based enamel is preferable to oil-based gloss paint because it emits fewer noxious fumes, which can be a big deal when you’re painting inside your home. Also, water-based enamels are easier to clean and hold up better over time.

Quality counts
As with any product, the quality of paint can vary greatly, so be sure to choose a high-quality paint to ensure better performance and durability. High-quality paints are also easier to clean and more resistant to dirt. Remember, if you’re putting in the effort to paint the inside of your home, spending a little extra money will go a long way toward ensuring the best possible results.

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18 Responses

  1. Virginia Davis says:

    Thanks for the information. I have been thinking about painting my home interior, but choosing the colors is really intimidating. I hadn’t thought about having the colors reflect the purpose of the room. When I paint my home, I will be sure to consider what colors will work best in each room.

  2. James Bay says:

    I will be painting my living room this weekend. There are so many different types of paint to buy! It looks like water based paint will be my best bet. I will need to give that a try. Thank you for your help!

  3. June Robinson says:

    I really appreciate this information on painting. I have been wanting to paint the interior of my home for quite some time now but haven’t been sure the best way to go about it or what colors to do. I have never realized that water-based paint is so beneficial and is the best option until reading this. Thanks for all this new information!

  4. Jordan Jorgenson says:

    Thanks for your tips. I never would have guessed that water based paints would be better for the interior of my home. It also shocks me that it would be more durable. I just always assumed oil based paints would be better. Do you know why water based enamels are more durable?

  5. Eliza Cranston says:

    Thank you for the tips on choosing paint! I just moved to a new house and my bedroom is a terrible bright purple color, so I need to remedy the situation. I was thinking of dark, muted red but maybe I should go with something more calming. Once I’ve chosen a paint, do you think it’s best to paint myself or to hire a professional painter to make sure it’s done correctly?

  6. Kyler Brown says:

    My wife and I are redoing our living room area, and we thought it would be cool to change the color of paint. I hadn’t realized that oil-based gloss paint can emit noxious fumes. I’ll make sure to purchase a water-based enamel. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Tara Allen says:

    I am glad to know that paint color can vary in color dependent on how it is used. That is smart to consider your furniture color when selecting a color palette for your paint. That is interesting that you should consider the different types of paint whether you would like flat or satin paint.

  8. Judy Wilson says:

    I liked your tip to choose a water-based enamel when painting my home. It’s good to know that this is supposed to be a better option to using oil-based gloss paint because it emits fewer noxious fumes. One of the things I’ve been concerned about is letting enough air flow through my home to help with the smell, so maybe water-based paint would be a better choice so that I won’t have to worry about that.

  9. Diane Jackson says:

    I think that sheen is something that is overlooked. I know that a room that has the wrong sheen can mess it up even though the color is nice. I like how you mention how function is important as well. Something that will clean easy and won’t show marks is really important for kids. These are great tips and help.

  10. Jen Pack says:

    My husband and I have procrastinated painting our kitchen for years but we are finally going to do it this month. I like the tip you give here of looking for a water-based paint so that it will be easier to clean and hold up better over time. I imagine that in addition to all the tips you give here it would also be important to buy the product from a professional company so that you are getting quality products. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Braden Bills says:

    I’ve decided to repaint my home, but I don’t know what color to choose. I didn’t even think about making sure I choose a water-based paint! I’ll probably end up getting some kind of eggshell paint. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kenneth Gladman says:

    We are looking to remodel this summer. One thing I would love to do is repaint the interior of our kitchen and living room. They are somewhat connected so the colors would have to be complimentary. I like that you mentioned using water based, I think this is the best interior option as well.

  13. Derek Mcdoogle says:

    You mentioned that the effects of paint color can vary significantly depending on how it’s used, so it’s important to consider the specific room or area to be painted beforehand. Do most professional painting contractors have specific types of paint that they like to use? My wife has always hated the color of our dining room and decided that we are changing it this year. Hiring a professional to come and assist us might be the best option.

  14. Luke Smith says:

    I really liked your comment about how the quality of paint can vary greatly. I would imagine that a high-quality paint would be an investment that you would appreciate when it came time to clean a wall or repaint the house. I am sure that working with a high-quality interior residential painter would be a really good way to make sure that only high quality paint is used.

  15. Jenna Hunter says:

    It was so advantageous to know that the colors should also reflect the purpose of the room. We have been wanting to paint our living room black and white for a couple years now and finally can now that we have the money too! I’ll be sure to talk to an expert about painting it for us and if that color is common as well!

  16. Dave Anderson says:

    I agree that when painting a house, the most important part is choosing the colors that you will use for the house. I like the idea of having the different colors reflect the purpose of the room. I did not realize that there were so many different things to consider when choosing colors. The fact that painting services can help people to make good interior color choices makes the painting service much more appealing.

  17. Rachel Lannister says:

    In your writing you mentioned that you should always use high quality paint, to ensure better performance and durability. My father asked me the other day what I knew about getting the walls painted in your home. I’ll be sure that he finds a painter that only uses the highest quality paint, to ensure that the paint stays looking great for a long time.

  18. Afton Jackson says:

    I didn’t realize how important it is to choose a painter that knows how to choose the right sheen to ensure your areas are easy to clean. My sister just moved into an older home. Hopefully, she can create a clean, fresh environment with this info. Thanks!

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