If you love color, why limit yourself to just one when painting a room. Two-toned walls make a design statement. They also help you work around architectural challenges in your home.
Half and Half
Add visual interest to any room with the simplest of two-tone effects: the half and half. Simply divide the wall into two halves horizontally, then choose paint colors from the same color family. Pick out two shades of blue, green, pink or whichever color the occupant of the room likes best if a bedroom or study. Pull the colors into the décor, but add pops of contrasting hues to keep the room from taking on a monochromatic look. If using this effect in a dining room, consider adding decorative molding at the joining of the colors to create a more formal atmosphere.
Other Uses of Two-Tone Paint Palettes
If your home has high ceilings and you want certain rooms, such as a bedroom, to seem cozier and more intimate, use a two-tone effect. Just as above, choose two colors you like, then paint the ceiling in the lighter color but don’t stop there. Bring the ceiling color down to cover one-quarter of the wall. This visually shortens the height of the walls.
Add dramatic depth to doors by painting select panels a different, darker color. Again, stay in the same color family for best results and choose colors already represented in the room, either by furniture or accessories, to keep the design cohesive.
If you have a statement piece of art of furniture, give it a secondary frame with two-tone paint. Choose a paint color for your walls that complements the piece, but select another contrasting color for the wall on which it hangs or sits against. This will make the item even more of a focal point in the room.
Committing to one color proves difficult for many, much less two. If you have a hard time choosing colors for your home, use a color visualizer to confirm what they will look like before applying the first coat. Check out our Color Visualizers | Useful Online Tools & Apps for Paint Color Selection post, which points you toward helpful tools on the Behr, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore websites.
Not only do these tools allow you to capture colors from wherever you like and match them to paint colors, they allow you to virtually apply the colors to a photo of the room. Check out an excellent use of such tools on the Crafting Chicks website.
A homeowner used the Sherwin-Williams color visualizer to see how her all-white kitchen would look with a little color, which would also reduce the appearance of the room floating. The visualizer allowed her to try out several colors directly from the company’s paint line before making a final choice. It also showed coordinating colors in case she wanted to incorporate them into the design scheme of the room.
A more low-tech tool (easily pulled out of a purse) is the fan deck.
The collection of paint colors from a particular company allows you to have them in your hands when looking for paint as well as when matching your choices to décor. Need new bedding for the master or pillows for the couch? Simply pull out your color deck and see what works and what doesn’t.
As with all painting projects, your professional painter can help you narrow your choices, including by applying samples to a wall in the room. It never hurts to live with colors for a week or so before committing to them for the life of a paint job.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Many homeowners opt for neutral paint colors in the living room and bedroom. Doing so gives them the freedom to change décor and bedding more often than if they had to work around a bolder paint palette. Learn more about neutral paint colors, and then put these tips to use when giving your living room or bedroom a new look.
Neutral Colors Defined
The term “neutral” gets used regularly in interior design, but what exactly does it mean? Essentially, this label covers colors that are not bright or strong. Think: shades of black, beige, gray and white. The variety of neutrals comes from their undertones, made by mixing a pure neutral with another color to create a new hue. For example, a white can have an undertone of yellow, and a white also can have an undertone of blue, making them totally different shades of white, both neutral.
Using Neutral Colors in the Home
If you want furniture and other décor to attract the most attention in a room, choose neutral paint colors for the ceiling and walls. They will settle into the background, allowing those pieces to pop. If working around existing furniture or bedding — or a dominant piece of art — when choosing paint, look for neutral colors in them or for neutral colors that complement them.
You also can use neutral paint colors to tie adjoining rooms together. Choose a neutral color you like, and then select a darker or lighter shade of that color for the adjoining room to set it off but not create a jarring transition. Remember: If you can see the paint color of one room from another, both colors should work together visually not against each other.
Picking Out Paint and Décor Colors
The easiest way to put together a neutral paint and décor palette for a living room or bedroom is to let the paint card guide you. These cards, available at your local paint or home improvement store, feature colors pre-selected by the manufacturer to work well together.
For example, Sherwin-Williams offers a variety of neutral color groupings. Its Neutral Nuance family offers the softest hints of color for a vintage or rustic décor style. The browns of Kaffee and Van Dyke mix with the beiges of Ethereal Mood and Universal Khaki as well as the greens of Riverway and Retreat and the grays of Sedate and Escape. With 20 colors total on the card, you have multiple options for décor and accents once you choose your paint colors. The paint company also shows its many colors grouped by family online, with 169 warm neutrals and 137 cool neutrals available.
Benjamin Moore offers neutral paint color palettes as well. Its Favorite Neutrals grouping includes Consentino Chardonnay, Brandon Beige, Jonesboro Cream, Stone House and Interlude. While all essentially shades of beige, they differ as mentioned above because of their undertones. Consentino Chardonnay has a hint of yellow, and Jonesboro Cream has green-gray undertones. See the 695 options the company offers in neutrals in its online Color Gallery.
Neutral paint colors suit any architectural style of home and provide a palette to last as long as the paint application itself, which can be seven to 10 years if you use high-quality paints and professionals to get the job done. By choosing neutral paint colors, you get the most out of your investment but do not limit yourself to one décor style over that span of time.
For more tips on choosing color palettes for your home, check out our Paint Finish Overview and Color Selection Basics post. If you need additional help coming up with neutral colors, your professional painter will be happy to offer advice.
Specializing in exterior and interior
The experts at ProTect Painters, a professional residential and commercial painting franchise, suggest the following home winterization tips to reduce energy consumption—and heating bills—this winter:
Paint the exterior: When moisture enters the home through the porous exterior, it makes heating systems work extra hard. To lock moisture out, make sure the house’s exterior is painted every few years. And don’t worry if you think it’s too cold to paint. Today’s state-of-the-art paint and primer products can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 °F.
Seal window and door cracks: Drafty doors and windows will cause energy usage to skyrocket. The first step in sealing out cold air is caulking around the exterior and interior of window and door frames every year or two, making sure to remove the old, cracked caulk first. Next, prep, prime, and paint window and door frames. Lastly, install tight-fitting weather stripping in all cracks. To find leaks, place lit candles near suspected doors and windows. If the candle light bounces around, then it’s a good chance you have a leak.
Rethink the fireplace: Fireplaces can send as much as eight percent of heated air through the chimney, negating any heat burning wood emits. To keep more heated air indoors, use the fireplace only for special occasions. If that’s not an option, consider investing in a fireplace insert, which prevents the chimney from sucking heat from your living room.
Use programmable thermostats: Don’t waste energy when you are not home or asleep by running your heating or cooling systems full blast. Programmable thermostats let you adjust the temperature at specific times of day. By lowering the temperature eight degrees Fahrenheit from its normal winter temperature for eight hours a day, you can reduce energy usage by as much as 10 percent.
Prep the deck: This task technically will not help you stay warm this winter, but it should be on every fall to-do list nevertheless. That’s because fixing up the deck and porch in the fall can help decrease air conditioning usage come spring. When the weather finally warms up, people will naturally want to spend more time outside if they have an inviting outdoor area that provides respite from the heat. Before winter, replace any splintered wood and apply new finish, stain and water repellent to the deck and patio so they can withstand the harsh cold weather and be ready for use by the first warm day.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Choosing the best color scheme for an office isn’t easy. Whether you’re the president of a major corporation, managing a small business or independently work out of your house, paint color can have an effect on you and your employees’ mood. Not only do you want to create a professional and well-designed color scheme, you want to instill a soothing atmosphere that drives people to perform their best.
All colors evoke certain feelings and emotions no matter how prominently used in a room; here is a list of popular colors and what type of emotions they convey:
- White: Making small spaces seem larger, white reflects light and adds brightness to any space. Promoting purity, white is a great addition to several color schemes.
- Blue: The color blue symbolizes wisdom and reliability. Blue is great for companies because it is a tranquil color that appeals to both men and women.
- Yellow: Seldom used in big office spaces, yellow is thought as an informal color. However, those that work from home could benefit from a yellow wall or accent as it prompts intellect and energy.
- Green: A relaxing color known for its calming effect, green is also the color of money – a driving force for business. Balancing cool and warm colors, green instills feelings of safety.
- Orange: Bright orange hues are certainly eye-grabbing, mainly seen in welcoming areas. The color promotes feelings of independence.
- Gray: Thought of as an executive color, many hues of gray work well in a variety of color schemes.
- Brown: Reliable and strong, brown creates a down-to-earth atmosphere in an office scene. Employ tan and beige shades of brown for a versatile look.
- Purple: Promoting creativity, purple helps calm the mind and soothe stressed nerves. It is also known as the color of wealth, power and luxury.
Make sure to call your local ProTect Painters to schedule a time to receive an estimate on your office painting project and have them help you select the best type of paint for the job.
Brick and other masonry surfaces can be painted to refresh an exterior wall, old basement, and even a garage floor without much trouble. Just like the majority of painting projects, the proper preparation yields the most sought after results. Create the perfect look on any masonry surface by following these professional ProTect Painter steps:
- Clean the surface. If you’re outside, use a power-washer to remove excess dirt, mortar, or cement. If you’re working inside, use a wire brush to clean any noticeable areas. Mix in bleach or mildewcide if you notice any glaring areas affected by mildew. After the surface has dried, use Tri-Sodium Phosphate, commonly known as TSP, to rid the surface of grease or oil and enhance the walls’ adhering properties.
- Repair any damages. If you notice any holes or cracks, use a ready-to-mix concrete solution and patch up the holes for a smooth, even painting surface.
- Seal and prime. After the wall has been fully cleaned and dried, apply cement sealer to keep the moisture within the surface. Then apply primer, which provides a strong ready-to-paint and water resistant surface.
- Paint. After the primer has dried, it’s time to paint. Masonry surfaces are naturally porous so you may need more paint than anticipated, however, it is best to paint these surfaces with several thin coats to build a harder surface.
Collect more professional tips from your local ProTect Painters and receive an estimate for your latest painting project today.
Red is a bold choice for any décor—promoting powerful statements in a variety of ways. A dominant color, red draws the eye to the smallest of spaces. In psychology, red is known to produce feelings of passion, love, and energy and with a mix of radiant to warm hues, the color red can induce profound feelings.
As you decide on the perfect color to paint your home’s interior, keep in mind that red can make large spaces seem intimate and bring a spark of life to smaller spaces like a bathroom or vanity wall. Here are some insights to consider concerning a variety of popular red interior paint colors:
- Rose-colored reds add a burst of freshness and instill a vivacious vibe in your living or family room. Balance these hues with cool cream colors and create a natural energy in your home.
- Transcend qualities of love with pinkish and coral red hues. Perfect for intimate dining areas, these warm and welcoming tones complement several styles and home décor with ease.
- Modern royal reds with purple and bluish hints make any wall “pop”. These dynamic and bold color schemes create a crisp style and work great as an accent wall in a bedroom.
- For a southwestern rustic style, dive into the earthy tones of Navajo reds. These hues promote a cheerful, upbeat energy and work great in a family room or kitchen setting.
- Rich, stately red tones fill rooms with elegance and are commonly seen in modest bathrooms expanding a small space with long-lasting color properties.