Some homeowners paint their walls a neutral color in a flat finish. On these backdrops, art and decorative items hang to serve as décor. Other homeowners prefer the paint itself to be a decorative element. They opt for textured products and faux-finish techniques.
To join the latter group, learn how to add texture to your next paint job. You can even use what you learn and apply it to horizontal surfaces, too.
Faux Finishes That Create Texture
There are two ways to add texture to your paint job: by using a textured paint or a faux-finish technique. Textured paints come in a variety of grades, from fine to a coarse, and as a premixed paint or a powder you add before application. Using a powder and mixing the paint yourself allows you to find the exact texture you want with text batches and applications. Oil-based and latex paints both accept added texture.
Faux-finishing involves applying a base coat as you normally would, then adding one or more accent colors with an object other than the traditional paintbrush. Sponges, combs and rags are among the tools used to create different textures.
Sponging—Soak a sponge in paint, wring and then randomly dab to create the desired visual and textural effect. Professionals recommend sea sponges for natural patterns and synthetic for a more uniform look. To learn how to imitate the look of marble using this technique, read our How to Paint with a Sponge to Create a Decorative Faux Marble Finish post.
Combing—Simply put: Comb freshly painted walls. Just as different sponges create different effects, so do combs, with fine-tooth to wide-tooth tools among your options.
Ragging—Soak a rag in paint, wring and then randomly roll the balled-up rag just as you would a sponge. Cotton rags work well, as do fabrics with a pattern of their own, such as lace and burlap. To learn how to create the look and feel of well-worn leather, read our Ragging Paint Technique post.
Another popular faux finish is Venetian plastering, which creates an old-world appearance with its imperfections. Because the process involves applying three layers of tinted plaster to create the distressed detail, you may want to assign application of this particular technique to a professional.
No matter which textured paint or faux finish you choose, be sure to practice your application and finishing techniques before getting started. You can purchase a small piece of drywall to test different methods on, or pick an area of the room you know will never see the light of day, such as behind a bed headboard or in the closet.
Finally, one way to add texture or a faux finish does not involve paint at all. Wallpapers come in a seemingly endless amount of options, with textured styles proving more popular in recent years. The texture can be as subtle as slightly raised swirl to velvet-like stripes and other designs. Wallpaper also works well for those who prefer less upkeep than interior paint provides, especially walls with texture that can be chipped or dinged.
Paint for Traction on Steps and Other Surfaces
While adding texture to wall and ceiling paint jobs can add beauty and interest, doing the same to steps and floors can increase safety as well. This technique typically applies to outdoor surfaces, with anti-slip additives going into floor paints and sealers used on patios and decks. The additives do not change the appearance of the paint or other product. Homeowners with in-ground pools also use anti-slip additives to lessen the chance of family members and guests slipping on the wet surfaces.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Red and its lighter shade pink are definitely not neutral. Both are confident colors that immediately transform the look and feel of a room. Red stimulates, working well in dining rooms as it increases the appetite as well as conversation. Pink can add a punch of bright and sweeten a space if lighter. Consider it for rooms other than those of a baby girl.
The leading paint manufacturers offer varying hues of both colors from which to choose. Here are standouts from Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Glidden.
Behr Red & Pink Paint Colors
Morocco Red – This spicy color creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a kitchen, complementing honey-stained cabinetry and natural stone floors. Pair it with Cotton Knit on the ceiling to keep the room light.
Antique Red – On an accent wall, this shade anchors a living room and contrasts nicely with Gobi Desert on adjacent walls and Ultra Pure White on trim. Pick up the red in wall shades and pillows to tie the room together nicely.
Spring Song – This creamy pink creates a decidedly feminine feel in a bathroom, but does not overwhelm with sweetness thanks to accent colors of Celery Sprig and Sea Salt. Use with romantic décor and furnishings for the ultimate escape.
Sherwin-Williams Red & Pink Paint Colors
Ablaze – To create a global melting pot in your living room, coat the walls with this color on one wall or several, if using lighter colors for furniture to offset. The neutral Ramie contrasts nicely with the bold color but does not temper its power too much.
Show Stopper – A more glamorous red, this one sets a more sophisticated tone. Use in the bedroom with more muted bedding, letting the paint color do the talking.
Fussy Pink & Lighthearted Pink – From the company’s paint color collection for Pottery Barn Kids, these two contrasting shades can be used alone or together in a girl’s bedroom. The darker Fussy Pink would transition well into the tween years, as it has a more mature pop than the sweeter hue.
Benjamin Moore Red & Pink Paint Colors
Raspberry Truffle – This decadent, deeply rich red creates a stately ambiance in a bathroom, no matter the size. Complement with Mayonnaise and Hasbrouck Brown to further elevate the room.
Wild Flower – A more coral hue, it warms a kitchen and works with a variety of décor styles, from country to contemporary. Accent colors Powell Buff and Sugar Cookie add to the creaminess of the color palette.
Royal Flush – A young girl who loves pink need not give it up once an adult. This almost magenta shade on an accent wall suits an urban setting and contemporary furniture. Paper Mache on the remaining walls keeps the powerful color from overpowering a bedroom.
Glidden Red & Pink Paint Colors
Pink Salmon & Red Grapefruit – The first color straddles the line between red and pink, allowing it to work in a variety of spaces, from a teen’s bedroom to a modern woman’s living room when paired with the second, a sweet hue within the same family.
Bold Sangria – A wine-colored accent wall creates a dramatic focal point in a dining room, with the adjacent Barely Jade not lessening the impact.
If you are new to red and pink as interior paint colors, take a small step by using one on an accent wall. You also can use a red or pink as an accent itself, adding a bit of the color in at your comfort level. Of course, if you have always wanted a red dining room or a pink bedroom, be bold and go for it.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Surprise Dad with a Chore Free Weekend!
Father’s Day is at the height of the busy summer season – right when the household “To Do” list is really starting to grow. ProTect Painters is offering Dad the chance to enjoy a “Chore Free” weekend. Allow the experts in home improvement and house cleaning to take care of cleaning the house, painting a room and tackling your home repairs – we love this stuff!
Trade Snores for Chores this Father’s Day
Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid and ProTect Painters are part of Service Brands International and we’re hosting a “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook promotion to take care of those annoying household tasks and give you back some free time to nap in a new recliner!
To enter the “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook contest, simply “Like” our Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid and ProTect Painters Facebook pages between June 2 and June 20, 2014. The Grand Prize winner will receive:
- $1,000 Mr. Handyman gift certificate
- $500 Molly Maid gift certificate
- $500 ProTect Painters gift certificate
- A new recliner!
Our Facebook fans also receive regular updates on desgn ideas and color inspiration.
Painting cabinets can transform a kitchen, however the job requires the skills of a professional painter or an experienced DIYer for best results. Dan Schaeffer, owner of ProTect Painters of Central Austin and a leading painter in Austin, TX provided some insight on the difference between a professional job and a typical do-it-yourself approach to painting your cabinets.
“When you roll or brush cabinets you will never achieve as smooth and clean of a look as spraying,” says Dan. “That clean look also starts with professional prep work of masking, cleaning, caulking, sanding, and priming. You can’t just pull the cabinet off and paint, if you want a clean, professional final product.” Dan also added that “many homeowners don’t realize how much staging area is required to paint cabinets. You need adequate space to spray, plus room and separation between each finished piece for adequate drying.”
Learn more about the cabinet painting process before deciding whether or not to take this task on yourself.
Step 1: Purchase tools and supplies
- Putty knife
- Paint application supplies such as brushes or sprayer
- Painter’s tape
- Painter’s tarp and/or rosin paper
- No-rinse TSP or other degreaser
- Wood putty
- Sandpaper (100-grit and 220-grit)
- Tack cloths
- Cup hooks
- Sandable primer
- Cabinetry paint
- Drill (if needed)
You also will need a large open area for painting and drying.
Step 2: Label and remove each cabinet door and drawer front
Apply a piece of painter’s tape to the inside of each door and cabinet. Do the same for the adjacent frame. Number each removable piece and adjacent frame with the same number. This will help you keep track of which piece goes where when it comes time to put the cabinets back together. Remove all hardware and place in plastic bags, each one labeled with the corresponding number of the piece and frame; skip this step if installing new hardware.
Step 3: Cover all surfaces not to be painted
Cut painter’s tarp or rosin paper to fit countertops and apply with painter’s tape. Cover the floor, as well.
Step 4: Clean all surfaces to be painted
Mix a solution of no-rinse TSP or other degreaser. Working in small sections, use a sponge dipped in the solution and wrung out to clean all surfaces to be painted. Follow with a sponge dipped in water and wrung out to rinse. Let dry.
Step 5: Fill any holes or dings
Apply wood putty to any dings or dents in the wood as well as to any if you plan to use new hardware that will require holes in different places.
Step 6: Sand all surfaces to be painted
Using 100-grit sandpaper, smooth any raised surfaces from the wood putty and rough up all other surfaces. Wipe away all wood dust with the tack cloths and screw a cup hook into the edge of each removable piece to be painted; this will allow you to hang the pieces to dry.
Step 7: Prime all surfaces to be painted
Place as many pieces as will fit on the sawhorse. Apply primer to the inside, let dry, then flip to apply to the outside. Hang them to finish curing, which can take several hours depending on the weather. Repeat until all pieces are primed, priming the cabinet boxes in the meantime.
Step 8: Sand all surfaces to be painted again
This allows you to remove any brushstrokes left behind during the priming process. Wipe away all wood dust with the tack cloths.
Step 9: Paint all surfaces
Place as many pieces as will fit on the sawhorse. Apply paint to the inside, let dry, then flip to apply to the outside. Hang them to finish curing. Repeat until all pieces are painted, painting the cabinet boxes in the meantime. Once everything has dried completely, apply a second coat.
Step 10: Put your kitchen cabinets back together
Once completely dry, reinstall all pieces with existing or new hardware, using the drill to create new holes.
As you can see, this is an involved home improvement task that takes an attention to detail for best results. Take it on if you have the time and want to do the work. Otherwise, a professional painter can complete the job—in less time as a sprayer will likely replace brushes, and with professional results. He or she also can help with the paint color selection process, as you will want to create a palette that complements wall and appliance color alike.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Dan Schaeffer is owner of ProTect Painters of Central Austin providing Painting Services to Austin, Texas. 9600 Escarpment Boulevard Suite 745-70, Austin TX 78749 We’re 100% insured and we’re local. Right in your own neighborhood!
When choosing exterior paint colors for your home, consider three factors: architectural style, environment, and personal preference. The latter proves easy enough—just think about the colors you like—but the other two challenge many a homeowner. Get expert advice from both the paint companies and your professional painter to make your final decision.
The Right Paint Colors for a Particular Style of Home
Leading paint companies present their exterior paint colors by architectural style, making it easy to narrow your options to those that suit your home.
For example, Behr offers several standout color combinations for Craftsman homes, including Fleece Finish, which paints the brick White and the accents Mocha. Red Hot covers the door trim to make the front entrance pop.
With Spanish Mediterranean homes, it presents the eye-catching Light Limoncello color combination, which uses Expedition Khaki as the base, Toasted Marshmallow on the trim, and Island Palm as an accent.
The company also offers schemes for Colonial, Modern, Ranch, and Victorian Tudor homes.
Benjamin Moore overlaps with Behr in terms of presenting by style, offering paint color options for Federal and Chateau homes as well.
Its Fresh Federal color combination embraces monochromatic for an organically elegant look. The gray of Fusion coats the stucco walls, while the creamy Deep in Thought and the dark brown of Silhouette serve as contrasting trim and accent, respectively, highlighting the architectural details of the home.
For the company’s Contemporary Chateau, it uses the soft beige of Coastal Path as a subtle base. The light Mascarpone highlights window trim, with the taupe of Weimaraner adding balance and depth.
Glidden also presents paint color combinations by architectural style. The company paints a Federal style home in Antique Silver, combining it with Icy Waterfall, French Gray, and Leather Brown. A Mediterranean style home gets seven palettes, including the distinctive Peach Crayon as a base, with Antique Beige, Hazy Sage, and Bronzed Ivy for the trim and accents. Another striking option is Cyprus Grass with Misty Summer Day, Stormy Night, and Shaded Fern.
The Right Paint Colors for a Particular Environment
Sherwin-Williams takes a more regional approach to presenting its exterior paint colors.
Desert and Southwest style homes, for example, get their own palette. The colors highlight the warm, earthy tones of sun-baked adobe homes, terra-cotta roof tiles and desert sands with just enough contrasting hues of cooling green and gray. The yellow of Birdseye Maple on the body, the creamy brown of Lanyard on the trim and Link Gray as the accent work in such harmony.
For the Southern Shores and Beaches style, the company embraces the region’s charm with sun-washed tones that are welcoming on a variety of homes, whether a beachfront hideaway or grand plantation. The contrasting Festoon Aqua with Polar Bear and Sassy Green make quite the color statement, as do Banana Cream with Extra White and Roycroft Brass.
Considering environment as a factor, as Sherwin-Williams does, also involves looking at your particular neighborhood and even street. While you do not want your home to stick out like a sore thumb in relation to those surrounding it, you do want your color choices to make a personal statement, reflecting your tastes. That being said, how long you plan to stay in your home also must be considered. If you plan to resell with several years left on the lifetime of the paint job, more mainstream choices may be your best options.
Your professional painter can help you consider all of these factors and steer you toward the right paint color combination for your home in 2014 and well beyond.
The elements do a number on unprotected wood. Rain and other wet weather can cause shrinking and swelling, which results in warping and cracking. Dry weather also does harm, fading the natural color of the wood and breaking it down. And damaged wood rolls out the red carpet for rot-causing fungi. Protect your wood by staining or painting it and perform other maintenance to keep it looking like new.
Staining vs. Painting Wood Decks
Each method has its considerations. For example, stain allows the grain and texture of wood to remain visible, how much is dependent upon the type you choose. You might choose a clear stain for new, attractive wood but a solid-color stain for older wood with blemishes and unsightly grain.
Staining a deck is easier work than painting, but you will need to reapply more frequently than with paint, every year as opposed to several. Also, depending on where you live you might need the additional protection paint offers from the elements.
Paint does require additional work to apply, as the wood must be properly prepped and sealed to get the longest-lasting results; you can often skip sealing with stain if you choose a weatherproofed product. Paint offers more color options than stain, though.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to use a stain or paint made specifically for wood decks.
The combined number of stain and paint colors available through Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Glidden and Benjamin Moore can be overwhelming, with stains available in nearly 300 different colors and paint in just about any color that a company offers for use elsewhere on the home. Check out this recent post on 2014 Stain Colors for leads to the best colors of the year.
Start by deciding between stain vs. paint, then consider your existing exterior paint colors and the architecture of your home. What color will work with both? Pick up as many examples as you need to at a local paint store or consult your professional painter, who can help narrow your choices to the perfect one as well as the right product for your environment. If you would like the stain or paint to last as long as possible, invest in high-quality products from these companies: WoodSmart by Behr, Deckscapes by Sherwin-Williams, Arborcoat by Benjamin Moore and Glidden Porch & Floor Paint are all good options.
Deck maintenance does not stop with a fresh coat of stain or paint. Actually, it starts before you apply a protectant and continues throughout the year. Start your maintenance year in the spring with a complete inspection. Look for nail pops, rough surfaces in need of sanding, damaged wood that requires replacement and loose railings. Make any necessary repairs before moving on to the next item on your to-do list: cleaning.
Cleaners made specifically for wood decks are available at your local home improvement store. You will find products from the likes of Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Sherwin-Williams for every stage of the project, from stripping to cleaning to restoring. While there, rent a pressure washer if you don’t own one and prefer not to scrub by hand. Be sure to follow the instructions provided to avoid damaging the wood, which can happen if you use the wrong nozzle size and settings.
As with any home improvement job of this scale, hiring a professional not only saves you time but money. Unless you have previous experience with this type of work, a professional painter can do the prep, application, and cleanup at a higher level of quality, resulting in restaining or repainting needing to be done less frequently.
Some homeowners dread picking new paint colors. The pressure! Others embrace the opportunity to flex their creative muscles. No matter which camp you belong to, use these guidelines to choose the best interior paint colors for your home.
Consider the Mood
Research shows that color affects mood, which means the hues you pick will play an important role in your daily life. Let’s go room by room and explore the best colors for each:
Kitchen/Dining Room Paint—Red stimulates the appetite, making it entirely suitable for these rooms. Use it sparingly, though, so as to not overwhelm. If red proves too powerful, opt for orange instead. It also stimulates the appetite and has an association with healthy foods, such as citrus. Yellow also works well in a kitchen, as it evokes cheerfulness. Who doesn’t want to start their day with breakfast in an uplifting room?
Bedroom/Bathroom Paint—For ending your day, you’ll likely want a color that sets a relaxing tone. Blue and green do exactly that. Blue calms and slows metabolism. It also suppresses the appetite, helping you to ignore cravings for a midnight snack. Green ranks as the most restful color for the human eye, with aqua helping to bring about a feeling of emotional health.
Living Room Paint—The color you choose for your living room depends on its use. Do you have a large family that likes to debate topics and/or play games? Consider orange for this room, too, as it increases oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates mental activity. If your living room serves as a place of rest and relaxation, choose a less aggressive color.
To learn more about how colors affect the way you feel, check out Choosing the Right Paint Color to Fit Your Mood post.
Factor In Existing Décor
If new furniture and décor will accompany the paint colors you choose, skip ahead to the next section. If not, take a look around the rooms you plan to paint. What are the color schemes of the furniture and accessories? They will need to serve as the starting point for creating the overall palette in a room.
We write about this topic often. If you are new to decorating, start with the Paint Color Combinations to Nail the Perfect Color Scheme! post about the 60/30/10 rule. This interior design theory states that using 60 percent of a dominant color, 30 percent of a secondary color and 10 percent of an accent color creates visual balance in a room. You will need to figure out what your existing pieces add up to in this formula, then choose complementary colors to complete the math.
To learn more decorating, visit our Color Schemes for Decorating Your Home topic page.
Look at the Lighting
Many homeowners choose paint colors in the store, never thinking to see how they will look at home—and not just at home, but also at home under all of the light conditions in the environment. You can test out favorite colors by taping color cards to the walls in a room, moving them over the course of a week to see how they look during the day and with artificial light at night.
To truly see how colors will work in a room, though, apply samples. The actual paint best reflects what the colors will look like once applied. Do this with final choices only to keep your room from looking like a painter’s palette while you make your final decision.
For best results, ask your professional painter to apply the samples just as he or she would during the painting process. Painting lighter colors over darker colors might require additional work that you might not want to do.
Purple and lavender are popular bedroom colors, but they also work well in other areas of the home. The color symbolizes royalty and wealth as well as wisdom and spirituality. Consider it for dining rooms, living rooms and studies, too, whether as a dominant color or on an accent wall. Here are a few favorite hues from leading paint companies Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Glidden and Benjamin Moore.
Plum Swirl—In this contemporary dining room, Plum Swirl on the walls serves as a sophisticated backdrop for dinner parties and other social gatherings. The white of Nude on the wall and window trim balances the purple paint and dark furnishings.
Plum Frost—A living room becomes airy and romantic with the almost lavender of Plum Frost and the contrasting white of Pale Bud. Mixing with greens, reds, blues and pinks gives this room an eclectic feel that highlights the purple even further.
Exclusive Plum—The company chose this as its 2014 Color of the Year. The sophisticated violet offers a balance of cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray. It suggests Exclusive Plum for a cozy masculine den when paired with accents of copper and well-worn leather. The color also makes a statement when used against white tile and chrome fixtures in this bathroom.
Grape Mist—In its Pottery Barn Kids collection, this sweet hue would create a dreamy bedroom for a little girl. Lavender offers a restful quality to a bedroom, after all. When paired with Lemon Chiffon in the same collection, it takes on a creamy tone as well.
Morning Heather—This study takes its users on an adventure thanks to this bold purple on an accent wall. The light, gray-blue of Quiet Rain on adjacent walls balances the strong color and the room as well as the dark wood furniture.
Essence of Lilac—The soft violet of this color gives this dining room a spacious feeling while balancing the neutral, mid-tone flooring and brighter colors of adjacent rooms.
Lavender Mist—The company’s New Neutral color palette for 2014 includes this ethereal lavender. It suggests using the hue with Slate Blue and Iced Mist to bring in a touch more color and with Englewood Cliffs and Oxford White to stick to a more neutral feel. Both combinations would work well in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Iced Mauve—This color offers a more dusky option. The company combines it with Phillipsburg Blue and Rust for a surprising but complementary palette. Such colors would work well in a study or home office.
Super Nova—The darkest member of the purple family in the New Neutral collection, this color would create a dramatic bedroom when used with Country Green and Butterfield.
More Uses for Purples & Lavenders
Lavender also can be an option for the kitchen, one you might not have ever considered. When used with stainless steel appliances and white cabinetry, lighter purples create a sleek, sophisticated room.
Also look at purple when painting a hallway, as it can make an interesting transition between more rooms with more neutral color schemes. When used with patterned wallpaper, the effect can be even more dramatic.
Purples and lavenders also can be used together in contrasting shades for a monochromatic but not quite effect. As with all color choices, be sure to apply samples before painting an entire room. That way, if the hues together are not to your liking you can move on to other combinations. Your professional painter can provide sample cans as well as apply them in the right spot to catch the changing light of the day and night.
Are you thinking of changing the exterior paint colors of your home? If so, then there are a variety of factors you should consider in addition to personal preference. Use this handy guide as part of your decision-making process for best results.
Read HOA Paint Guidelines if Applicable
If you live in an area with a homeowners’ association, there are likely rules that govern home exteriors. Many HOAs limit the color options in an effort to keep the neighborhood aesthetically harmonious. Get the most recent edition of the guidelines to ensure you do not make a mistake, one that would prove costly if you had to repaint. You could even incur fines from the HOA, which has the power to place a lien on your house for nonpayment of those fines, if you choose a color not on the approved list.
Consider Your Neighbors
Even if you do not belong to an HOA, you still should consider neighboring homes when choosing exterior paint colors. Visitors and homebuyers alike will be put off if your house stands out from those around it in a jarring way. Choose colors that blend with adjacent homes or a palette that complements them.
Factor In Exterior Colors That Can’t Change
Not all surfaces on the outside of a house get painted. The roof, for example, stays the same color, as does a brick exterior if you plan to keep it original. Also don’t forget hardscaping, driveways and walkways. Use these hues as the starting point when picking out your color scheme. There may even be flecks of colors within the shingles, brick or other surface that could serve as complementary colors.
Consider the Climate
An abundance of sun or shade can change the appearance of a color. If you live in a sunny climate, brighter colors are safer as the sun washes them out to an extent. If you live in an area with more rainfall and heavily wooded lots, choose colors that complement those surroundings and keep in mind that shade darkens paint color even further.
Look at Your Landscaping
If you have flowering shrubs and trees that change color with the seasons, factor those hues into your decision. You can easily change a flower garden to work with new paint colors, but you would not want to uproot a tree come fall if you no longer like the leaf color.
Sample, Sample, Sample
The best way to see how an exterior paint color scheme will look on your home is to try it out. Once you narrow your decision to two or three, begin applying the schemes to areas that get the full range of sunlight and shade within a day. That way, you can see how they will look at different times of the day. You need not apply the colors to the appropriate trim and accent pieces, just together in one area.
Leave the samples up for a full week, or longer, so you can also see how they look in changing weather conditions. If possible, apply to an area of your home’s exterior that does not face the street. If not possible, don’t stress too much. Everyone in your neighborhood has to paint their home at some point, so they will understand if a section of yours looks like a painter’s palette for a short while.
No matter what: Do not rush the decision. A professional paint job can last 10 years or more, depending on the material and climate, so you should be happy with the results and the investment of time and money.