Choosing Paint Colors

When the Color is Critical-Switch on the Light!

“But that’s not the color I picked!” is an often-voiced lament. A simple remedy to the common problem: Switch on the lights and look at the color under the actual lighting in which it will appear.

Do dark colors really make a room look smaller?

Not necessarily. It’s the contrast of dark versus light colors that makes a room appear smaller than it really is. In order to keep a room looking as large as possible, eliminate severe contrast in the values of the colors of the room.

Go Bold!

If you want to try a bold color, introduce it in small amounts, such as on a chair rail or a molding, first. That way, you will eliminate the potential for costly mistakes requiring you to do the entire job over again in another color.

A pleasing and unique combination of colors can provide a sense of importance to even the most mundane house exterior. Here are a few tips to help you narrow your exterior color selection:

  • Consider the climate and the light. Remember that dark colors absorb the heat of the sun and light colors reflect back. Colors that are perfect for Cape Cod might look out of place in Arizona or New Mexico and vice versa
  • Take surrounding elements into consideration, i.e. the roof, a brick chimney, stone retaining wall, permanent plantings or your neighbor’s yellow garage. I f you live in an area with heavy winter snowfall, how will the color look against all that white come next January?
  • Choose an accent or punch color to play up the front door and create a visual welcome.
  • Accentuate the positive. Do you want your house to stand out? Play up any architectural details such as moldings, decorative windows, paneled doors with color.
  • To gain inspiration and color confidence, consider the coordinated combinations on some color cards.
  • Classic interior colors have moved outdoors. For subtle contrast, use softer color combinations such as gray, white and teal; taupe, creamy off-white and burgundy.

Why use primer at all?

Because it’s what you don’t see, the primer coat, that may well affect what you do see, the finish coat. With the right primer, you can get two thin coats of protection, the primer and the paint. Interior and exterior primers attract and receive the finish coat better, so the topcoat adheres better. Most quality primers can be tinted to the appropriate finish-coat color.

Ask the experts: Dealers are trained to know the answers. Skip the primer and you could face adhesion problems or gloss and texture differentiation.

When going from a dark to a light color, eliminating the primer may mean you end up needing a third finish coat because of color bleed-through.

Use another brand of primer and there could be a question about chemical compatabilty.

What exactly does paint quality mean to me as a homeowner?

Quality means ease of application and better coverage.

One gallon of quality paint can often cover as well or better than two gallons of a lesser-quality paint. Which means you may well need less of the higher-priced product. That’s because the more expensive pigments and binders in premium paint provide better hiding, so less paint is needed.

Quality means paint undergoes extensive testing.

Top brand exterior paints are exposed to the elements for a period of anywhere from six months to fifteen years at our test stations. Interior products are subjected to a battery of tests at our laboratories.

Quality means color uniformity.

Moving cross-country and want to duplicate the colors of your home, inside or out? No problem if you used a quality product. And a quality paint line offers greater color uniformity from batch to batch and provides for more accurate custom color matches… important should you underestimate paint needs and run out before the job is finished.

Quality means successful touch-ups.

When paint is manufactured under consistent quality controls, using the same formulas and high quality ingredients, even lesser-quality paint that has been applied months after the original coat blends with the original color.

Quality means paint stands up to wear and tear and washing longer.

You can expect to get an estimated eight years from a quality exterior paint job as opposed to four from a less expensive brand. That cuts both cost and time involved in repainting sooner , as opposed to later.

Quality means addressing health and safety concerns.

Paint should not contain any solvent, pigment, vehicle or additive that could produce a health or safety hazard for you, your family or the painter.

Quality means quick drying.

Interior paints, enamels and clear coatings should dry quickly so rooms and surfaces may be put to use soon after application.

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