If you were to do anything this weekend to make a drastic difference in your home - dramatic enough to elevate it to the next level, what would it be?
[Insert dramatic pause.]
If you said PAINT, we are probably kindred spirits and decorating besties.
Sometimes I think home owners inadvertently make decorating harder on themselves than is necessary. After having worked with several clients who felt stuck style-wise and were looking, literally and figuratively, beyond their four walls for the answers, I am boldly proclaiming that paint was the number one solution to their home slump problem. When the new paint was dry, not only were they surprised by the overall aesthetic facelift, but the cost of making that change was pennies in comparison to any other changes they could have made. Could this be the solution for you as well?
When you begin thinking about making a change with paint, don’t just stop at the walls. Though painting the walls will be lovely, imagine what a difference paint will make on the wainscoting, board and batten or shiplap. How about paint on the ceiling, the millwork or even on the doors? Don’t forget the cabinets. What about the furniture? Not a fan of the light fixtures in the bathroom? Nothing a little paint can’t fix.
Now the question begs to be asked what color do you choose or what do you paint. This, my dear, is entirely up to you. Does your room feel dark and you want it to feel airy? Try a lighter color? Have you been claiming that you should paint the bathroom vanity since you moved in? Paint it this weekend! The color of your playroom is fine, but could look more dramatic and playfully inviting with stripes…paint them on! Do you see where I’m headed here? Painting may not be the solution to all of your decorating woes, but it can definitely be a start.
Case in point: a few years ago I was wanting to redo my boys’ bathroom. It had been painted a bright and playful shade of green when we first moved in nine years ago. The laminate flooring was ugly and the brown builder grade cabinets were Plain Jane. Fine for three boys under the age of five, but as the years went on and those boys grew, so did my design aesthetic. I still wanted them to have brightness and boldness, but hated the way the green looked against the cabinets and flooring. I wanted to change it all. I literally had new flooring in my shopping cart and was about to speak with the guys who could change my counters before I decided I would start first with a fresh coat of paint. Knowing that I didn’t want to re-paint again in a few years time and I wanted the freedom to change any bathroom decor as my boys continued growing and their interests changed, I decided to paint the room white. Boring maybe, but what I found was that the flooring that I had hated just days before popped in a way that I’d not noticed before. And, by popped, I mean popped in a good way. What? Was it possible that I actually didn’t hate the laminate flooring? Well, yes, Susan that is my point entirely! Wanting a little texture and personality, even with the white, I decided to shiplap the wall behind the sinks. The large builder grade mirror was going anyway, so adding shiplap was a breeze. The wood cabinets were next - painting them a greige using Annie Sloan chalk paint was an easy choice. The fine details were added later - wood, metal, bamboo shades, rattan rug, art that the boys love and a bright yellow shower curtain converted from a regular curtain. Can a stinky boys’ bathroom be a favorite room in the house? Why yes, yes it can (when it’s not stinky anyway) and it definitely is!
When it comes to painting anything, for me, there are no hard and fast rules. If I am committed to doing the work myself, what is the worst that can happen? Consider these pain points and possible solutions BEFORE picking up your brush.
Problem Solution But first…
You don’t like the color! Find a new one! Try painting large swatches of paint on a
tagboard FIRST before you decide on a
color. Put the swatches in the room you want
to paint and keep them there for several days
watching how the light changes on the color
throughout the day.
You don't like the sheen! Try a new one! Satin is my go-to sheen.Not too glossy, not
too matte. Matte will be harder to clean and
a big no-no for high traffic areas like
stairwells and kids' bathrooms.
It’s too much work! Start with a small Mindset shift...how do you eat an elephant
project!Seeing a (I never really understood this parable)? One
change may entice bite at a time. Re-framing your mindset that
you to take on a change can happen over time, even small
bigger project. change, is a good thing.
You're afraid you Take a deep breath, Ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that can
won't like it! roll up your sleeves happen?"
and remember that
sometimes change Mindset shift...you'll never know if you won't
can be a good thing. like it if you dont' try it first. Be brave...you've
Wanting to paint specialty projects other than walls? Getting the right paint, the right paintbrush or roller and having advice from the experts may not only make that experience more enjoyable, but ease your concerns along the way.
Paint Project Who to talk to? My recommendation
Walls Speaking with an expert from Just like people prefer one grocer store
Ceilings a designated paint store over another, the same is true with
could be helpful, but not hardware stores. For me, I like Lowes,
necessary. Paint departments though I don't have a definitive reason
at hardware stores are why. Choose your favorite!
knowledgeable enough with
their products to steer you
confidently in the right
Cabinets Speaking with an expert from Sherwin Williams. Over the years they
Millowork a designated paint store (not have been exceptionally knowledge-
Doors just a paint department at a able and helpful. The price point may
hardware store) will be helpful. be moe expensive than a hardware
Not only will they advise you on store, but not too expensive that it
what paint and tools to use, but makes projects unattianable.
may offer project specific pointers.
Furniture If you have a local shop who Shameless plug...ME! Though I don't
sells chalk or milk paint, chalk paint I do have a course that
speaking with a store employee teaches you how to use it. The course
will prove invaluable. They is titled:
generally have enough personal Painting Furniture 101
experience with the product that It walks you through step by step from
they can help answer any identifying pieces that are good
questions you may have. candidates for painting to completion
of the project. Also available: a bit of
handholidng and one-on-one help if
you need it.
When it comes to transforming your space in as little as a weekend, try paint first! But, I bet you can imagine, it’s not the only thing that can make a dramatic difference in a weekend’s time and WITHOUT breaking the bank. Want to know my FOUR other recommendations I make to my clients? Head here!!!
Happy painting! Be sure to show my your projects…head over to Instagram and tag me in your post or stories so I can see the transformation!
I’m rooting for you!!