Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

Home Design and Trends: A Little Paint Goes a Long Way!

March 29, 2010

Sometimes I am not able to commit to a lot of time to spruce up my home – or maybe I’m loving a color but can’t see it everywhere in the room. I have to take a step back and just do some updates with simple projects like…

1) Painting Furniture – Tips and tricks: Don’t be afraid to go with a potent color, especially if the walls and the trim are neutral. Before painting, prep furniture with a flexible-foam sanding sponge, which can “get around curves, legs, and grooves,” says Cathie Filian, a host of the DIY Network’s Creative Juice. If the piece has a wax finish, remove it with denatured alcohol first.

Best paint for the job: “High-gloss paint will turn a piece into a strong focal point,” says Edward Schaefer, a decorative painter in North Bergen, New Jersey, while “semigloss will freshen it up without emphasizing flaws.”

2) Painting an Inexpensive Mirror – Tips and tricks: A plain mirror can have an expensive custom look when you paint it a color that coordinates with others in the room, says Schaefer. To work most effectively, position the mirror so you can paint evenly around the edges. Place a small mirror over a sturdy bowl or a large one on a small stool, and put down newspapers to catch spatters. Using a brush the approximate width of the frame will help minimize dripping.

Best paint for the job: A paint with a glossy finish will give a frame “a little sheen,” says Filian. Interior designer Robert LaHatt suggests adding a few coats of clear varnish for a lacquered effect.

3) Painting Interior Doors – Tips and tricks: Changing the color of an interior door can take a room from drab to fab. But too much contrast between the door and the wall can be jarring, warns Filian. If your walls are bright, choose a similarly lively color for the door. If they’re subdued, go for a soft shade. Be sure to paint the frame too, so the door doesn’t seem to float in space.

Best paint for the job: It’s easiest to clean smudges and grime off gloss or semigloss paint. But avoid paints that are super-shiny―they tend to reveal even the tiniest nicks and dents.

4) Painting Stair Risers – Tips and tricks: A dark color in a glossy finish hides scuff marks best. (When risers get nicks, says LaHatt, just “fill them in with a Sharpie.”) If you want to test colors before committing, cut cardboard pieces to the size of the risers, paint them, and position them on the steps to approximate the effect. When you’re ready to go, prime the risers, then add at least two coats of paint. If you wait a day, then add a third coat, the paint will be even more durable.

Best paint for the job: Semigloss and high-gloss finishes withstand high traffic best.

Now…if my husband takes the kids to a movie for a few hours, I can totally get some of these projects done!

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Home Design and Trends: Decorating with Brown

February 22, 2010

Decorating With Brown
By Nicole Sforza

Use it to make a bold statement―or as a modest sidekick to brighter hues.

Blend red, yellow, and blue (the primary colors) and you get brown. “That’s why every color goes with it,” says New York City interior designer Elaine Griffin, a huge fan of this hardworking neutral. “With dark brown paint, the walls are the star and the objects play second fiddle. With light brown walls, the reverse is true.” At either end of the spectrum and anywhere in between, brown is known to make people feel safe and comfortable, grounded and at ease.

Light Brown Walls

As calming as a sandy beach, light brown is “the next step up from white or ivory,” says Los Angeles interior designer Kyle Schuneman. “It offers minimal risk but much more impact.” A perfect background for blues and greens (think beach again) or dramatic jewel tones, it also brings refinement to a neutral room when it’s paired with crisp white woodwork. (Photo by: William Waldron)

Dark Brown Walls

Womblike, cozy, and luscious, dark brown makes you want to curl up with a book (or drift off to sleep). It’s also woodsy, which lends it a magical, deep-forest quality. Dark browns look fantastic paired with super-saturated bold colors, such as orange (shown right), or as a counterpoint to muted colors, like pale pink. In a sunny room, they can take on very different tones at different times of the day; observe closely when testing out.

Brown With Yellow

Friendly and inviting, this sunny combination can feel both retro and―with simple, clean-lined furnishings―contemporary. Deep brown goes particularly well with buttercup yellow; you can bring in stronger acid yellows with small objects.

Brown With Lavender

Soft, feminine purple brings a masculine gray brown to life. (“These are the colors of a perfect field in Provence,” notes Griffin.) The key is to keep the lavender to a minimum―accent pieces only―so it doesn’t overpower the earthy, neutral shade with its inherent girliness.

Brown With Blue

Even in an eclectic setting, the mix of warm brown and cool blue feels natural―think earth and sky. The gamut of combinations work (navy with camel, turquoise with terra-cotta), but a rich royal blue and a dark chocolate is especially current.

Home Design & Trends: Feelin’ Blue?

January 14, 2010



Are you in a Blue Mood?

Since I’m ready to paint, I had to pick a color; and there’s no easier hue to work with than blue, in all its warm and cool tones.

Cool Blues:
Shades known as cool blues―like cobalt, turquoise, and ice blue―have yellow in them and tend to recede, or back away, which can help a small space look bigger. Color experts explain that cool blues encourage calmness (which is nice for a bedroom) and focus (say, in a home office). Sometimes cool blues can go a little further and be cold. But in a bathroom, where you want a crisp, clean vibe, that can be a good thing.

Warm Blues
Famously calming and peaceful, blue can have very different effects on a room depending on its temperature. Warm blues, like the shade shown here (or like denim, ocean blue, or slate blue), contain hints of red. Color experts say they advance, or come toward you, so they help make a room feel cozier. Decorators often like warm blues in social spaces, like the living room, the kitchen, or the dining room.

Keep in mind that the hue or tone of the blue creates a different feeling in your rooms depending on your furniture, wood, rugs, etc. Here are some recommendations from the experts:

Van Deusen Blue HC-156*
Best Blue for a Living Room: “It looks fantastic with rich woods, like cherry,” says Jayne Michaels, an interior designer and a co-owner of 2Michaels Design, in New York City.

Blue Ceruleum Moyen 32020
Best Blue for a Dining Room: “Lush and intimate, for cozy dinners with family and friends,” says Michaels.

Clear Skyscape 028-5
Best Blue for Kids’ Rooms: “A bold shade for both boys and girls,” says Michaels.

Buxton Blue HC-149
Best Blue for a Bathroom: “A clean, fresh feeling with white tile and chrome,” says Michaels.

Good luck – and dream in color!

Home Design & Trends: How About a Little Paint?

January 11, 2010

Now that new year is here, I get all kinds of crazy ideas to redo rooms around the house. My big thing is color which equals paint. Personally, I love the smell of the fresh paint as you open the can. I can’t wait for that first roll of paint to go on the wall. The thrill of accomplishment as you’ve completed the room…it’s all part of the do-it-yourself thrill!

I do, however, always need a little bit of advice from the professionals. So, I decided to pass on a little fo you do-it-yourself-ers out there.

Painting Tips for Large Spaces:

  • Use a 20-foot expandable ladder when painting a stairwell. Rest the bottom of the ladder against a tread for stability.
  • Use ladder mitts on the top end of the ladder to protect dry wall.
  • An inexpensive pot hook provides a spot to hang a bucket of paint from the ladder and avoids going up and down the ladder to load the brush.
  • A professional 18-inch roller cover and frame make the work go faster. A larger tray is also required.
  • A long extension pole helps reach awkward spots.
  • A new product, called a paint stick, which has a tube that can be filled with paint attached to a roller, makes painting go more quickly.
  • Stiff paintbrush? Heat a cup of vinegar in the microwave and soak the brush. Rinse it out and it should be like new!
  • Good luck! Look for more ideas in future blogs!