My family has been remodeling the home I grew up in for years. While it seems like it is a constant work in progress, nothing has proven to be such a headache than choosing a paint color for a bedroom. After about 10 or so coats of different paints of varying in color, finish, base, and volatile organic compound emission, we finally found the right colors.
During this time old test of home improvement, I learned the hard way that just because the color looks a certain way on the sample doesn’t mean it’s actually going to look like that on a wall. What may look like a nice cool blue on a sample may turn out to look like blueberry yogurt exploded in the room. The end result was that we wasted a lot of time and money.
Given this extremely stressful and time consuming roadblock, I realized that in order to make our choices easier we should have been better organized. By asking yourself the following questions you will be able to narrow down your choices, avoid wasting time, and more importantly save yourself from spending a lot of money.
Do you want latex or oil based paint?
Oil based paint has its uses, however if you are talking about an interior project the versatility of latex paint may be the way to go. Of course, this could depend on the color you are looking for and how big the project actually is. Ask your neighborhood paint store for your best options.
What kind of finishing touch would you like?
Believe it or not, the finish can make all the difference in a room. You may think that a semi-gloss finish is too shiny, or that an eggshell finish is too flat. When deciding on a color, keep in mind the kind of project you are taking on and what kind of finish seems most appropriate.
Would you like to use eco-friendly paint?
Usually, the answer is yes, seeing that you probably wouldn’t like to breathe in harmful chemicals while the paint dries. However, choosing an eco-friendly paint is not as easy as grabbing the “green” label from the shelf.
There are different kinds of eco-friendly paints with varying degrees of volatile organic compound (VOC) emission. Low-VOC paint generally contains 250 grams of VOC per liter; however you should check the label because you may be able to find brands with less. No-VOC paint usually contains about 5 grams of VOC per liter, but adding chemical pigments can increase this. In other words, the shinier the finish or the darker the color, the more VOCs a can of paint can have.
With these general principles to guide you, you can make the daunting task of choosing the right paint color just a little easier.
Mother Earth News