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A Fresh Coat of Paint Helps – But Avoid Common Mistakes

Paint “always goes on darker than it looks,” says one expert. Accent walls are on their way out, and baby blue is OK only if used for an actual baby’s room.

NEW YORK – Paint can make a big difference and give fresh life to the interior and exterior of a home. A new hue can improve a room’s appeal – but making the wrong choice can ruin it.

Design experts recently shared some of the most common painting mistakes with Apartment Therapy, including:

  1. Selecting baby hues
    “I cringe when I see baby blue walls,” says Alessandra Wood, an interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy. “Light blues easily run into nursery territory, which makes the space feel childish.” Instead, Wood recommends selecting a more saturated shade for the space and using the baby blue as an accent.
  1. Failing to factor in light
    Always remember that a paint shade can vary depending on the way light filters into a room. If going off a paper swatch, expect some variation when you actually go to paint walls. “Remember that when picking a color, go for a lighter shade,” say Jill Johnson and Suzanne Ascher, co-founders of Waterleaf Interiors. “It always goes on darker than it looks.” Better yet, test it out first on the walls with an actual paint sample before making a full commitment.
  1. Choosing the wrong finish
    The finish you choose for your paint can also have a big impact on the room. “Paint comes in a handful of finishes, from flat to a high gloss,” says Elizabeth Sesser, interiors associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley. “Selecting the right one for your space or application is key.” Consider the finish before applying a primer and be sure to know the options of different finishes: matte, gloss and flat.
  1. Forgetting the ceiling
    The ceiling is just as important as the other walls, designers say. “Never use anything but flat paint on a ceiling where light reflects even more than on walls, showcasing shadows and uneven drywall like crazy,” says Caitlin Murray, an interior designer and founder of Black Lacquer Design. Opt for a low-luster sheen to help mask any ceiling flaws.
  1. Painting accent walls
    Some designers believe the accent wall trend – painting only one wall in a space a bolder hue – is starting to wane. “If you’re going to go through the effort of painting, do the whole room,” Sesser suggests. “Just the single wall makes the space feel unfinished.”

Source: “10 Painting Mistakes Designers Want You to Stop Making,” Apartment Therapy (2019)

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