Applying a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest, most effective ways to raise your property value. It costs relatively little, and you can complete multiple painting projects over a single weekend. Creative types can let their inner Picasso loose and transform their home into something beautiful.
That said, it’s a little more complicated than finding the right color. To make the most out of a painting project, you’ll need to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Here are seven tips to get you started.
1. Ask Yourself Why You’re Painting
Your reasons for painting will vary. Maybe you want to sell, but the exterior of your home is peeling. Perhaps the previous tenant turned the spare bedroom into a nursery — but now you want to create a home office where you meet with accounting clients. Maybe you just need a change.
Your painting goals guide your project. Painting your interior results in a 107% return on investment when you sell, but only if you select a palette that appeals to most buyers. Conversely, if you’re painting because you’re expecting a new bundle of joy, you might not care what a teddy bear mural does to your property value temporarily. You only care about your family’s opinion of the space.
2. Consider the Style of Your Building
If you own a Victorian mansion, darker paint tones can project a somber, funereal atmosphere. However, colors like black and dark gray provide striking accents to modern, contemporary homes. Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- For a country cottage look: Select warm tones like golds and light greens.
- For a Tudor-style home: Opt for red and brown accents.
- For Southwestern flair: Stick with a light-colored palette with turquoise and copper accents.
- For minimalist decor: Go with white with subtle pastel undertones like lavender.
3. Select Your Color Palette
Now that you have a grasp on your purpose and style, you’re ready to select your palette. If you’re painting your entire house, choosing hues that work well together will improve value. A successful painting project starts with planning.
Start by picking a color scheme for the largest, most central part of your home. For many people, this refers to your living or family room. Alternately, if you have your heart set on a burgundy tone for your dining area, start with that bold color and work outward from there.
Then, select variations of that hue for any adjoining rooms or areas you can see from the original vantage point. For example, if you paint your dining area a deep red tone, consider a rose-gold for an adjacent living area or hallway. Create a brick accent wall in the kitchen. The goal is a harmonious blend of colors from every viewpoint.
4. Choose an Accent Wall
Accent walls can create a cohesive look. If you choose to paint your kitchen cabinets hunter green, making a pine or emerald-colored accent wall in the living room unites your look. Such walls are a stunning backdrop for family photographs or decorative mirrors.
Your accent wall belongs where your eyes naturally gravitate. If you have a fireplace, you want to gaze at it while you sip cocoa — so highlight this area. If you have large windows lining one wall, make the opposite one your highlight.
5. Create a Striking Effect
You don’t have to paint all your walls a solid color. Stripes create a unique look for game rooms. Wainscoting adds an Old-World flair to the traditional study. Borders introduce whimsical elements to guest bedrooms.
Imagine that you’re Jackson Pollack and use splashes of color to bring a child’s bedroom to life. Create a mural of Middle Earth on your library wall.
6. Set a Specific Mood
Colors influence your mood. Tones like yellow and red energize your body and spirit. They work well in kitchens or home offices where you need to be alert. Light blue and lavender shades relax you, so paint your bedroom in that kind of hue. You’ll find it easier to slip into dreamland at the end of the day.
7. Tie Everything Together
Once you finish your painting project, take your time in laying out photographs and paintings. Keep beloved heirlooms and favorite pieces, but visit your favorite online or retail art shop to pick up new things as well.
Add a centerpiece that highlights the paint in your dining room. Set out decorative candles and books in flattering shades around living areas and studies.
Take Your Project to the Next Level
With planning, you can get the most out of your next painting project. Whether you want to increase your home’s value or simply freshen up your look, you’ll delight in the fruits of your labor when finished.
Dylan Bartlett writes about a variety of topics on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Check it out for more info on home improvement, DIY projects and remodeling apps. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!