Get Ready for the Holidays With Paint

MOSAIC Group Guest Blogger: Tim Small, retired paint and coatings salesman
If you want to change the look of your home quickly and inexpensively, consider paint. Painting a room is an excellent way to set the stage for the upcoming holidays.
Prevent surprises by doing a little homework ahead of time. If you have questions, talk with a paint professional at your local paint or home improvement store. They are a fountain of information and are pleased to share their knowledge with you.
Color selection is extremely important. A dark color will make a space seem smaller, and a light color will have the opposite effect. Also remember that a dark color will not cover as much area as a light color. Dark colors lack titanium dioxide (or white pigment), which gives paint its hiding power.
If you rub up against a dark flat surface, you will “burnish” it and it will appear shiny. You will then need to re-paint it.
According to the Paint Quality Institute, the 2012 paint palette will draw heavily upon the natural colors in the American landscape, including blues, greens and violet.
If a neighbor has a color you’ve fallen in love with and they don’t have the can, all is not lost. Take a sample, which is at least the size of a quarter, to your favorite paint store and ask them to match it for you. They will use a machine, which is called a spectrophotometer, to get the formula for your color.
The spectrophotometer shines a beam of light on your color sample and takes a reading of each wavelength of light reflected off the object. The best samples are flat with no texture.
Your next step is to prepare the surface to be painted. If there are nail holes or cracks, patch them with spackling paste before sanding and priming them with a good quality latex primer.
If there is new drywall or trim, you need to prime them as well. Proper preparation and primer will make your finished job look better and last longer. Without proper preparation, you also risk voiding the paint warranty.
The latex, or acrylic, paints that are available today do a great job for just about all surfaces. If you’re painting cabinets, look for a modified latex enamel, which will give you the durability of oil without all its restrictions.
Consider using satin or semi-gloss paint in high traffic areas because most of them are washable.
If doing it yourself isn’t for you, how do you hire a professional painter? Get quotes from several contractors. The quotes should be close. Cheaper isn’t always better. Check references from previous clients. Talk to the people in your local paint store. Ask them who they would use to paint their house. They interact with these painters on a daily basis and know what kind of work they do.
When all is said and done, painting can dramatically change the appearance of your home for reasonable costs.