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What’s the first thing you do when you get a new canvas? Any artists out there?
You prime it, you gesso it, you prepare your surface for the masterpiece you about to create. And for a home, you paint it, every last square inch of it.
If you’re buying a home, I can not recommend getting that sucker painted from top to bottom before moving in enough. Not only does it give you a fresh beginning and blank slate, you get to remove a good bit of evidence of the last residents. Sure they might have been lovely people, but shoot, this is your home now. You don’t want to see the part of the house their cat drug their body all over or where the teenage boy set his feet while he was playing be video games in his lime green room. Okay, well that might not be your experience, but it was ours and it had to be taken care of, one of those non-negotiables. And the whole thing was beige. To know me is to know I hate beige.
We knew we wanted white walls and an even whiter ceiling. But OH MY GOODNESS do you know how many thousands of shades of white there are?? Enter Pinterest. Don’t you dare even start at the paint store, you’ll want to kill yourself via paint swatch paper cuts. How do you expect to pick a whole house color by looking at 2“ squares? Does it have yellow undertones? Does it read blue in the morning but pink by evening? And guess what: that paint color in your friends home, its gonna look different in yours.
Once you’ve narrowed down those paint color contenders on Pinterest, searching whole rooms and whole houses that may have used that color, NOW you get to go to that paint store you’ve been bugging your husband or wife about. Get those wonderful little sample sizes and tiny little brushes and skip back home and slap up some real life size samples in all of the rooms you’re going to paint. Now, stand back and admire your handiwork, you’re about 40% of the way to deciding your whole home color.
Take note of these samples at different times of day; morning light, bright mid-day light, evening light, cloudy days, and at night. paint the trim color next to it. How do the two work together?
Side note: Do yourself a favor, find a painter that doesn’t try to push his color choices on you. Any time he would check in with us he made SURE we REALLY wanted white walls. “It going to be sterile . Your children are going to get them dirty. The trim won’t stand out” DUDE. chill. If it were up to this guy, every home in the surrounding Denver area would be the same shade of greyyyyyy. Hard pass.
Wam bam we’ve narrowed ourselves down to two colors: both Benjamin Moore. Dove Wing (OC-18) and Classic Grey (OC-23).
I will full crazy person and painted THE BIGGEST swatches. My whole house was going to be this color! Do you see how tall these walls are?! It had to be right, and I had to be sure. And with those big swatches, came answers. Classic grey is a gorgeous color, I recommend it to everyone as a starting point, I really haven’t come across a space that it does not work in . But to be nit picky, it was reading cooler than I had envisioned for the house. Dove Wing it was!! With Benjamin Moore Simply white trim and ceiling.
Biggest thing you can save money on in home renovations is painting. And its really the biggest bang for your buck. But you can do it yourself and save so much money. This was the first time we had ever hired painters, otherwise I have painted whole houses myself and saved thousands. But remember those 25 foot walls and the grimy ceilings also 25 feet up? Without renting scaffolding for weeks and weeks this job would be impossible and in this instance, we hired out. We did however tackle the lime green and bright yellow rooms on our own, as well as the doors. That alone saved us hundreds.
So there you have it. Step one in sprucing this place up and making it ours. PAINT. The power of paint, people, it’s incredible.