Decorating Dilemma: Where to start with painting?

new 2 doorsPaint is one of the most cost effective improvements you can make to your home – especially when you first buy or are getting ready to sell.

A few tips to help you get the most from a paint job:

1)  Use a professional: I don’t recommend painting yourself. Painters are cost effective and well worth it. Plus, painting yourself always takes more time than you anticipate.

2) Evaluate quotes: Paint quotes can very widely. What’s important to verify is the prep (i.e. fixing cracks, filling holes, priming). The cheapest quote may have very little prep and the final job will reflect this.

3) Paint the trim: While it is more labor intensive and can be costly, it is usually well worth it to have the trim painted. Trim gets beat up and scratched. If you just paint the walls, you probably won’t get that freshly painted and finished look. And don’t forget the ceilings – they get dingy too.

4) Create continuity: I think interiors look bigger and more finished if the same trim color is carried throughout the house (see above photo). Also think about how colors will work together from room to room.

5) Add finishing touches: I like a “quarter round” – the small round piece of trim at the base of your floorboard – painted the same color as the trim (versus stained).  For a traditional look, I like painting the back of stair risers the trim color, leaving the actual steps stained.

6) Indicate level of sheen: Paints are made with different levels of sheen.  It is generally recommended to do light or no sheen (eggshell or flat) on walls and more sheen (semi-gloss) on trim. Bathroom and kitchen walls can benefit from more sheen (satin or semi-gloss), making them easier to clean.

Do you need help with a decorating project? Check out my services! I’d love to assist you:  202-905-5369 /


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