Painting 101: The Basics

Whether you’re trying to wake up a tired space, highlight some important features or disguise unnecessary ones, painting is the easiest and most popular way to do it. However, it can be quite the task and literally a pain in the back! My first painting expedition taught me the importance of planning and patience to turn this seemingly daunting task into a fun filled activity!

Today’s post will be the first of many where I hope to touch every aspect of painting a space, from prepping the room to applying textures and stencils. Let’s start off with some basic guidelines on choosing the right paint color and tips on preparing the room before painting:

Step 1: Selecting the paint color

Before you even step out to buy paint, establish a color scheme. Once this critical decision has been made, the rest is just a matter of execution! Here are a few tips on where to start:

  1. Start by deciding what you’d like the finished space to feel like:


Soothing 2

Multi color



red and cheerful


Dramatic main


b. Consider using an accent paint to highlight the architectural features of the room like window frames, doors, molding or baseboards. Here are some great examples of this:

Archi details 1

Archi details 2

dramatic dining2

archi details 3

c. Keep in mind the color of your existing flooring and other dominant accessories while making your selection. If you plan to shop for new fabrics and accessories, buy them beforehand because choices for these items are far lesser than paint colors. Once you’ve got all the key elements of your room in place, it’s all about picking complementary hues of paint.

I like how the walls of this room complement the chair and frame of the mirror

I like how the walls of this room complement the floor, chair fabric and the mirror frame

 d. Take advantage of these tools in your search for the perfect paint:

  •  COLOURlovers shows the color palette below each of the spaces it showcases. It’s such a useful way to find complementary colors for your paint and other room accessories:


  • Benjamin Moore’s  Color Capture app is another great tool. If you’re out and about and see a color you like, snap a pic and use it to find a matching paint color!

e. Lastly, buy a small tester paint and try it on a small portion of your wall, preferably in a corner close to the floor. Live with it for at least a day before you decide to proceed or change course!

Step 2: Prepping the Room

  1. Move furniture and any other obstructive items out of the way. Cover up any left over furniture using tarp or old bedsheets which you won’t miss.
  2. Don’t forget to cover the floor using an anti-slip drop cloth as well.
  3. Lastly, tape up any power points, light fixtures and door knobs which may become painting casualties!

Check out a quick video on this over at This Old House.

Hope these tips give you a great start to painting your space. Look out for the next post on sanding, priming and painting!

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31. July 2013 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Shared your post on my Pinterest board:

    Also, shared on my group Pinterest board – G+ Interior Design Community – Style Makers

  2. really like the pic of the light teal and white living room with opposing trim paints alternated, on the architectual features.
    I can sell that to clients!
    Liz…Elegant Living Decorating

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