May 12, 2019

What to Look for When Buying House Paint

Whether you have moved into a new home, are in the middle of a renovation project or are just ready for a change, there may be questions around what to look for when buying house paint. We’ve got you covered.

How Much Paint Do I Need?

There’s nothing worse than being halfway through a painting project and then realizing you don’t quite have enough to finish. Lucky for you, we have a cheat sheet on how to calculate how much paint you need.

Before you begin painting your home, it’s important to calculate how much paint you will need. To estimate the total square footage of a room, simply use this square footage calculation:

Total Length of the Walls x Height of Room = Square Footage of Room

But what about windows and trim? You’ll want to paint your windows and trim a different color than your wall paint, so you don’t need to factor them into your square footage calculation. A simple rule of thumb is to subtract 20 square feet for each door and 15 square feet for each window in a room.

Painting new walls with drywall? Easy enough. You’ll need slightly more than a gallon to cover a 400 square foot drywall space, so count on 1.5 gallons to be safe.

What about ceiling paint? We have a calculation for that, too. To determine how much paint you need for a ceiling, multiply the length of the ceiling times its width, then divide that number by 400 to determine how many gallons you’ll need. For example, if you have a 14’ x 20’ room, your calculation will look like this:

14 ft x 20 ft = 280 square feet

280 sq. feet ÷ 400 = .7 gallons of paint

How Do I Coordinate Paint Colors?

Once you have calculated how much paint you’ll need to paint your home, now comes the fun part: Coordinating paint colors.

When it comes to choosing paint colors for your home, there are a handful of steps that you can follow.

  1. First, take inventory of your rooms. Start by making a list of all of the rooms in your home, whether you intend to paint them right now or not. Break your list into categories: The Room, The Current Paint Color, The New Color/Inspiration Color. If you really want to dig into it, include photos of each room for reference as well as digital paint swatches of the inspiration color, so you can visualize how everything will work together.
  2. Think about how you want to feel. We could sit in a Sauterne painted room all day and feel the most relaxed we’ve ever felt. And there’s a reason for that. Depending on the shade of pink, a person entering a room can either feel playful or soothed. Think about how you want to feel inside of your space and choose colors that are closely tied to that feeling. Here are some general ideas to get you started:
    • Bedroom: Relaxed and at ease
    • Kitchen: Warm, welcome and creative
    • Dining Room: Nostalgic and comforting
    • Living Room: Happy and energized
    • Bathroom: Elegant and pampered
    • Child’s Room: Whimsical
  3. Consider lighting. So you’ve picked Midnight Magic as your dining room color of choice, because it just exudes nostalgia and comfort to you. But your dining room is small and the light is a little lack-luster. Is it the right paint color for a small room? Consider what light sources are in your dining room, as well as what light sources you can incorporate. Do you have at least one natural light source? What about your light fixtures? Can you swap out your current ceiling fixture for one that casts a wider glow?
  4. Finally, once you’ve tested your color choices across lighting and mood criteria, assess how the colors blend as a whole. Are you jumping from a bright, golden wash room to a dark and moody living room? Think about how those two colors contrast against each other and work to lessen the shock.

You want your paint transitions to tell a story within your home.

What Paint Sheen Should I Choose?

Once you’ve landed on the perfect paint color combinations for your home, you’ll want to determine what type of paint sheens to purchase in each of those colors.

A general rule of thumb to follow is: The higher the shine, the more durable your paint will be.

How Will My Paint Colors Work With My Decor?

Choosing paint colors that work with your decor is a crucial final step in what to look for when buying house paint. Just like you want your entire house paint colors to tell a story, that story should be supported by the items that decorate your home.

Equally important to consider is whether or not you plan on updating your staple design pieces anytime soon. Are you itching to switch some of your more traditional pieces with mid-century staples?

Keep your decorating style in mind when you’re choosing your paint colors. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • What are some of your favorite things in your home right now?
  • What is it about those things that inspires you or that you love?
  • Which do you rank higher, sentimental value or aesthetic?
  • Are you drawn to rooms that have a lot of decor or would you rather the room be more minimalistic?

You could argue that it’s easier to repaint your room than buy new furniture but will you actually want to repaint? Plus, large shifts in color could be a headache to repaint and ensure the paint actually covers.

Ask the Experts

At James T. Davis, we can help you look at the whole picture of your home and help you know what to look for when buying house paint. Our free design consultations will walk you through paint choices, lighting options, window treatments and decor items that will all work together to tell a beautiful story in your home.

Let us help. Contact us today!

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