Five Must-Read Rules for Painting Your Home


Follow these five must-read rules for choosing paint for your home. Picking a paint color can be overwhelming but fun. The color you choose is the color that you walk into every day and feel. It’s the color that you coordinate with your furnishings. It is the color that tells the story of your home. It’s also something that you don’t typically change often.

Rule #1 Neutral Colors

Pick a neutral color for most of your home. You can choose two additional colors in the same tones for other parts of your home. Also, consider what your trim color will be and your colors of metals and wood in the home. If you grab those swatches, place them together, and look at how the tones are warm and cool.

The lighter the color, the larger the space will feel. You will also want a lighter color in darker spaces. If your home has a northern-facing wall, you will want to go light, whereas a southern-facing wall can be slightly darker. It’s always a good choice to stay within the white, neutral, grey, greige colors. Going bold was for accent walls in the 2000s. Also, paint the whole home one color, so there is a flow to your house. Do not worry about kid rooms in this, but if you haven’t chosen colors for their rooms, just paint them the same color as the home. Also, think about your décor for your home and the color you will have in those rooms.

Rule #2 Do not choose your paint color for your home from a paint swatch at the store

Those paint swatches are quite fun to look at. Grab as many as you can in the neutral color you desire and bring them home. Once you have stared at them all in each room in your home and compared each warm and cool color select a minimum of 4 paints to sample.

Rule #3 Choose the paint finish correctly

When you are getting your paint samples, try to get samples in the correct paint finish. Also, flat white for a ceiling is your best option. It keeps the ceilings higher in your eye, and you won’t see any imperfections. You will not regret painting your home in the eggshell finish. If you use flat, you will have soft buttery walls, but you will have to go around fixing any mark made by painting over it.

Also, realize if your walls aren’t painted, you need to prime the drywall. Otherwise, you will waste lots of paints as the porous drywall structure will suck up the paint. You can buy paint with primer in it, which helps, or paint your home in a primer for easy painting. When you get your sample in the correct paint finishes for your room, paint it in multiple spots around the home.

Buy your trim and wall paint so you can see how everything goes together. Paint large swatches and look at them over a few days so you can see them in all kinds of light. Remember, there are seasons and times when a home is darker or lighter. It’s always better to go with a lighter paint color than a darker one.

Paint Finish rules: 

Main walls-Eggshell (makes it easy to clean and wipe down and isn’t shiny)

Ceilings- Flat (Hides imperfections)

Bathrooms – Semi-Gloss (Easy to clean and great for higher humidity areas)

Trim/ Baseboards- Semi-Gloss to Gloss (makes them easy to wipe and is better for the material being painted.

Rule #4 Buy extra

Make sure you purchase enough paint in the correct finish for your home. Typically, a 10 X 10 room will take 1.5 gallons of paint, but that also depends on how much paint is on the wall already. Realize if you have textured walls, you will need paint that can cover that wall. There are many different paints now that will cover texture very easily.

There are also one-coat paints that are thicker and make it, so you don’t have to keep applying coats. If there are darker colors under your neutral paint, it may take a couple of coats, so you don’t see the paint coming through. Realizing that can make a difference in your paint color as well.

Buying extra is important not necessarily right away, but when you need to touch up your walls, you will want to make sure you have the correct paint brand and color numbers. It is difficult to go back and match the paint.

Rule # 5 Learn how to paint properly

If you aren’t hiring a company to paint for you, make sure you purchase quality brushes and rollers. These items matter when you are painting and matter for the look of the paint after.  If you plan to paint yourself, learn how to paint, edge, do trim, and pace yourself. It takes a lot of time to paint a whole house. If you are painting your home prior to moving in, you will have an easier time than having to cover all of your furniture.

Once it is on the walls, enjoy your freshly painted home.