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Painting tips for your home


Couple painting wall

Paint can with paint sampleAdd some drama

Want a look with a little more zing? Don’t think you have to limit yourself to just one color — or just one style of application. For a bold, classic look, for example, consider choosing two colors that complement each other and paint stripes!

Find out how to paint stripes on your wall >>

Jamie Hurd, Academic Department Director of Interior Design at The Art Institute of Portland in Oregon, suggests you consider adding visual interest with the background colors in the room. “Perhaps choose one wall to paint a different color than the rest, and embellish that wall with stencils and accents, or divide the walls from top to bottom, similar to a wainscot,” she says. “This allows for more color in the room, as well as the opportunity for semi-gloss paints to be used [on the bottom portion] for easy cleanup.”

5 Painting tips & tricks

Paint can do more than brighten your room — and your mood. It can also make your living space seem bigger or smaller, depending on how you use your colors.

How to make the ceiling appear higher

Dark colors can make the ceiling seem lower, while lighter shades reflect more and will make the room feel more spacious. Often, decorators choose to paint the ceiling with a slightly lighter tint than the color on the walls to subtly trick the eye.

paint samplesHow to make the room seem wider

If you have a long, narrow room, consider a drama wall, painting the wall at the far end a darker shade than the longer walls. Darker colors generally appear to recede, creating an illusion of width, while lighter colors will seem to be closer.

How to make the room appear larger

To make a small room look larger, choose a light-colored paint and select furnishings in the same color family. (Or, paint some of the furniture to match the walls!) Along with some judicious rearranging of furniture and other elements, using lighter colors can create the illusion of roominess when actual space is limited.

How to use lighting to enhance your space

Light can dramatically affect how a color appears. The same wall can look different morning, noon and night — depending on the lighting. Different types of bulbs or natural light sources like windows and skylights can change how your color looks.

How to make a space feel cozier

Color can also be used to make a large space seem cozier and less… imposing . Using darker colors in a large bedroom can make it more intimate and romantic. Try deep reds or get bold with some black paint. Just make sure you’re prepared to use more subtle furniture to compliment the eye-catching wall colors.


Be bold with your paint colors. When choosing your palette, don’t feel limited to whites and beiges throughout. Have some fun, and remember that color is a powerful and inexpensive decorating tool — and one that can make a real statement. Figuring out just what you want that statement to be is up to you!

Watch: How to make your own chalkboard paint

Learn how to make your own chalkboard paint.

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