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Domestice Details: Picture-Perfect Paint Tips

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Domestice Details: Picture-Perfect Paint Tips

Innovative formulas offer style shortcuts to refreshed rooms

Without a doubt, the easiest, most affordable way to transform a room is with a fresh coat of paint, which can change everything from the tone of the interior light to which colours stand out in furnishings, art and accessories.

Now, special formulations also make it possible to paint everything from walls to textile to furniture, with new options for texture and sheen.

IT’S NOT JUST PAINT

Dulux Paints, for example, has introduced two-step, light-reflecting products with burnished finishes called Venetian Silk and Liquid Metal.

Low humidity and moderate temperatures make fall a great time to paint outdoors.

In June, Benjamin Moore introduced to the Canadian market Century paint, an “ultra-premium” collection of 75 new colours with a suede-like matte finish. The saturated tones were inspired by gems, minerals, spices, herbs and plants—many of which were among the original sources of paint pigments.

SENSE OF TOUCH

Benjamin Moore paint expert Sharon Grech thinks the soft finish will be especially appealing to those who embrace hand- and custom made design. “People are looking for the handcrafted. Here, you don’t just see the colour, the experience becomes tactile.”

With some patience, and a steady hand, DIY paint stripes can define a room.

If a whole room re-do isn’t feasible, tired furniture and thrift-shop finds can be given new life with easy-to-use chalks paints from Annie Sloan or milks paints from Toronto based Homestead Paints.

WHERE TO START?

Many people, says Grech, want to “dive into colour” but are unsure about how to choose a shade that’s liveable and long lasting. For inspiration, she suggests looking to a beloved print or a treasured souvenir from a family trip that can serve as a starting point for a palette.

“Pick a favourite colour, and make the room about what you love,” she says.

However you arrive at the perfect hue, the following tips will produce a more professional-looking result.

EXPERT PAINT TIPS

“If you want a premium job, do premium preparation,” says Grech. That means cleaning walls, filling holes, and repairing damaged areas. Smooth these out with sandpaper and give the entire wall a final light sanding and wipedown. Use the correct primer for the paint. Check the surface again after priming, as it can sometimes reveal imperfections.

Good lighting is critical to a superior paint job. Floor lamps with the shades removed work well for this.

The Dulux website (which has a series of how-to videos) explains that rollers—ideal for painting large areas and ceilings—come in foam, mohair or sheepskin, and with various lengths of pile. The type of roller you need depends on the paint. For example, they suggest that foam rollers don’t typically work well with latex paints, as the spongy texture can produce an orange-peel effect.

Chalk paints are forgiving and fun to use.

Dulux advises that brushes made from natural bristles should not be used in water-based paints—they absorb water and swell, destroying the shape of the brush—and that synthetic brushes that stand on their bristles in solvent will develop a fatal curl.

Always paint from dry to wet, keeping a “wet edge.” Save breaks until you hit a corner rather than in the middle of a wall.

Extension poles aid in rolling longer, more efficient strokes, save bending over to refill, and make a wet edge easier to maintain.

Don’t try and save time or money by getting by on one coat. The pros always do (at least) two in order to get the true development of the colour.

Vicky Sanderson

PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF FARROW & BALL (TURQUOISE DOOR, STRIPED ROOM WITH DOG), COURTESY OF ANNIE SLOAN (COLOURFUL CHEST)

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