Monday, December 20, 2010

A touch of paint adds up to a bright home, livable home for the new year

Painting can make all the difference in how potential buyers perceive you home.

As 2010 takes its last bow, it’s time for a fresh, new outlook. Pack away those holiday decorations and give your home a bright look that will lift your spirits and position your home as more marketable. There are many small projects that can be done in a weekend, but nothing makes more of an impact than painting.

It’s amazing how much a coat of paint can change the outlook of a room. Color makes a great difference, so start with a quart of your color choice just to make sure you like it, and it shows well during different times of day.

When you buy paint, consider the type of finish and how well it will hold up. The most common finishes for walls and woodwork are eggshell and satin because they are easy to clean and give a crisp finish. Eggshell has a lower gloss than satin. In some cases, these finishes will show imperfections in the walls, so good wall prep and plastering are a must before you paint.

Other choices include flat, or matte, which has no sheen and can be hard to clean. High gloss finishes aren’t used much for interiors, but they are becoming popular for a dramatic look on cabinets and very modern designs.

Usually homeowners are counseled to present their homes in neutral colors, but don’t restrict yourself to whites and creams. Done well, even a contrasting wall in a related color will be pleasing to potential buyers. For instance, if you have a wall with French doors leading to a patio, you can make that wall a focal point with a darker shade of paint. Because the focal point wall has natural lighting, a darker paint won’t minimize the size of your room.

Crown molding is a great selling point now. Show it off with a different color than your walls, but keep the ceiling light to make the room more expansive.

Since you will be painting in the wintertime and have a limited ability to open windows for ventilation, it’s important that you choose a low or zero VOC paint. This type of paint does not release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home. These paints have a slight odor when applied and no odor after curing. They are just as durable as traditional paints and are less harmful to you and your environment.

Get started soon. A painting project is just what you need to brighten your home and your life.

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