Choosing the Perfect Paint and Color for Your Rooms

So many things contribute to the ambiance of a room, and when you are decorating or redecorating, it's up to you to consider all of them. One of the most important and obvious aspects of decoration is the color and feel of the walls. If you have an idea of what you want your room to look and feel like, then you're already on the right track! Here are some tips on choosing paint so you can get closer to having your dream room.
Oil or Latex?
Most interior paint work is done with latex paint, but there are pros and cons to both. Oil paint is durable, temperature resistant, and seals better. Oil paint is also better for materials such as metal or steel, since latex paint doesn't stick to these surfaces as well. However, oil paint also smells very strong and takes a long time to dry. It also doesn't stand the test of time very well; it can crack and yellow, or fade. Finally, because oil paint seals so well, it doesn't allow air through, and therefore is more likely to mold. Latex paint, on the other hand, is easier to use because spills or mistakes can be cleaned easily, and doesn't usually fade, crack, or chalk. Latex paint is also non-flammable. However, it also is not as resistant to stains seeping through as oil paint is, and not as temperature-resistant (it may shrink).
Latex paint offers various options for finish, which is also important to the feel of a room. Flat paints are defined by a matte finish, and create more of a calming feel, while high-gloss finishes are probably best left for trim and doorways. However, something to keep in mind: the glossier the paint, the more durable it is. A flat finish has the advantage of hiding flaws, and is ideal for a sitting room, living room, or bedroom (perhaps not a child's bedroom, since it is the least-durable finish). Satin (or eggshell) finishes have a slight sheen, but are still flat enough to be calming. Satin finishes are more appropriate for children's bedrooms or hallways. Semi-gloss has a more noticeable shine, and is good for highlighting, or heavy traffic and moisture areas, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Finally, a gloss finish provides a nice highlight for trim, doors, cabinets, handrails, etc.
While type of paint and finish are certainly important, their significance is much more subtle than the importance of the color. When selecting a color, you should keep in mind what kind of room it is, and how you want people to feel when they are in that room. Reds, while not commonly used to paint whole rooms, can conjure of feelings of romance and strength. Yellow is pleasant, and can make people feel cheerful. Orange is warm and welcoming, while greens are stunning, and conjure up images of wealth and elegance. Finally, blue has a calming effect, and will make people feel at ease.
These are all things to consider very carefully while planning the design of your room. The above advice should help ease your process. Happy painting!

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