Sunday, September 2, 2012

A primer on paint

News that my niece, Trisha, was expecting her first child brought smiles to everyone in the family. Not only because we are happy for her and daddy-to-be Frank, but excited to share in the fun days ahead such as decorating the baby’s room. Among the projects already completed is a handcrafted oak highchair. My brother, Allan, inherited our grandfather’s skills as a master craftsman and had plans for the highchair long before news of the little one arrived.
The baby girl (aka Sophie or Ava maybe) is due Sept. 22.

So we are off and running. Among the biggest tasks for the parents-to-be was choosing the colors for the baby’s room. However, my niece, like her mother, is a trailblazer when it comes to decorating: She enjoys coming up with fresh ideas rather than following trends. So she chose bright green and purple as colors for the room instead of traditional pink, and added natural wood pieces including an antique wardrobe to create an environment that is both soothing and colorful.

However, she’s got her mom’s (even her grandmother’s) knack for decorating. For other new moms, knowing how to get started can feel overwhelming. One source for information – and great ideas if you have the time to browse their website – is the experts at Glidden. Some of my best decorating plans came after visiting the company’s photo gallery. 

Check out these tips to help you choose the best type and color of paint, while keeping the process quick and stress-free:

Picking the finish or sheen, that means the look that the paint has when it’s dry, is a good first step. What type of sheen you choose will also make a difference when it comes to cleaning up things like spilled milk. High-gloss paint is probably the easiest to clean, but it can be overpowering. The alternative is a semi-gloss which has a soft shine and can be easily cleaned with common non-abrasive cleaners. Eggshell satin paint is also easy to clean and has a smooth and subtle sheen. For low-traffic areas that require a paint that will hide blemishes, choose flat sheen paint.

When it comes to colors, look for inspiration online in galleries created by professional decorators or even websites such as Pinterest – where talented DIYers share their work. Among the new colors by Glidden are Celery Sticks, Bubblegum Pink, Iced Purple, Spring Bluebell, Early Morning Sun and Walnut Bark. Spring Green and Iced Purple are the colors that Trisha chose, lending themselves to natural d├ęcor featuring animals of the rainforest. 

Still not sure? Give the colors a try. Most paint companies now offer testers that come with a built-in brush and hold enough paint to cover 3 square feet so you can experiment with several colors before making a final decision.

The painting process:
Once you’ve decided on a color painters recommend using a combination paint and primer. 
Choose a paint that dries quickly and has low odor.

Invest in several rolls of painter’s tape and mask off any wood trim, hardware, or elements in the room you do not want to paint -- that includes wearing old clothes or an apron to protect your best jeans.

Open the windows or be absolutely sure the room is well ventilated while you paint.

Paint the room from top (ceiling) to bottom (baseboards) working on one wall or area at a time.

If you’re using a roller, paint in blocks of roughly 4-by-4 feet and then move on to the next block before the block dries so the edges blend.

To estimate how much paint you’ll need for the project or more tips and decorating ideas visit: www.Glidden.com.
For questions or comments, email gina.joseph@macombdaily.com.

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