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How to Choose the Right Paint Color

Committing to the right shade is a challenge. Use these tips for picking the perfect palette.

1. Look for inspiration. Page through your favorite decor magazines and catalogs, tear out the pages you like, and bring them to be color matched at your local paint store.

2. Examine your wardrobe. Take a good, hard look in your closet. Is there a common color theme? If you’re seeing lots of blues, you’re most likely drawn to cooler shades (and you might not even realize it!).

3. Play matchmaker. It’s important that your paint works with the other elements of your space. Give your paint specialist a frame of reference. Bring along fabric swatches, rug swatches, and tile samples.

4. Go online! Lots of paint sites have cool, interactive tools that let you play with different color combos quickly and easily. It’s like risk-free redecorating!

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Painting Q&A

painting Q&A, painting & DIY

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Got questions on paint? We've got some too.

Q: How much is enough?
A: One gallon covers 350 square feet. Divide the total square feet (length times width) of your room by 350 for each coat.

Q: Can we paint over wallpaper?
A: Technically, yes. Strategically, no. You’ll see the seams unless you skim coat with a special compound. And you have to use an oil-based primer to seal the paper. There isn't a guarantee of no show-through, and it makes it harder to remove the paper later. If you’re going to do all that work, why not just remove the paper now with a chemical wallpaper stripper?

Q: How many coats?
A: If you’re painting over a white wall with another shade of white, one coat should be enough. If you’re painting over a color, you'll probably need two coats.

Q: How long between each coat?
A: A coat of latex paint dries in about three hours. It’s best to wait until your first coat is dry to start the next one.

-- Miles Stiverson

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