HANDY GIRL

Do It Yourself - - Features - WORDS KELLY ROBER­SON

Tackle your cold-weather house up­dates and re­pairs with a lit­tle help from Handy Girl.

Our homes never stop need­ing love and at­ten­tion. But dur­ing cold months, your time (and your bud­get) may have other pri­or­i­ties. Handy Girl rides to the res­cue with bud­get-smart tips to keep your home in shape so

you can fo­cus on hol­i­day cheer. I WENT THROUGH A RED PHASE, BUT I’M PAST THAT. NOW I WANT ROOMS THAT ARE LIGHT AND BREEZY. BUT THE

THOUGHT OF PAINT­ING OVER THAT DARK COLOR FREAKS ME OUT—I KEEP THINK­ING ABOUT THE EX­TRA WORK AND EX­TRA PAINT. HELP!

A: I had a for­est green phase. We all have those col­ors or pat­terns that we fall in love with—and then out of love with. Lucky for you, a paint color is an easy phase to leave be­hind. Whether you’re go­ing from light to dark or dark to light, the most im­por­tant thing is prep: You have to, have to, have to prep your walls. That in­cludes:

• FIX AND FILL ANY HOLES Filler and a fine-grit sand­pa­per should do the trick.

• WASH THE WALLS Wipe a just barely damp cloth or sponge over the whole sur­face to re­move dust and dirt.

• TAPE OFF Cre­ate a clean break be­tween wall and trim, if you need to.

Here’s the thing about paint­ing over dark col­ors: Primer re­ally does help. It adds a step but in the end saves so much headache. Pick the ap­pro­pri­ate white primer (gray primer is best if you’re go­ing light to dark) and let it dry ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­turer direc­tions. Then, and only then, you can paint to ban­ish those red walls for­ever (or un­til you change your mind again). I LOVE COLOR, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START WHEN PICK­ING A NEW HUE. WHERE CAN I GO FOR SURE­FIRE COLOR PICKS?

A: Ev­ery­one is hav­ing a color mo­ment. The Pan­tone Color of the Year is an ea­gerly awaited (and oft hash­tagged) event. Paint com­pa­nies are adding to the con­ver­sa­tion with their own color of the year des­ig­na­tions. The great thing about paint trends to­day is there re­ally is some­thing for ev­ery­one. Here are a few re­cent picks that caught my eye.

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