YOUR PAINT QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
On social media, we asked for your biggest challenges when it comes to picking a paint color, and we got an astonishing number of replies. Below, a few helpful pointers for some of the most intriguing conundrums.
ALICIA A., COHOES, NEW YORK Wallpapered accent walls are becoming more popular than painted ones, but the latter aren’t totally passé. To keep the treatment from looking busy, only accentuate self-contained rectangular or square walls.
KRYS A., ONTARIO, CANADA
Pick an off-white that plays well with your flooring or carpeting. With warmtoned floors (say, tan carpet or red oak hardwood), opt for a white that’s fairly bright but not cold, like SherwinWilliams’s Greek Villa, suggests Lisa Moon, owner of Paper Moon Painting in San Antonio. Benjamin Moore’s Simply White is reliable for trim and doors.
LEAH B., KINGSTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
The most successful combination is usually darker paint on lower cabinets and white on upper cabinets; this prevents colors from competing with each other. “A pale gray can be used instead of white,” Hayslett adds. For the lower half of your cabinetry, deep blues, like Sherwin-Williams’s Indigo Batik and Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, and rich greens, like Benjamin Moore’s Backwoods and Cedar Mountains, are popular now, Moon says.
“My kitchen is open to my family room. Should I pick the same color for both?” KRIS B., ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA “Yes! This helps make the space feel bigger and cohesive,” Hayslett says. If you’re set on varying the colors, “stick to shades on one strip from a paint deck,” advises Taniya Nayak of Taniya Nayak Design in Boston.
“All our trim is stained, and I want to paint it. Is that still the thing to do, or should I stay with the stained look?” LUMI C., BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
We say go for it. “Unless you’re in a mountain lodge, a true ranch house, or a heritage Craftsman, there’s no reason to leave the trim stained if you don’t like it,” Moon says. Painted trim can be just as classic and will brighten up your space. It doesn’t occupy much visual square footage, but it does carry a lot of visual weight.
EMILY B., CHICAGO Updating every 10 or 15 years is inevitable. Paint is one of the more budgetfriendly home upgrades, so it’s a doable project for most homeowners every decade or so, Moon says.
PETER L., TAMPA, FLORIDA
Nearly 7 in 10 members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recommend that a seller paint before listing. “There’s a stronger reliance now on photos and video tours, and a fresh paint job will be apparent in the virtual world and in person,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. Most buyers can visualize their own things in a new space much more easily if they don’t have to imagine a color change on the walls as well. Neutrals are the way to go, and the lighter the better, Moon advises.