4 Questions to Ask Before Painting a Room

Picking out paint

How much paint do I need for my room? If you’re starting a project painting any room in your house, you might have a lot of questions. What’s the best paint for hiding stains? Is there crib safe paint for my baby’s room? What about floor paint? What are the health effects from VOCs? How much paint do I need for my room? Read on for some important questions to ask before you paint, and the answers!

  1. What do I want the room to feel like? One of the first questions you want to ask is about color, and color choices are very individual and dependent on how we feel. If you want to feel energized by a room, you’ll want warmer colors. If you want to feel calm and relaxed, neutral or cool tones are usually the best choices. Color can have some interesting effects on resale value, too. Zillow did a Paint Colors Analysis in 2017 and found that homes with blue bathrooms were typically sold for an average of $5,400 more than was expected.
  2. How is the room going to be used? Is this an area of high traffic, or will it be the baby’s room? If you’re painting a porch you won’t need to worry too much about VOCs, as there is time and air for them to dissipate. If you’re trying to find paint for the nursery, however, it’s a different story. The VOC levels in an ordinary paint can be high, and levels over 500 ppb can be problematic for anyone with chemical sensitivities. These problems can be especially hard on children, making it more likely they will develop allergies and asthma. The concentration of VOCs indoors is typically two to five times greater than concentrations out of doors, and paint is one important cause of these concentrations. It’s important to make sure children’s rooms are painted with low VOC paint or even no VOC paint. Look for paint that is labeled natural or non-toxic and contain VOCs at 5g/L or less.
  3. How much paint do I need for my room? A gallon of paint can usually cover about 400 square feet. The average room is more like 800, so two gallons of paint is usually sufficient. When asking yourself “how much paint do I need for my room” be sure to note not only the size of the room but also how many coats you’ll want (at least two) and whether or not you’ll be painting the ceiling. Remember to calculate your square footage by removing windows and doors as well, unless you’re planning on painting the doors with the same paint.
  4. What is the best paint for hiding stains? If you know you will have stains to hide on the wall, you’ll want either paint that you can wash, textured paint, or colors that camouflage the dirt. There are a number of good washable flat paints. These are great for any places where kids or animals will be coming in and out a lot. If you used a textured painting technique you can hide a lot of shoe scuffs and fingerprints. If you want colors that hide the dirt, go with browns, greys, warm reds and purples, or dark orange.

Painting is a big but rewarding chore. Nothing brightens and refreshes a room like a new coat of paint. Choose your paint carefully and you’ll have the room of your dreams in no time.

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