Whether you are updating tired rooms or preparing to sell your home, painting, and drywall are relatively quick and inexpensive ways to freshen things up and add character. Your home contractor can help with the drywall repairs and preparation, like filling nail pops and holes from picture hangers, repairing corner and joint cracks and replacing loose tape and then take care of the actual painting, but choosing the colors is up to you. With so many choices, this task can seem daunting, but these painting tips will make things easier. You may also find some new ways to use paint.

•   If you want to use the same color already on the walls, add a little interest by framing the room with gloss or semi-gloss paint in the same hue to the trim and doors. Not only does this set off the room itself, but it also adds separation from one room to another, and gloss and semi-gloss paints add durability to those spots.

•   Don’t stop with the walls. Update your living room, dining room or bedrooms by taking a rich color all the way up to include the ceiling. If you’re worried about it being too much of a good thing, consider a stenciled pattern on the ceiling, using the wall color and a complimentary one.

•    Update your dated kitchen by painting the cabinets and installing new hardware. Your old, boring cabinets will take on a whole new character with a change of color. Take flat-fronted doors to an even higher level by adding decorative molding before the cabinets are painted.

•   Look at the artwork, pillows, rugs and other accessories in the room, and pick out your favorite color of those in the piece. Make this your wall color. If it’s too overwhelming for all of the walls, either choose a single accent wall for that color or use a less saturated version on three of the walls and the more intense hue on the final one.

•   Consider the lighting in the room when selecting paint colors. Natural lighting shows the truest version of the color, while incandescent lighting brings out the yellow in warmer colors and fluorescents cast a bluish tone. Because of this, especially bright colors may overpower the room if used on a wall adjacent to a large window. In that case, consider a different wall that lets you show off the color in more indirect lighting.

Whether you do all the work yourself or hire a professional, paint is an easy and economical way to turn “meh” into “marvelous”!

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