Best Paints – Consumer Reports News –

Three easy painting projects that’ll brighten your home

A fresh coat of paint can make a dramatic difference to any space in your home. If you’re planning to entertain this holiday season, now’s the time to tackle the project, before you get sucked into the vortex of shopping, menu planning, and party going. Color injected into smaller spaces often has the most impact. Below are three projects to consider. They can each be finished in a weekend and should leave a lasting impression well beyond the holidays.

The design possibilities are practically endless, given the plethora of inspiring design magazines and websites out there. Manufacturer websites are helpful too, since most offer interactive color-finding tools. And remember that in-store color-matching technologies are so advanced that you can choose your favorite hue from one company and get it in paint from another.  Before you start you’ll need the following:

FrogTape Delicate Surface
  • One or two gallons of top-performing paint
  • One 9-inch paint roller frame and two 3/8-inch nap roller covers
  • One 2-inch angled nylon brush for trim work and edging
  • One paint tray with a couple plastic liners
  • One small hand-held paint bucket
  • Drop cloths
  • Painters tape. (FrogTape Delicate Surface, $6 to $9 per roll, left a sharp line and was very easy to remove in Consumer Reports’ tests.)

Energize Your Entryway

A new paint job in the foyer will help invigorate the surrounding living spaces. And most entryways consist of just one or two walls, making this a manageable project. You might choose a color that’s slightly deeper than the adjacent living room, to make that space feel more expansive. Or if the entry is poorly lit, a lively shade of yellow or other bright color can make it warmer and more welcoming.

If the foyer isn’t your main entrance, consider paint with a flat finish, which can add richness to the walls while hiding imperfections. Behr Marquee, $43 per gallon at Home Depot, performed very well overall in Consumer Reports’ interior paint tests.  If you do use the entryway often, opt for a more durable eggshell or satin finish. Consider another of our recommended paints, Valspar Reserve, $44 per gallon at Lowe’s.

As long as you’re redoing the entryway, take a look at the front door. A new hue could give your home’s exterior a whole new look. One of our top-performing semi-gloss exterior paints, like Clark + Kensington, $35 at Ace, will provide a durable finish with an extra level of shine. Read “What the Color of Your Front Door Says About You” for design ideas.

Give the Kitchen a Face-lift

Holiday guests are sure to congregate in the kitchen. Replacing the countertops and cabinets is probably more than you want to take on, but you can still freshen up the space by painting the kitchen walls and backsplash. This project requires a bit more prep work, since you need to tape off the cabinets and countertops to protect them. But on the plus side, you probably won’t need as much paint, since most kitchen wall space is consumed by cabinets.

A semi-gloss paint works best in the kitchen, since it will wipe down easily while reflecting light. Behr Premium Plus Ultra, $34 per gallon at Home Depot, is a top choice that can fend off scrub marks and mildew and keeps its sheen even after rough cleaning.

Brighten up Kids’ Spaces

If your guest list includes younger relatives who will be spending a few nights, your kids’ bedrooms or the main family room will definitely be on display. This is a good opportunity to bring your children into the decorating process. Teens in particular like taking ownership of their personal space, so they’ll enjoy selecting a new color for their bedroom.

Kids can also participate in the prep work, for example by moving out furniture and taping off the floors. If they’re old enough to wield a brush, they can even help paint and take extra pride in designing their own living space. A semi-gloss finish is best for this project, especially in a younger child’s room that gets a lot of abuse.Clark + Kensington Enamel, $32 per gallon at Ace Hardware, was superb at resisting stains and scrubbing in our tests.


Todd Delahunt
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Todd Delahunt

Delahunt Homes is a residential, custom, luxury home builder serving the Portland Metropolitan area and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. We've been building custom dream homes featured in The Street of Dreams since 1992.
Todd Delahunt
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