Don’t look now, but the holidays are right around the corner. That means it’s time to take a careful look at the condition of your home’s interior, especially the rooms where you’ll soon be entertaining.
Take stock of things with a careful visual inspection. Focus first on the space near your front door, where guests and family members will get their initial impression of your home. Then check out the family room, dining room, and bathroom or powder room. Look at the kitchen, too, where company often congregates.
If your interior is wanting, then you need to get busy now – before things like gift-buying, card-writing and food preparation work their way onto your to-do list.
Create a list of the rooms that require attention, noting whether it’s the walls, the trim, or both, that need painting. Then prioritize your projects based upon the importance of the room, and the amount of time your visitors will spend there.
Wipe down whatever you plan to paint and repair the surfaces as needed. Then comes the fun part: selecting the new paint colors for your walls and woodwork.
Better safe than sorry when you’re under the gun with your painting. Can’t-miss neutral colors like off-white and easy-on-the-eyes green and blue pastels fit the bill. In a happy coincidence, these very same paint colors are expected to be in vogue next year, according to color expert Debbie Zimmer at the Paint Quality Institute.
But if you want to fully embrace the holiday spirit, consider painting your walls in the colors of the season.
If Thanksgiving is your gig, then go with a “pumpkin-like” shade of gold or burnt umber, and finish the trim with off-white or the very lightest tint from the same color card.
Focused on Christmas or another year-end holiday? Then zero in on the red and green color families. Hues like crimson, burgundy, and forest green are not only seasonal favorites, but are wonderful choices for dining rooms and other spaces where food will be served. Add a few gold or silver accents in the room, and it will be picture-perfect.
When buying your paint, remember that higher sheen levels are more stain-resistant and more washable. Satin finish is a good choice for the walls in most rooms, but you may want to go one better in the kitchen or other high-traffic areas by applying a semi-gloss paint. As for the trim, gloss or semi-gloss paint is best. You’re sure to appreciate what these paints have to offer when the post-holiday cleanup comes.
Concerning quality, the pre-holidays are a wise time to splurge on your paint by purchasing the very best coating you can afford. “Higher quality 100% acrylic latex paints wear much better than ordinary coatings, they’re more fade resistant, and are typically much easier to apply,” says Zimmer.
“What’s more, top quality 100% acrylic ‘paint and primer’ products typically require one fewer coat to get great coverage,” says Zimmer, “which can save a lot of time – the one thing there is much too little of around the holidays!”