Should I Paint My Ceilings & Walls The Same Color? - Rite Painting

Should I paint my ceilings and walls the same color? I live in Bellevue.

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It’s a difficult question to answer, not knowing the exact room or house you are thinking about, but there are definitely some good rules-of-thumb you can live by when it comes to choosing colors for any room, hallway, or exterior of a home. Color choice is possibly the most hurried and neglected stage of the average home painting project, yet it is the one areColor choice processa where a little care and attention gives you the best return on effort. Let’s look at the best way to approach color choice, and your answer will, I am sure, be obvious by the end of the posting.

Begin the color choice process early in any painting project, interior or exterior

Very often in painting projects, once the schedule is set, homeowners tend to put the color choice step to the back of their minds. Then, a week before the project is due to begin, they get a phone call from their painting contractor to confirm start time and to ask about what paint colors the homeowners have chosen. Panic sets in, and they rush to a quick decision over a couple of days, in the wish to not delay the project. Actually, many painting contractors have a full summer schedule, and it is often therefore not possible to simply shift the project by a week, so you may miss the whole summer if you cannot stick to the agreed upon timetable.

Get help and/or advice during the paint color and type selection processes

A great color choice – including perhaps accents and/or trim colors – can really make a room pop, but it does take a little expertise and experience to know what colors are going to work where, and not all painting contractors have that artistic eye that you often find in a professional interior designer. Perhaps you yourself are good at color choice. If so, you’re off to a good start and you likely already understand how powerful the right (or wrong) color choice can be. If you’re in any doubt, a few hundred dollars of professional help might be enough to get this step done right. Some painting contractor companies include it in their bid. Some may charge a small fee for it, but will deduct that figure from the ultimate project price if you opt to avail of their services later.

Have the color choices well documented in advance of the project start

Homeowners are busy. And even when the paint color choice stage is started early, it’s often not completed fully, as other task compete for the homeowners’ time. They might feel they know what choices they have made, but didn’t button it down in writing for later referral. Then, when the contractors make the confirmation phone call, there is confusion as to which colors were chosen. Once you know what you want, document it completely, so there’s no confusion or re-work later.

Test your paint colors on a part of your house or rooms

The square inch of color sample you get in the paint manufacturer’s catalog rarely looks the same as the very same paint covering an entire wall in your home. Even from room to room, the exact same paint from the exact same can, can look different. That’s why I always recommend testing your paint color choices in the same rooms (not just one of them) you intend to use that paint. You’re going to paint over it anyway, right, so take this truly helpful step in each room and cover several square feet of wall before finally settling on that color. If it doesn’t truly satisfy you, try again with another color. Sometimes it is enough to learn that a color is simply ‘too dark’ or ‘too light’ for what you want, and testing it in the room will help you adjust the shade and try again.

This testing step is often skipped. It’s tempting to just look at the catalog under the fluorescent lights of home Depot, Lowes or McLendon’s Hardware, and rush into a decision there and then. The sales person, understandably, wants you to make a choice there and then, sell a load of paint to you, and move on to the next customer. I don’t blame them for that, but remember that you’ll be looking at your paint choices long after the sales person has left that job and moved onto their their next career choice. Take your time to do a complete in-house – or on-house – test of your color choices before you finally decide.

One of my neighbors – I had to drive by his house every time I left or arrived home for work or otherwise – chose his house color himself. He went with a light, sky blue of sorts. The only problem was, it was too blue. It was bluer than Elvis Presley’s shoes. Every time I drove past his house his house caught my eye, and my immediate response every time was, what a terrible color choice. He didn’t have the cash to redo the job until several years later, many years before a house would normally need to be painted again, and all of his neighbors learned a valuable lesson at his expense. Not only is a bad color choice potentially expensive, it might torture you for however long you leave the problem in place.

Don’t worry about paint cost. Choose the best paint available

Even if you were to double the cost of the paint by choosing the best brand available – and there would not be such a big difference – it will have only a marginal effect on the overall cost of the project. By far, the labor cost of it is the majority of the cost. A painting contractor will bid the price of the project to you. Behind that estimate is both an hourly charge to cover the cost of paying his or her employees, but also an expected profit margin. That’s totally fair, remember, otherwise he would not be interested in doing the work for you. But even if you do it yourself, your own personal time investment is worth something. Not only will quality paint result in a superior finished project, but it will be easier to use. Having tried to skimp on paint price many years ago, I quickly realized that cheap paint is harder to use. I also ended up using more of it because it was a bit on the thin side to begin with.

That’s another good thing to talk to your preferred interior designer about. Ask them not only about the color choices, but which paint manufacturers are best for the choices you are making.

More next week!

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