By Paint Quality Institute
Let’s face it: few of us are spending money the way we used to. But our homes are still our castles, and we want them to be as attractive as possible. In fact, the lackluster economy is all the more reason to create a comfortable, welcoming cocoon where we can ride out the economic storm.
How to reconcile the desire to beautify a home with the need to economize? One possibility is to add fresh color to the indoor environment with a new interior paint scheme.
“Repainting is a low-cost way to greatly enhance the appearance of a home,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesman for the Paint Quality Institute. “And new paint colors can actually have a positive psychological effect.”
The simple fact that you’re surrounded by fresh color, in and of itself, can be uplifting. But Zimmer says certain colors have been shown to invoke specific desirable feelings and emotions. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to make the best color choices.
If your life is very stressful, you might want to repaint the rooms where you rest and relax — the family room and bedroom, for example — in a pale blue or soft green. Studies show these colors can be very calming.
Another approach is to introduce a color like taupe or brown. These also tend to create a tranquil environment, but they impart more warmth and coziness than blue or green.
If, on the other hand, you want to inject some energy and optimism into your surroundings, consider using yellow paint. Like splashes of brilliant sunshine, yellow walls can lift your spirits and brighten your outlook.
Apricot, cinnamon and tangerine are also energizing colors. But be careful with reds and burgundies: These colors can literally increase heartbeat and arouse passion. Not good for the room where you pay your bills!
The tone, or brightness, of a color should always be factored into color choice. Brighter tones invigorate, while those that are muted (“toned down”) tend to be more relaxing.
Whatever your response to your new color scheme, your reaction to the cost of repainting is likely to be positive. A do-it-yourselfer can repaint almost any room for well under $100. And that’s using the best-quality paint, something Zimmer strongly advocates.
“Top-quality, 100-percent acrylic latex paints cost more than ordinary paint, but they offer the best value,” Zimmer says. “Not only do they last longer and continue to look fresh over time, but they often save you money right away.”
How can they cost more, yet save you money? Because 100-percent acrylic latex paints have better “hiding,” so you may need fewer coats than you would with a lower-quality product.
So, if you’re feeling blue over the state of the economy, think about painting your walls blue … or green … or yellow. It will cost very little, but doing so will likely give a big lift to your outlook!
From the March 14-20, 2012, issue