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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Make it Mosaic!
Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
travel decorating on the cheap 
what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
Stain Rx
o Hang-up Help
Cluttered place/ Spartan Space
Make a Duvet Cover
Roommates from Hell
o Build a Bookcase
o Fix-up a $1 Lamp

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painting 101 part I: picking the paint
by Diana Goodman |
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continued from page 1

Brand name is definitely the way to go – not necessarily for quality of product, but for the availability of information and informed help that goes along with it. If your hardware store offers "Grandma Margies's Generic Housepaint," avoid it, no matter how cute the cartoon granny on the label is. The price range for brand-name DIY interior housepaint is around $17-$25/gallon. Outside of that, in either direction, and you’ll be wasting your money.

You can buy your paint at Home Depot or a hardware store, but paint stores have the benefit of specializing in their product. The folks at, say, a Benjamin Moore-branded paint store will not only know their products inside and out, and be able to tell you which work together, but they’ll also know a lot about painting itself. They're great for getting tips, and their prices shouldn't run more than a buck or two more than Home Depot generica.

Color me indecisive
As for picking a color, raid the paint counter for inspiration. Grab all the paint samples you can carry home with you, and tape them, a few at a time, to the wall. This gives you a chance to see the color according to the light it will actually be under, not those awful store fluorescents. Take your paint chips and tape them to the wall a few at a time. Give 'em a good look when you walk by at random hours - daylight, lamps, whatever lighting situations they'll be dealing with. Start eliminating them a few at a time....It's Paint Chip Thunderdome!

You want colors that lighten and highlight, that divide up space and make a place interesting. As it's only one wall (if you've been listening), a bizarre, eye-poppingly bright color can look really cool, without that over-powering I-still-see-it-when-I-close-my-eyes Oompa Loompa Land effect that might result if you painted an entire room in said shade. On the flip side, dark, heavy colors have a tendency to make spaces feel small and errors stick out, and moreover, will be harder to cover with white later on. Robin's egg blue, lime green, nectarine orange = good. Crimson, navy, black = I warned you.

Need more color guidance? Here’s a little ultra-basic color theory for you … There are two basic concepts in color choice — complementary and contrasting. Put simply, "same" and "different." For "same," you want a color that's a version of some color already in the room. It makes the object (let's say, my dark purple sofa) pop out while giving the room a cohesive, unified feel. It’s easy to find colors in the "same" palette. Our friends the paint chips help us here. All the colors on a given paint chip are actually the same color in varying degrees. I find the paint chip with the same dark purple as my couch, I pick the light lavender on that same chip, voilà! 

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