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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 |
1 2 3

continued from page 3

An alternative to painting a whole wall is just painting the trim on doors and windows. It's a smaller job, uses less paint, requires far less prep time (you don't have to mask the whole room to death, or move as much furniture), and can have a great, subtle effect, especially in a small space like a bathroom. Here, dark colors and jewel tones look great. Sand wood to remove loose chunks, masking-tape off the wall, and paint away. From blah to ta-da in an afternoon.

Choose a finish
Paint comes in a variety of finishes: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. Flat or eggshell is what you probably have now. It's, you know, flat. (Eggshell is a little smoother to the touch than flat). The other three finishes offer varying degrees of shininess: satin is slick to the touch with just the slightest sheen, semi-gloss is a bit slicker and shinier, high-gloss is very shiny and feels almost like plastic (Because, well, it is. This is LATEX paint we're talking about, after all.)

Flat and eggshell are good for living rooms and bedrooms, the two glosses are best for kitchens and bathrooms (that plastic-quality makes gloss finishes very easy to wipe clean - greasy fingerprints and the like just don't absorb as easily), satin is an either/or. If deciding between two glosses, the lesser of the two is the best bet. Besides, the less glossy, the easier to repaint.

Be aware that the finish you choose will have an effect on how you perceive your color so there's a good chance that the color will look much different on your walls than in that paint chip. Higher gloss paints look lighter because of the shine, and most other finishes will make the color come out ever-so-slightly darker. And it seems obvious to say, but a whole wall of a color is different than a little card. Have the paint store check your mixed paint against the sample card before you leave. Even still, don't pitch a hissy fit if there's some minor difference.

o o o o o

Alright then, troops, commence wall-contemplating, store-scouting, sample card accumulation and that all-important Paint Chip Thunderdome. Look for the how-to on pad prep and painting in Lounge in two weeksI


Diana Goodman is an apartment-improvement-a-holic. She's breathed so much spackle dust her lungs look like the photonegative of a coal-miner's. Two walls of her kitchen are light-olive ("Bad Ass") green.

check out these related articles: 
minor makeover miracles | handy household tools  

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