Monday, September 20, 2021

House Painting Tips

I'm really bad at any sort of visual stuff, especially house/design/decor stuff (I nonetheless managed, veeeery slowly, to make my house reasonably attractive and comfortable). So my interior painting project has been fraught. I don't know which colors to pick. But I just absolutely nailed one room. I wanted a light, tasteful, gender-neutral peach, without being cloying or girlish. Just a touch of peach in an otherwise classy, neutral color. This is hard. Really hard. And I got lucky.

Cameo Rose (071), baby. Cameo Rose. If you're feeling peach, but don't want it to look like the baby changing room at your community Family Services center, this is what you want. Seriously. Use this.

Don't trust the color you see at that link. Your screen is not a wall. And don't trust a sample painted on your wall, either. A sample is not a room. So how do you choose colors? Pray to your god...and always favor lightness and neutrality.

My other paint success was exterior. I wanted a burgundy red that didn't look like diseased gums; neither fire engine red nor sickly/dark. I settled on Caliente AF-290 (my Guatemalan painters and I got endless merriment from calling it "Caliente As Fuck"). Check out this before/after shot. I think I got my money's worth:

Exterior paints photograph more faithfully than artificially-lit interior rooms, so this is pretty accurate. Caliente as fuck, no? Important note: I bought (and really wanted) a cream trim color, but discovered that it clashed with the white of the windows, which I was stuck with. I had to repaint some trim. Don't repeat my mistake! Go neutral white for exterior trim, or else be solidly aware of how your windows will affect the result.

Have you found a tasty-looking paint color online from a company in, like, Sweden, which you can't buy here? No problem! This site lets you enter the name of any house paint from anywhere, and it will show you the closest matches from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc. You can also enter RGB values to find close matches, and other tricky paint color tricks.

Finally, got lead? Don't abate, encapsulate. No hazmat suits or tented sandblasting are necessary. They just chip away roughly (creating no harmful lead dust), encapsulate in thick primer, and paint over it. This is great for flaking nightmares like my place. Results aren't quite baby's-bottom smooth, but the neighborhood kids won't get sick, their parents won't sue you (your legal exposure from lead poisoning is potentially infinite), and you'll spend half the price of full-on abatement. Do make sure your painting company has an unexpired license for lead work (you can look it up online).

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