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Accent wall questions

My husband and I had our house built three years ago and are finally getting around to painting the walls. They were originally painted by the builders and are a flat white. This is impossible to clean and always looks dirty. I would like to do a nuetral color like a tan on the walls with an accent wall in a color for our living room.


My questions:


What color should I use? All of our furniture is basically in shades of tan and brown. My mother in law suggested a deep blue like deep shadow blue by Glidden. I have no blue accents in the room. All I can think is brown but I do not want the room to look like a cave. I want it to be relaxing and blue would probalby do this.


Will I have issues painting over this dusty flat paint? I read in other forum posts that this can be difficult or that the results are different from those one would obtain when painting on a glossy surface.


Should I use a primer even if I am using a paint and primer in one? I have also read that certain dark colors like blue do not cover well and a primer should still be used.


This is a large wall (24 ft long) with vaulted ceilings. I am a complete novice and do not know where to start with this but I need to do SOMETHING. Please help.

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Posted 2012-08-12T19:21:05+0000  by tkg422 tkg422





One thing for sure, you will not get good results with only one coat over those walls. Whether you use a dedicated primer, or a paint and primer in one product, such as Glidden's Duo or Behr's Ultra, it will not take a uniform color and sheen in only one coat. You have already identified the problem - cheap contractor's paint of poor quality.


Since you will be doing a considerable area, consider using a premium dedicated primer such as Behrs No.75 or Glidden's Gripper. These products will do an excellent job of sealing that chaulky paint. If will give you a surface which will not suck the moisture out of the paint even as you roll.  When this happens, streaky walls with uneven color will probably  result.


Proper priming will also reduce the amount of the somewhat more expensive finish paint used. Have the primer mixed slightly lighter than your  wall color. As to the accent wall, you can have that tinted darker also, although Glidden and Behr approach this differently. The Home Depot Paint computer will suggest how that primer, and which, should be tinted according to manufacturer's recommendations. The Home Depot Computer will also warn if you have chosen a particularly poorly covering color.


Your goal in any painting is to put a nice even coat on while keeping a "wet edge". You never want to be rolling or brushing back into a paint which has already dried or set. To do so risks uneven sheen, texture  and coverage. This is especially important when using very strong colors which are loaded with colorant. A good rule of thumb by such colors is to allow one hour of dryng for each ounce of colorant in the gallon of paint. Yes, this could mean a dozen hours between coats! And yes, this is much longer than the couple hour drying time indicated on the label. This is an average figure for relatively light colors.


Paint and primers generally cover about 300 square feet, depending on how well sealed the surface is. Those really dry walls of yours will probably only get about 250 sf of coverage from the primer. However, when sealed, the  paint will probably get somewhat more than the 300 sf average. It will be neccessary to compute an approximate area for each area. It is simply wall length times the wall height. Unless there are an unusually large number of door and window openings, don't bother to factor them in.


Now for the really hard part, do you take your mother-in-laws' advice! :) I would merely advise that when you narrow it down to a few choices, that you consider having samples made up in the respective colors. These are less than $3  each and will allow you to cover about a dozen square foot area. The samples will also give you a good evaluation as to how many coats it will take to cover. This will allow you to audition them in the actual room under a variety of real world light sources. Colors do look different under artificial light. Also, any strong color sources in the room, such as from carpet, can send reflected color throughout the room.


Remember, there is nothing that gives more "bang for the buck" than paint. Further, unlike choices of color for carpet or tile, paint color can be relatively easily and inexpensively be changed!


Hope this is of assistance.

Posted 2012-08-13T04:40:52+0000  by ordjen



You've got the best opportunity to change your decor ... a blank slate!


Ordjen did an outstanding job describing paint prep, application, and products! Just follow his advice ... samples are definitely the way to go once you narrow down your choices.


As for selecting colors, listed below are several links to threads about color selection:

1) Picking A Paint Color;

2) A Bird's-eye View of Selecting Paint Colors;

3) Colors That Coordinate Room-By-Room;

4) Is There A Cure For Your Chromatophobia?; and

5) Hi, I'm An Apartment Dweller


These provide instructional videos, differing views on color selection, and even a little humor.


Take time to watch the videos. Then sift through the posts to help simplify your decision.

Posted 2012-08-14T14:59:11+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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