Primer comes before paint.
Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.


Paint like a pro.
Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around doorframes, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation.
Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition.

One gallon at a time. 
How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days. 
Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.

Put your sandwich bags to work.
Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.

Out with the old. 
If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish. 
If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

Give the walls a sponge bath. 
Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

Don’t look back.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface.

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.

Take away the shine. 
Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.

Turn in the brush.
Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

Spare the wall plates.
Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results.

Patience is a virtue. 

You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.



Q: What's the most important role colour plays in a room?

A: It sets the mood for a room. The color you choose is really about what you want the room to feel like.

Q: Do you tend to use one colour scheme throughout the entire interior, or mix it up room to room?

A: In general, I feel it's important to have continuity throughout the entire house. I'll use one or two colors throughout the house, and then mix in other accent colors. That gives continuity, but at the same time allows the various rooms to have different personalities.

Q: What kind of classic color combinations do you think work best?

A: Blue and white, yellow and green for a kitchen, red and black for a very formal dining room. For a library, I would suggest chocolate brown and camel or dark green and navy blue. I like burgundy and khaki, navy and khaki, or dark green and khaki. And grays and blues look really great together.

Q: What kind of guidelines would you suggest if someone wants to use bold colors?

A: You need to be aware that you will likely get tired of bold colors very quickly. If you really want to incorporate a strong, bold color, use it as an accent. Bold colors are often attractive because they are the color of the moment; this can quickly date a room.

Q: How should the homeowner account for different lighting in choosing colors?

A: Select three shades of the color you want: where you think you want to be, and one shade lighter and one shade darker. Do this with paint, wallpaper, or fabric swatches. Put the samples in two places: next to the window and in a darker corner. Look at them at different times during the day and at night. Then make your decision.

Q: Is a neutral color scheme always appropriate?

A: No. It totally depends on the house, the location, the architecture, and the personality of the homeowner. It's about trying to keep a balance. An entire neutral house can be boring.

Q: How do you use color to affect relationship and the relationship with other decorative elements?

A: Color is key to how the decor is perceived. If it's a big room, paint it a brighter, warmer color to bring the walls in. Paint a smaller room a cooler color to push the walls out. Color also establishes visual weight and balance. If you put a bold primary-based piece of art in a pastel room, it's probably not going to seem right. The colors of the art should balance the colors of the space.

Q: What are the challenges homeowners face in choosing colors and color schemes?

A: Sometimes people are scared of colour, especially dark colours. Ultimately, people should really follow their heart: If they love a colour, test it, and like it in place, they should not be afraid to choose it.