Homeowners are likely familiar with the many misconceptions about painting, such as trim and ceilings can only be painted white, or dark paint colours make a room look smaller. The truth is, there are many misconceptions about paint.
Benjamin Moore colour and design expert Sharon Grech explains some of the most common misconceptions and why they’re false.
Ceilings must be white
There’s no need to shy away from using colour for your ceiling, says Grech. “If you’re going with a neutral colour for the walls and trim, a colourful ceiling can really bring a space to life.” For example, adding a light green ceiling in a high-gloss finish to an all-white kitchen can add interest, or opt for a pop of colour in a neutral, low-light bathroom with a red ceiling.
Dark colours make a room feel small
It is a very common belief that dark colours make a room feel smaller, when in reality they add character and create a perception of depth. “Dark wall colours tend to blur the edges of a room, which can make a space appear larger,” says Grech. Of course, how we feel in a room has more to do with mood than size, so consider that a darker colour will generally feel more intimate and cosier, while a paler colour more fresh and serene.
Every wall should be the same colour
Believe it or not, adding more than one colour to a space with the use of an accent wall has many benefits. “An accent wall is an economical design solution that can add character and depth to elevate and accentuate key elements of the home,” says Grech. Just a little colour goes a long way to define a separate zone in a room or act as a divider without adding walls or repositioning furniture. The key to maintaining harmony is repetition and is as simple as repeating the accent colour in small touches throughout adjacent rooms with accessories and artwork.
Too much white is uninviting
Contrary to popular belief, white can soften, soothe and even warm up a room. According to Grech, “If you chose the right white for the space, paying attention to its undertones, and complement it with both pattern and texture, a white space can feel warm and welcoming or cool and contemporary.”
Any neutral tone will work with a small space
While neutral colours seem like the safest choice, not every neutral paint colour is the right fit for a small space. It’s important to look around your room and determine if your furnishings and textiles have warm or cool undertones. Warm undertones, like yellows and reds, pair best with creamy or sandy neutrals, where furnishings with blue or violet undertones pair best with greyer neutrals.
Trims must be white
Just like ceilings, trims don’t have to be white for colours to work together. This is especially true with door trims, says Grech.
“A coloured trim against a neutral wall will showcase a room’s unique architecture. Or consider a graphic outline effect by painting the baseboards and door trim a contrasting colour, like black in a white room or hallway.”
Paint can be applied with any brush or roller
There are several things to consider before painting a new space, including the application tools. “If you are using a water-based paint, such as acrylic or latex, it is best to use a synthetic hair brush. A natural bristle brush is better for oil-based paints,” says Grech. “Rollers with a higher pile nap, such as 15mm, are best for lower sheen paints, while glossier paints are applied more easily with a low nap roller.”
White is not appropriate for a kitchen
Although white may not seem like the most practical paint choice for the most stain-prone space in the home, painting a kitchen white can instantly brighten and energize the room. White is like a blank canvas that allows homeowners to be more creative and colourful with kitchen appliances, backsplashes and countertops.
Paint and primer are one in the same
Think of primer like a protective adhesive for your paint. “Applying the appropriate primer is crucial to delivering long-lasting, exceptional results,” says Grech. Design choices like the finish of a given paint colour can also be affected by preparation with a primer. “High-sheen finish will highlight imperfections on a wall, so it’s critical to sand the wall smooth if necessary and prime prior to painting,” says Grech.