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Last Call for Pre-Holiday Painting

Last Call for Pre-Holiday Painting

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s wise to take a careful look at the condition of your home. There’s still time to enhance things, but the calendar says that you’d better act quickly.

Take a careful look at your most important rooms, starting with your entranceway or center hall, where your company will form their first impression of your home. Then proceed to the family room, dining room, and bathroom or powder room. Pay special attention to the kitchen, since guests always seems to congregate there.

If you find your interior wanting, you need to get busy – before things like card writing, gift buying, food preparation, and other imperatives appear on your to-do list.

Make a list of the rooms that require attention and what it is that needs painting — walls, woodwork, or both. Then prioritize your projects based upon the importance of the room, and the amount of time you expect your visitors to spend there.

Start by wiping down whatever you plan to paint. Then repair the surfaces as needed. Next comes the fun part: choosing new paint colors for your walls and woodwork.

When you’re under the gun with your painting, it’s wise to go with “safer” colors. Can’t-miss neutrals like off-white or pale pastels are great choices. In a happy coincidence, these colors are expected to be in vogue next year.

But if you’re determined to fully embrace the holiday spirit, then go ahead and paint your rooms in the colors of the season

If Thanksgiving is your main event, then apply rich autumn shades like burnt umber or gold to the walls; paint the trim in either white or the lightest tint from the same color cards.

Focused more on Christmas? Then choose festive hues from the red and green color families. Burgundy, crimson, and forest green are seasonal favorites; they also are wonderful choices for dining rooms and other areas where food will be served. Sprinkle in a few silver or gold accents, and your rooms will be picture-perfect for the year-end holidays.

When you purchase your paint, keep in mind that glossier coatings are more stain-resistant and more washable. Satin finish is a good choice for most walls, but you may want to use paint with a higher level of sheen in the kitchen and other high-traffic areas. As for the trim, it’s always wise to use gloss or semi-gloss paint. You’ll be happy you did when the festivities end and the cleanup begins.

At holiday time or anytime, always choose the very best quality coating you can afford. Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints wear much better than ordinary coatings, they’re more fade resistant, and are typically much easier to apply.

The best ‘paint and primer’ products made with 100% acrylic offer another advantage: They typically require one fewer coat to get great coverage, which can save a lot of time – the one thing there is far too little of around the holidays!

Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She's a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorative painting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.