Picking the Right Shade
How many times have you fallen in love with a paint color you saw on Instagram, and then been underwhelmed when you saw it in person? It’s happened to Samuel too. “Paint colors look different in every room even in the same city, let alone different parts of the world,” she says, noting that the light at her home in Michigan is different from that in say Southern California. Her advice? Get to really know a color before making a purchase.
When looking at a 2-by-2 swatch, it’s impossible to tell what that paint color will feel like when it’s covering your walls. So, Samuel paints 2-by-2-foot pieces of foam core board to place in her home, painting them in varying colors. This process helped her settle on a gorgeous green for her A-frame, Behr’s Chard. She also looked at Behr’s Equestrian Green, Emerald Forest, and Trailing Vine. And when you choose your favorite color, she recommends buying the best paint you can afford. She’s personally a big fan of Farrow & Ball and Behr.
Use a Sprayer When Possible
If you want a smooth, professional-looking finish, Samuel suggests investing in a paint sprayer. If you don’t want to buy one, look into renting from a hardware or local equipment rental store. It works in tandem with an air compressor, and it’s important to use a screen to keep paint from clogging the sprayer.
The first step is to place the doors one foot apart (Samuel recommends on saw horses), then set up the paint compressor and sprayer according to the directions. Next, place the strainer inside and add some water so the paint is the thickness of whole milk. Finally, start spraying and don’t be afraid to do a few tests on scrap paper.
“You want to do multiple light coats of paint instead of trying to lay it all on there,” says the designer. As you spray paint, hold the sprayer at least 10 inches to one foot away from the surface for a thin coat that covers well. As you spray, pull the trigger so paint starts flowing before you get to your door, and use a wide sweeping motion that goes past the edges of the cabinet. If you stop at the edge, you’ll get a thicker buildup of paint on the edges. Let them dry for at least 24 hours before handling them.
Choosing Rollers and Brushes
While spray painting outdoors is ideal, if you’re living in a condo or apartment, then you may not have the space to do such a project. Professional painters can achieve a smooth finish with high quality synthetic brushes, but she says it might be challenging for novices. Samuel says the next best option is to use a superfine foam-type roller, and sanding the finish in between coats so it stays smooth. “Just don’t use the nappy roller,” she says. “And, the only time you’re going to use a bristle brush is doing a finish and you purposely want those brush lines.”
The Next Big Color
Samuel says shades drawn from nature will be strong in 2022 and beyond. She’s still a fan of terracotta and ochre, but says green is the one to watch. “I feel like there’s a lot of fig leaf and other greens,” she says. “It’s so grounding and everybody could use some of that right now.”
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