Throwing a fresh coat of paint on furniture, walls or room accessories instantly brightens the environment, says Karen Cooper, a self-proclaimed “recovering lawyer” who teaches DIY classes at the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Restore in Reynoldstown and advises many intown neighborhood readers through her blog, thediybungalow.com. If painting an entire room seems overwhelming, try an accent wall, she suggests. Spring in general is the perfect time to paint because you can open windows to ventilate or spray pieces outside. “Spray paint won’t adhere to surfaces when it’s too cool, windy or damp, so once you hit spring, you can do those kinds of projects,” Cooper explains, adding that she collects items to spray paint and gets started in spring.
For example, Cooper found an old, heavy teacher’s desk at a thrift store. Though the desk itself was in good shape, the wood veneer was peeling, so she sanded it and gave it a new coat of paint. “It was like new,” she says.
Cooper explains that the world of paint offers an array of options, including bright, high-gloss paint for a more modern look or latex paint (that requires primer first). Spray painting “is a great way to perk up an old piece,” she says, particularly for metal or plastic items such as an antique bar cart or typewriter table. Chalk-finish paint also has become popular, and it doesn’t need priming, but Cooper suggests adding a polyurethane finish to prevent chipping.
But refreshing paint doesn’t necessarily mean using bright colors, says Beth Kooby of Beth Kooby Design. “I’m a huge fan of white paint,” she says. “It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s clean.”
Dream Paint Pairings
“I love contrasts, so I love crisp white and navy or black, with a pop of a bright color like bright green,” says Karen Cooper. She also recommends colors that are “opposites together,” like navy and pink or orange, or colors that complement each other, like blues and greens. “Navy and teal, and teal and lime green are my favorites,” she adds.
Beth Kooby is a fan of Benjamin Moore paints. Some of her favorite gray shades, she says, work well on walls and/or cabinets, and Simply White “is my absolute go-to for trim, and I use it on walls as well,” she adds. “It was finally Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year in 2016 but I’ve been using it for [more than] two years!”
Jennifer Chanler favors Pantone’s Color of the Year, Greenery, used in combination with blue and sand, a “peaceful” trio, she says. Green, persimmon and brown are “warm and natureinspired,” she adds. “I love dark teal with corals, and olive greens with rich plums, too. Charcoal is the universal mate to any color” besides white or black, Chanler adds.
Blogger, The DIY Bungalow
Owner, Beth Kooby Design
Owner, Style by Lizzy Jackson
Owner JCC Interiors