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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Staging 101: Top Tips for Choosing the Right Paint

It’s advice we’ve offered here, in various different forms, a number of times. If you are staging your Waterloo Region home for sale, a little paint can go a long way. But which paint? Once you get to your local home store you’ll find yourself faced not only with a wide variety of similar – but not quite the same – shades of the same color, a number of different finish options when you have chosen a colour and then there is the question of just how much paint to buy.

Here then, are some tips for choosing, and buying, just the right paint to help freshen up and beautify your home before it hits the market for sale.

Choosing the Colours

While this is the ‘fun’ part of a paint project it can be a little trying as well. As we just mentioned, there are always so many different colours to choose from, how do you pick the right one for your project?

Start with the Chips – The first time you visit the paint store pick up paint chips in all of the colours you are considering (even if it’s a dozen or more of them.) When you get home affix each one to the wall/door/thing to be painted and live with them for a few days.

Over the course of those few days, most of the time you’ll find your eye is drawn to one or two (or maybe even three or four) of them over the others.

Go Sampling – Once you have narrowed your choices down with the chips, it’s time to head back to the store and pick up some samples of the paint shades you have chosen as the lucky finalists, as well as a can of primer if you are going to be painting directly over another color.

Again, paint small areas and live with each colour for at least 48 hours. Make sure that you review them all in different lights too, as the way a certain shade looks under the evening’s electric lights can be rather different to the way it looks in the early morning sun.

Finally, if you are staging your Waterloo Region home for sale you need to choose colours with buyer appeal in mind. This is not really the time to go with electric blues or expanses of red. You may like them, but save the bolder colours for your new place and opt for something fairly neutral for now.

Latex or Oil Based Paint?

Having chosen your colours you may now have to make a decision between a latex and an oil-based option. To do so it will help to understand the basic differences between the two.

Latex – This is the option suited to most projects around the home. As it is water based it cleans up easily, can be safely rinsed away down a standard drain and it dries faster as well. It is also usually the choice that will resist yellowing over time more effectively.

Oil-Based – This is a thicker, somewhat messier paint but can be a good choice for outdoor use as it tends to be tougher when exposed to the elements than latex.


Finally, it’s time to choose your finish:

Flat – This is a matte paint with no visible sheen at all. If there are ‘trouble spots’ to be hidden this is a great choice as it won’t be drawing any light to the problems. It is tough to clean though so is rarely a good option for the higher traffic areas.

Eggshell/Satin – Easy to clean, not too shiny, not too dull. This is the go-to choice for most indoor painting projects.

Semi-Gloss – This paint produces a moderate shine when applied and easy to wipe clean. It’s an excellent choice for trim and woodwork.

High Gloss – A bit of a specialist paint, this will draw the eye very quickly, thanks to its high shine. It’s a great choice for a front door or for any trim work you especially want to highlight.

In order to calculate how much paint to buy use the square footage to be painted as a guide. Most paint cans will state right on them how much of an area they are designed to cover. Do remember though that some paint may call for two coats rather than one.



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