Friday, June 25, 2010

PDQuick! Taking the Guesswork Out of Hanging Artwork and Choosing Wall Color

PDQuick Tip:  When hanging artwork, whether it's a single item or a grouping, save your walls from numerous unnecessary nail holes and yourself from unnecessary frustration.  Using wrapping paper, art paper or any other large piece of paper, trace the outlines of the item(s) you wish to hang and cut them out.  If you are hanging a group of art pieces, arrange the cut-out paper pieces on the floor until you are satisfied with the arrangement.  Then, use painter's tape (which won't damage your walls or your paint finish) to hang the grouping on the wall so that you can determine the most suitable height for the arrangement.  Once you've done that, mark the top mid-point of each piece with a pencil and then hang your artwork with confidence.

As an additional pointer, I'd suggest that when making your paper templates, you don't use newspaper or any other type of paper that could transfer ink or other unwanted color to the wall surface.

In a similar vein, when selecting paint colors for the walls, I like to create portable "sample boards" that can be moved throughout the room. Most of us will have a general idea of the color family we'd like for our walls, but the real torment comes when trying to select from literally dozens or even hundreds of varying shades from that color family.  Once those choices have been narrowed down to a handful, most people start painting portions of their walls with the sample colors until presented with an ever-more-confusing melange of slightly varying colors.  That's where the sample boards come in, and I've found them to be a lifesaver. 

When creating sample boards, try to use a good size (at least 18" x 18") piece of sheetrock for your sample, as the closer to the actual wall surface you go with the sample, the closer the paint color will be to the finished product on your wall.  Prime and paint the sample board just as you would the walls (which likely means two coats of paint) and then let dry.  That's it! 

The beauty of using sample boards is at least threefold:  1) In the (unlikely) event that you change your mind about painting the walls, you won't have to re-paint your sample brushstrokes;  2) the boards are portable, which means you can move them all around the room and observe the impact of daylight and room lighting on the paint color from all angles; and 3) when you've made your final paint selection, you can cut off a smaller piece of the applicable sample board and bring it with you when you go shopping with your "room in a bag" (see my earlier article from April 9, 2010).

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved - Pamela Yeaton

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