Bits & Bobs of Paint

No Comments » Written on October 13th, 2013 by
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Being a colorist, I am no stranger to having extra bits of paint hanging around.  I have about 300 cans in the basement at any point. Most civilians though can find lurking on their basement shelves some colors they tried out  a few years ago for the dining room, or some paint from when the den used to be green.  To recycle the cans, they must first be emptied. You can wait for the yearly city wide hazardous materials round up or find a creative use for it. Recently, when my mom’s house needed repainting, I mixed up about 5 gallons of various colored paints and was happy to be able to thin down the paint can collection by about 50 cans- a necessary reduction every few years so the basement isn’t overrun.  The house looks amazing, the basement is under control and cans were recycled properly.

But usually it’s just a handful of paints you wonder what to do about, as luckily most people don’t count their paint stores in the hundreds.  A few great ideas on using up the bits and bobs of paint:

Adding stripes!

Always a fun feature, takes some painting precision and attention to detail, but worth the effort. Especially for making a kids room more fun.  You can also paint the lower part of the wall a different color, easier for touch ups when most of the damage happens in the first 30″ or so…

… or freshen up a closet.

I love opening a closet and seeing an unexpected shot of color.  I once helped a client paint her closet/dressing room “Fuschine” a total saturated rose-wine color.  It took many coats as color was so intense, but it was really beautiful. She is a stylist so it was important to her to have her closet laid out beautifully.  We put in a chandelier as well…

On a humbler note,  my most recent closet update was my daughter’s room, where, at her request, I mixed up a deep purple.  I took before and after photos, figuring the change from 30 year old dingy white paint would be dramatic.

How often when we are painting do we skip the closet? But  as a weekend project, it doesn’t take much paint, and in this instance-other than the contortions required to paint a closet that is only 13″ wide and 5 feet long– not a whole lot of effort.  The door and floor I painted in gloss oil paint, as I prefer the more durable finish on floors and I had the paint anyway.  Who couldn’t resist the cheery yellow paint against the purple?

In other spaces I have used small amounts of paint to add focus and a “frame” of sorts to an unframed painting- In the photos below the color areas behind the frame mimic the color blocks of the FLOR covering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paint can be a problem solver as well.  One of my clients installed some LED lights in a hallway to showcase some artwork he intended to hang there, but the lights were too cold.  I warmed things up a bit by painting the ceiling a strong tangerine color.

Mary mix paint example

It not only made the light less cold, but the sterile looking fixture seemed more part of a plan than a haphazard installation.  By “floating” a panel on the ceiling, I avoided uneven lines where the strong color meets the top of the wall (never even in an old building) and this is also less time consuming to paint.  Making it an island rectangle gave me a stopping point for where the hallway ended, instead of carrying the color into the connecting foyer.  When I later added a softer off-white to the hallway walls, (another “mary-mix”), using about 8 cans of paint leftovers in various warm off-whites to create a lovely and soothing color) I repeated the technique of not painting into the wall/ceiling join, masking it out an inch and a half below the join and the unpainted white corner bead between wall and ceiling became an “implied” cove molding in white.  My leftover sample paints helped me fix my client’s lighting problem.  Best container for mixing, storing and carrying your leftover paint concoctions?  Recycled 1 gallon joint container buckets!