Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sarah Richardson: Tips on Paint Choices + Paint Techniques

Sarah was on the Marilyn Denis Show and what a great segment!  At this TV appearance, Sarah showed us she's not just a pretty face with lots of creative ideas, but also very handy with paint.

For the MD Show, Sarah shared her tips on how to pick the perfect color for every room, the latest trend in paint finishes, the what & how on paint tools, and how to use colors in your rooms!

If you've missed the show, here is Sarah's lesson on how to pick the perfect paint color:

1.  Picking the Perfect Color

Sarah's advice is to pick your wall color from your jumping off point. It can be the main fabric in the room, the wallpaper on an accent wall, or a painting you love.  So long you pick a color from your jumping off point, you walls will always look perfect in the room!  One thing to keep in mind: keep the fixed elements and finishes (i.e. sofa) light and neutral, and bring the room to life with accents and accessories.  It's far easier, and less costly, to repaint a wall or replace a vase than to reupholster a sofa.

2.  Hi-Gloss Glam

We all have lived through years of "cloud white" in matte finish as the default fail-proof option for trims, especially when scrubbable paint in matte finish is widely available.  During the show, Sarah told us the latest in design is "Hi-Gloss":  it could be for trims, accent wall, or be all four walls for dramatic effects.  However, there is a merit to "too much of a good thing", and hi-gloss paint should never-ever be used on ceiling!      

3.  Use the Right Tool

There are many different paint brushes to choose from.  According to Sarah, don't go for the 1" to 1.5" for small details since they are probably too small. Also don't go for the really fat ones in hope of finishing faster, as they are harder to control and you will probably see the brushstrokes.  The perfect brush to keep at home is a 2.5" angular brush: it is large enough for great coverage but small enough for ease of handling.

When painting a rough surface (i.e. stucco ceiling), use a thick fluffy roller. The roller can soak up more paint and get into the uneven spaces a lot better than a smooth high density foam roller.  Remember: massage your thick roller for a few minutes to make sure all the loose fluffs are gone.  After all, the last thing you want is to roll the fluffs on your wall!

Sarah also showed us how to paint the perfect wall.  Check this out!

Great segment isn't it? I absolutely loved it and yes, only Sarah can pull off painting in 3" heels and a white jacket!  Miracle aside, here are a few more tips I'd like to share with you on Paint Techniques:

1.  When painting against the trims, don't look at where you're painting. Instead, look at where you're going to paint and with practice, your line will alway be straight and cut perfectly next to the trim.  Be sure to leave the edges wet: paints blend better when wet and your wall will look smoother.  

2.  Another great tip from Sarah: don't paint randomly all over the wall!  You will get a much better result if you apply a continuous stroke from top to the bottom.  Ready for my confession? I do paint like a "man" and laughed so hard when I saw this segment.  Here is my promise to you all, I will combine painting and yoga practice from now on!

3.  One last important tip: always prime fresh drywall before painting it! Left unprimed, your new paint won't stick to your dry wall.

Now why don't we all refresh our spaces with a fresh coat of paint, especially when the forecast calls for days of rain to come! Speaking of paint, I am very jealous of the audience at the show!  Not only did they get to see Sarah in person but they also went home with a gallon of Para paint from Sarah's Designer Palette!

Happy painting everyone!


  1. Tim,
    I loved this segment too and wished I was in the audience!

    So many great tips and I marvelled at her ability to make it look so easy while sporting heels.

    I will show it to hubby as he is going to paint the dining room this summer!
    Happy weekend!

  2. Tim, that first photo of Marilyn is HYSTERICAL! She looks like an exhibit in a wax museum.

  3. Thank you for sharing! This article is so helpful and informative; I hope your article can inspire more people, like it did to me. To painting faster, you can use airless sprayer to distribute paint evenly and quickly. Happy painting!