Around the House: Pain-free paint picks reduce renovation stress

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For those overwhelmed by all the paint choices, pre-set combinations of colors can take the guesswork out of it

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Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault has a childhood story that perfectly illustrates what she describes as “the power of paint.”

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It ends with a lesson she learned from her parents, who were enthusiastic upcyclers long before the term came into vogue.

“They were always trolling flea markets or looking for curbside treasures,” she says. “I remember being a kid and being mortified when my father lifted a neighbor’s table that was at the street into the car trunk. One day the neighbor came over to our house and complimented my father on the table. He said they’d had one like it, but it wasn’t nearly as nice. My dad said, ‘I know. it was yours. I pulled it out of the garbage and refined it!’ It taught me to always look at things through the lens of potential.”

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Paint is the quickest and least expensive way to refresh a room, accessory, or piece of furniture, according to Leigh-Anne. But picking the right hue can trigger a conundrum design.

“Being faced with a wall of colors can be overwhelming,” she says. “It’s too many choices for the average consumer, and it becomes a conversation of where do I even begin?”

To counter the confusion, Leigh-Ann has collaborated on Color Sparka carefully-chosen palette of 13 colors made under the Rust-Oleum brand.

“We’re taking a new approach with a hyper-curated collection. It starts with a baseline from which you can easily steer your own ship.”

To create the palette, Leigh-Ann drew heavily on her background in color psychology. “Colour creates a mood, a vibe — so for example, people who want to channel a sense of relaxation should tap into blues and greens because they lower blood pressure and cool the body.”

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Many homeowners, says Leigh-Ann, are opting for a fresh white palette as a backdrop to showcase a special view or architectural feature.

As an alternative, she also loves earth tones like the line’s Clay Mask, which reads as a neutral with just a touch of green to enliven it.

The paint comes in eggshell and semi-gloss finishes. Eggshell has just a hint of subtle sheen, while semi-gloss reflects more light and brightness. Easy to clean, both are suitable for high-traffic areas.

To make choices even simpler, colors are designed to work together. “You can close your eyes, pick any three, and find that they harmonize,” she explains.

Color Spark’s 3.78 liter of two-pack costs $129, and is available online at Home Depot, Rona, or Lowe’s and online and on the shelf at Walmart.

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An online calculator ensures you order the appropriate amount. In-store availability across store banners will increase throughout the year.

The product is pre-tinted, which means there’s no waiting around the store and no risk of mis-tinting. The formula has anti-mould and mildewcide properties, especially useful in high-humidity environments.

A full-set sample card sells for $13, and an online visualizer lets consumers see how a color will look in a room. “But don’t just stick up a sample and go, oh yeah that looks good; leave it there for a few days,” advises Leigh-Anne.

“Look at the color when you will be using the room. If you like to sleep in until 10 am on the weekend, see what it looks like at 10 am Think about the way you live, and how to make it most relaxing.”

While Leigh-Ann is justifiably proud of these sophisticated, flexible colors, she thinks that a “buttoned-up, nailed-down” palette may not suit everyone.

“If you are the person who enjoys endlessly debating over the right navy, this is not for you. With this collection, you’ll get just one navy, but I promise it will be perfect.”

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House. Check her out on Instagram@athwithvicky, Twitter ATHwithVicky and Facebook.com/ATHVicky.ca

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