Whatever you chose to believe about global warming and climate change, one thing is certain: Halloween is getting downright scary and it has nothing to do with goblins. What with blizzards and hurricanes the last two years, who needs witches? If a tree came through your kitchen ceiling this column won’t help you. If some water got in and is staining your walls though, I have something for that..
Paint is fairly effective at keeping out moisture but when water gets around behind a wall and attacks the paint from the back side it doesn’t stand a chance. Water stains that appear seemingly from nowhere are telling you that you have a leak somewhere. Once the leak is fixed the stain can be painted over provided that you seal the stain in to prevent it from bleeding through your new paint job. I don’t know exactly how many coats of latex wall paint a water stain will bleed through but it’s a lot. Save yourself the headache and gat a stain sealing primer so that you only have to paint the thing once. There are water based stain sealers that work really well. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is a great one. It works for water stains, tannin bleed, knots-great stuff. I do occasionally run into something too slippery for latex paint though and for those occasions an oil based sealer is the weapon of choice. I recently painted some 40 year old cedar sills that bled through everything I had until I broke out the bullet proof-and very noxious-can of Coverstain. You can get these at a hardware or paint store and they really work.
Have fun painting
When it comes to painting the fifth wall in a room most people turn their imaginations off and punt the ball. The fifth wall that I am referring to is the ceiling which is usually abandoned to some version of white. The theory here is that it “raises’ the ceiling. I’ve had clients who had 10 or 12 foot ceilings that they were afraid would become oppressively low and closed in if they painted some audacious color up there. Nothing could be more untrue. The ceiling of a room represents wall space at least as great as the largest wall in the room. There is nothing wrong with painting it white so long as you realize that you don’t have to.
A ceiling that is darker than the rest of the room has a warming effect. It “cozies” the room rather than closing it in. I did a master bedroom the color of wheat chaff with a bronze accent wall and painted the ceiling a warm rustic blue. The ceilings were high and peaked. It was fantastic.
What you have to ask yourself is this. When you enter a room that is painted with bold sassy colors do you like it? When you go into Grouchy Gabe’s in Croton does the dark ceiling feel confining-or warm and welcoming? Often times we love color in other places but are afraid to venture beyond the land of beige in our own homes. Beige is a color that exists practically nowhere in nature. It is a non-event that flips a bird at the miracle that is color. Next time you paint a ceiling give a thought to that two inch thick fan deck that they have behind the counter at the paint store. You can paint the thing white or beige if you want to-but you don’t have to.
Have fun painting