Painting walls has been part of human behavior for 100,000 years. Paint tells the story of our travel through time, and allows us to express our personal style in amazing ways. More than just a pretty face, most modern paints have been rendered free of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and can be engineered to pull double-duty in a variety of ways.
The colors you choose have a marked effect on moods and attitudes. Red and orange are invigorating colors that raise heart rates, blood pressure, and appetites. Yellow evokes sunshine, optimism, hope, and happiness. Blues and greens are cool, calming, and soothing. The intensity and quantity of color (whole wall coverage versus accents) will set the tone for each space and its intended activities.
Giving kids a place to vent (and sometimes spill) their creative juices saves a lot of time and frustration. Chalkboard paint provides a designated canvas for kids to release their inner Picasso. A high quality gloss or semi-gloss paint, in other-than-white, offers a tough, washable surface. Some paint is even infused with Teflon, so artwork practically slides off the wall, onto a sponge. Luminous, phosphorescent, or glow-in-the-dark paint, "collects" light and emits a greenish glow when the light source is removed. It can provide a soothing night light or soft lighting for a midnight trip down the hall.
Fire retardant or intumescent paint, swells when heated, creating an insulating layer that does not conduct heat well. It may be tinted to match any décor, and dries with an "orange-peel" texture. Used on walls, doors, or ceilings, it offers flame protection for 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes, depending on product rating. Keep in mind that fire retardant paint isn’t enough for full fire safety — protecting your home with heat-sensing smoke alarms offers advanced fire detection.
Halochrome compounds are added to paint, giving it a pink tint that dries white, ensuring there are no gaps in multi-layered coverage.
Accent and Illusion
Paint can be used to direct attention or movement in a room, as well as to make it look bigger. Strategic use of color can draw the eye to an object or feature, or create illusions of light. The trompe l'oeil technique — literally translated as "trick the eye" — visually creates three dimensional space on a flat surface.
Today's paints create a brighter outlook on multiple levels. More than just a facelift, a good paint job is sound investment as a protectant, a preservative, and an energy saver.