Update Your Dining Room Décor
If you want to serve up a dash of new dining décor with this year’s holiday feasts, update your dining room with a fresh paint color, new light fixture, window treatments and other easy, do-it-yourself accents.
Before you start decorating, visit your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.
Painting Your Dining Room
Step 1. Choose Your Colors
Your choice of paint colors will take center stage in your new dining room so choose wisely. Use a simple, solid-color palette to create a “less-is-more” design. Or choose a neutral color like khaki, brown, gray or metallic and combine it with one or two bright colors. Take the size of your dining area into consideration when selecting colors. Light colors make rooms appear bigger than they really are, while dark colors can make a space feel more compact and cozy.
The experts at your local True Value hardware store can answer any questions you have about how to choose a paint color and finish. Bring in ideas and pictures of interiors that you like to discuss with them. While you’re there, you can pick up Idea Cards and Lifestyle Cards which have suggested palettes on them. Don’t forget to go to TrueValuePaint.com to get painting ideas, learn about the latest paint trends or find inspiration from the Color Selection Tool or Mood Gallery.
Step 2. Prep and Prime
If you can’t move your furniture to another room, cover the pieces and the floor with drop cloths. Use a sponge to wash the wall surface with mild detergent and water. Patch any holes and wall damage using a putty knife and spackling compound. Scrape off flaky areas of old paint using the putty knife. Remove outlets and switch covers with a screwdriver and cover edges with painter’s tape. Don’t forget to also remove ceiling fixtures and door hardware.
Prime the walls. Priming doesn’t require as much care as painting, but you’ll use the same technique. Priming will give you better paint coverage and helps the paint job last longer. Use a roller applicator to apply True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Primer/Sealer and move in 6’-square sections, use a series of overlapping “W” strokes from right to left, then back from left to right or vice versa. Then spread the primer evenly using vertical strokes. Continue in 6’-square sections until the entire surface is primed.
- You can get great results in less time by using True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex paint and primer in-one.
Step 3. Do Ceiling Brushwork
Mask the perimeter of the ceiling with painter’s tape. Next, “cut in,” or outline, the entire room with a brush to reach the areas a roller can’t. An angled sash brush or edging pad works well for cutting into corners. Get as close to the area as you can and apply the paint about 1/4" away from the edge of the surface. On the second pass, apply more pressure to carefully push the paint into place. Do not cut in on the entire ceiling prior to painting the walls. Only cut in as much as you can in about a 20-minute span. If you cut in along the entire ceiling at once, the paint will dry and when you “roll” the paint in Step 4, you may end up with “hatbanding”. This means that the cut-in sections will appear darker than the rest of the wall, producing an uneven finish.
- To roll closer to edges without making a smeary mess, put your hand inside a plastic bag and slide the paint-soaked roller so it extends about 1" past the end of the roller handle cage. This allows you to roll right up to the edges and cover any brush stroke messes.
- When doing ceiling brushwork, it’s easier to pour paint into a smaller can, like a coffee can, so you don’t have to lug a heavy paint can up the ladder with you.
Step 4. Paint the Ceiling and Walls
Start with the ceiling before painting your walls. Always use a quality latex paint like True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex Ceiling Paint. Use the same technique as priming your ceiling, moving in 6’-square sections across the ceiling. Use the same process to paint your walls using True Value Easy Care PLATINUM® Paint and Primer In-One. Be sure to feather the edges of the squares, using less pressure when applying paint at the edges of the square. This will keep the finish even and prevent any lines where the paint overlaps from another section. Keep working with the squares until the surface is completely painted. Without adding paint to the roller, use light strokes to re-roll from the bottom of the wall to the top (or across the ceiling) to ensure everything is even.
Unless your paint finish is flat, you should go over the entire surface once again with one-directional, overlapping, non-diagonal strokes to blend the paint.
- Be sure to choose a roller cover that suits the surface texture. If you have a “popcorn” or textured ceiling, use a roller with a thicker pile.
Step 5. Apply Wall Brushwork
Use a paintbrush to finish areas that your roller couldn’t reach such as in corners, next to the doors, windows and molding. Dip the bristles no more than an inch into the paint and dab off excess paint on the inner lip of the container you’re using.
Step 6. Apply a Second Coat
The first coat doesn’t have to be totally dry, but the longer you let the paint dry, the better the coverage will be. Paint the second coat the same way you painted the first.
Step 7. Clean Up
Good brushes will last for many years if you treat them well. Use a brush comb to separate bristles that stick together near the heel of the brush. Rinse the brush out in water. When it clears, put the brush in a spinner if you have one, or thoroughly shake out excess liquid. Put the brush back in its protective sleeve and hang it on a nail or hook.
Pick up the drop cloths and replace the furniture. Replace the switch and outlet plates, the ceiling fixtures cover plates and the door hardware.
- Save any remaining paint for touch-ups. For bigger touch-ups, you’ll want to remember your paint color. Before you replace the cover plates, put a piece of masking tape on the back. Write the name of the paint you used in that room and you’ll have the name of the paint handy whenever you have to do touch-ups.
Update Your Dining Room Light Fixtures
Giving a new look to your dining room décor may include new light fixtures. The new dining room lighting should fit in with your other updates, including your new paint color. If you used a more modern color palette, you’ll want to install fixtures that match. Steel, brushed nickel and antiqued bronze finishes have a more modern feel. Brass and gold fixtures go well with a traditional look.
The main light fixture in your dining room should be positioned over the dining table and be to scale with the rest of the room. A fixture that’s too large can overwhelm the room while one that’s too small tends not to make an impression. If you’re replacing an old crystal chandelier, update the room with a simple pendant light or fabric-covered fixture. Install a dimmer switch for control of room ambiance.
- If you want to keep the light fixtures that you currently have, take them into consideration before painting. The wall colors, window treatments and other dining room décor should all work together to create one cohesive look.
Add New Window Treatments and Accents
New window treatments can dramatically enhance your dining space. There are many options to choose from, so do your research to decide what will work with your new room design. Read interior design magazines, peruse websites and gather ideas that you like from friends and family.
Contemporary window treatments include shades, curtains, draperies or shutters. Shades are good because they can be pulled down for privacy when needed and raised for optimal entrance of light during the day. Try matching the shade with one of the fabric colors in your dining room. Shutters, specifically plantation shutters, are popular dining room window treatments. They are available in many colors and finishes and are used best when they are the same color as the trim in the room. Curtains are also an easy update for your dining room. They work well alone or with shades and should complement the other colors of the room, including the walls, carpet or rug, chair fabrics and other furnishings.
To add a dramatic focal point to the room, hang a painting or a mirror. Mirrors give the illusion of space to smaller-sized rooms. As far as holiday decorations, less is definitely more with your new look. Use simple pieces for dynamic effect, such as a glass vase with fresh flowers. Floating shelves are good for displaying china, photo frames, accessories or even a well-chosen holiday decoration.
Congratulations! Now your dining room will look stunning for your holiday guests. Head to your local True Value hardware store for all of the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.