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painting_homespun_8_8RISMEDIA, August 8, 2009-Like many home improvement jobs, a painting or coating job can be daunting. To exacerbate the issue, consumers-more so than in the past are looking for a “big change” from a painting project (60% in 2009 versus 47% in 2008), according to a study of U.S. households recently released by The Valspar Corporation, a leader in the paint and coatings industry.

“Consumers looking to achieve big changes should look to painting and additional coatings projects to dramatically change the look of a home,” said Scot Karstens, vice president of Architectural Coatings, The Valspar Corporation. “For example, consumers can boost curb appeal and increase the value of a home by changing the color of a family room, staining a deck to enhance the wood’s natural grains and applying epoxy floor paint to the garage. Best of all, coatings projects are much less labor intensive than a remodel or repair job.”

Fresh Coat = Fresh Look
According to Valspar’s third annual “paint angst study,” while consumers are looking for big change with a paint project, roughly one in five consumers (19%) identify color selection as putting the “pain” in painting. When it comes to color choice, 60% of consumers gravitate towards a neutral palette rather than a bold color (27%), which can make it difficult to achieve a major transformation.

However, Ann McGuire, founder of Beehive Studios and Valspar color consultant, says it’s possible to choose a neutral color and accomplish a big change. Choosing a color that is a shade darker or lighter from the original neutral chosen can offer a more distinct look.

When consumers do choose to go bold, green is the most popular choice (42%), followed by yellow (33%). Green is a consistent favorite due to the color’s prevalence in nature and ability to blend with the home’s interior. With cleaner yellows making a splash in fashion and home décor in the past year, softer yellows can be a nice option. Additionally, consumers don’t need to re-paint the whole house to make a big impact. By changing just one room within the house, the rest of the home takes on more interest. For maximum effect, try working on a central room within the home like the family room, entry way or hall way.

All Decked Out
Beyond painting, consumers can vastly upgrade the look of their home by staining or re-staining the deck. In fact, Remodeling Magazine’s 2008-2009 Cost versus Value report indicates projects that enhance a home’s curb appeal-such as siding and decks-consistently have the highest return on investment.

Stains can enhance a wood’s natural appearance and add color to complement or match your exterior decorating scheme. In the summer months, decks take a beating from UV rays, foot traffic, drink spills or barbecue grills. A clean deck is a durable deck, so homeowners should clean the deck every one to two years and re-stain every two to four years for maximum longevity.

Polish it Up
While painting and staining are more common do-it-yourself projects, concrete coatings can set a home apart from the rest of the block. A recent consumer survey revealed that more than half (53%) of U.S. households that have an outdoor living space say the surface has concrete. With concrete coatings, consumers can protect their concrete, add a polished and decorative look to a garage floor, enhance the walkway leading up to the front door, or match the outside patio to the rest of the home’s décor.

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