Getting your walls done as you're doing up your home is a tedious but fairly rewarding process since you have to worry about the texture and color of your paint, which is just so difficult to do, but at the same time, if you get it right, you can really make an impact on how your house looks. I had a pretty tough time with this particular aspect, and am still a little confused about the various options out there. Still, I did learn a few things that I can share:-)
- If you're buying a standard apartment, the white/off white paint that you see on the walls is something called "oil bound emulsion," which is fairly cheap and not the best quality. Since the builder is getting this done in bulk, they don't aim for perfection. The result is an uneven texture on your walls which you can live with till you see a really nicely done up and even wall. Then, you want to spend all your money on getting all the walls done!
- If you do decide to get your walls repainted (either all of them, or some accent walls in each room), you have many options to choose from. The big brands in India are Asian Paints, Nerolac, and Berger. Each of them comes with their own range.
- One option is to get the textured walls from Royale Play of Asian Paints or Velvet Touch of ICI Dulux. These look pretty good if done right. However, if you don't have a paint guy with a lot of experience, it's a bit of a gamble. Your best bet if you're looking for textured walls is to call the company directly and have them send your their people to do the job.
- Another, more common option is to get a standard emulsion - they come in three qualities. Asian paints call them Tractor, Plastic, and Premium beginning with the lowest quality. As far as I know, the difference between these is not so much the finish but the durability and stain resistance that they provide. Though they claim that the Premium quality is 100% washable, this is not the case. If you have to wipe off a stain off your wall, you will be able to tell that spot later since the paint will get a tiny bit lighter, especially if your wall color is dark to begin with.
- Choosing your wall color is the hardest part. It's really a matter of what you like. One thing to know though is that the final wall color does look fairly different from what you see on the shade card depending on the lighting in your room, the color of surrounding walls, and whether the color you've chosen is a light or dark hue. Dark colors typically look darker than you thought, and light colors tend to look brighter than you thought.
- If you have a good paint guy, he should take a lot of time and effort on each wall. The first step is to sandpaper the entire wall to get an even surface to work with. Then, the uneven steps on the wall have to be filled up with a plaster of paris putty. This is followed by priming and a base coat of some sort. Finally, there's the paint itself, of which you might require anywhere between 3-8 coats depending on the color.
- So how much should your budget for your paint work? Take a ballpark figure of about Rs. 2000 per wall. This might be less or more depending on the paint/texture you're choosing. Typically, a can of white plastic emulsion is about Rs. 240-270. This goes up based on the paint color. You'll need about 1.5 - 2 litres per wall. This + labor take you to the figure I've mentioned.
There you have it...all my paint related wisdom:-). If you're anything like me, you'll really enjoy this particular project when you're doing up your house...watching your walls change color is almost therapeutic. And after you're done choosing colors and textures and worrying about all your decisions in addition to the other work you're getting done as you're getting close to moving into your new home, you certainly need that therapy!