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How to find joy in a can of paint

| Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

During this lackluster time of year, you might find some joy in a can of paint. For 2013, paint companies such as Valspar are offering a mood-enhancing palette. “Consumers want this to be a year of change,” says Sue Kim, a Valspar color strategist. “We hope the economy will kick in and good things will happen in our lives.” As we await the rebound, Kim suggests some quick DIY paint therapy on a front door or a ceiling using Valspar Mustard Glaze, Roasted Pumpkin or Tropical Bay. We asked several designers for their ideas for painting projects that would not take a lot of time or money, and their color choices.

Paint the back of some bookshelves. “Books and accessories can lose their impact against a backdrop of white shelves,” says Kirsten Kaplan of Haus Interior Design in Rockville, Md. Her choice is what she calls a “rich chocolate-charcoal gray”: Seal by Martha Stewart Living.

Update a boring room. Paint horizontal stripes, using alternating flat and semi-gloss finish in colors that are close in tone, says Kaplan. One pairing could be Worldly Gray and Shoji White by Sherwin-Williams.

Bring zest to your foyer. Jill Sorensen of Marmalade Interiors in McLean, Va., suggests a sunny yellow (using a flat finish to show off the color more) such as Benjamin Moore's Yellow Finch or Sun Porch.

Revive a dreary dresser. Give furniture an instant makeover with a coat of fresh paint in a bold, high-gloss color. Sorensen's picks: Red, Cool Aqua or Emerald Isle by Benjamin Moore.

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