How to Choose Interior Paint


by contributing writer Lana  (like banana)

When painting a room, there is always the question: What paint should we use?  These pointers will help you.

How to Choose Interior Paint

Latex or Oil

Latex paint is water based and makes for easy clean up. Plus, you can usually paint over latex with another latex paint without a primer.

Oil has a highly toxic smell, requires new paint brushes, and it requires special chemicals to clean up, i.e. mineral spirits. Plus, if you paint over an oil paint without a primer, it could cause peeling.


In simple terms, sheen is the shine or the lack of shine when the paint dries.

Usually there are a few types of sheen to choose from depending on the brand:

  • Flat – No gloss whatsoever. Think of a powdery finish.
  • Matte – No gloss but might have a tad bit shine to it.
  • Eggshell – A medium shine, not too glossy but not too matte.
  • Satin – Not as glossy as semi-gloss but easy to clean and great for kids. Perfect for bathroom and kitchen walls.
  • Semi-Gloss – Think shiny and easy to clean.  Great for trim in bathrooms.

In our home, we have chosen to go Satin or Eggshell in each room. We find it is easier to clean with kids and animals. We have used flat paint (some salesperson told us it was the best years ago).  All it did was show oil from tiny fingers.

Primer or No Primer

We know about painting over old paint. We made a fatal mistake one time and painted over oil paint without a primer. The paint peeled and peeled. We finally had to sand everything down and start over. If we had used a primer (such as  Kilz), it would have cut down the extra work.

A primer also makes a paint stick in highly used areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where little ones like to touch the walls.

A lot of paints now include a primer inside the paint, such as Olympic One. However, it has more of a smell than a paint such a Behr.

I have actually used essential oils in the paint (Young Living Lavender), and it cut down on the smells considerably. It didn’t seem to have an effect on the quality, but you should use caution when doing this because it wasn’t proved in any scientific method.

More Painting Ideas


Get a sample of paint! Paint different areas of the room about the size of a cookie sheet.  Painting a small area will give you a better feel for the tint, such as green, pink or purple.

Also, depending on the light, the paint will look different. Our paint in the living room and dining room are the same but look totally different because of the amount of light that the window gives.


If you don’t really care what the color should be, ask for the mistint pile. This can save you hundreds of dollars, if you are not too picky. Keep in mind that you can’t return it usually, if you do not like it.


Always look for coupons right before you buy. Sometimes a store will have a sale not posted. Also, if you are buying a large amount, sometimes the manager will give you the sale price just for asking.

Ask Questions!

Normally the night workers in a big box store will not know as much as the manager who has probably attended mandatory paint classes. Ask for the manager. If they still don’t know your answer ask when the representative will be in, and ask for his/her number. They will gladly answer your questions – they want you to buy their product.

What is your favorite paint and why?

Find some great Painting Projects:

More projects from Lana

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Ottoman Makeover

by contributing writer Lana  (like banana)

We have been remodeling our daughters’ bedroom.  The theme is Parisian and Around the World.  We have been doing this remodel with very little money.  One of the most money saving tips we have is “Use What We Have and Make It New!”

Parisian Ottoman Makeover


Here is a simple way to give an ottoman a makeover for very little money.

Supplies Needed

  • Spray paint
  • Old ottoman
  • Burlap material to cover cushion.  (We used a coupon to buy it from Hobby Lobby.)
  • Staple gun
  • Screwdriver


Before photo of ottoman makeover

  1. Take off the top cushion using a screwdriver to remove any screws that are holding it on.  Keep all the screws in a cup or bowl so they won’t get lost.
    How to makeover an ottoman
  2. Remove the staples from the back of the ottoman.  Carefully remove the material from the bottom of the cushion.  To save even more money, reuse it. No one will ever even notice.
    Ottoman Makeover
  3. Wrap your burlap over the cushion as you would wrap a present.  For the corners, make an envelope fold and make sure they fold straight.  Staple down if they are bulky.  You can cut the excess, just make sure the top of the ottoman is pulled tight.
    French Ottoman Makeover
  4. Take apart the wood and spray paint it in a well ventilated area.
    Spray Painted Ottoman
  5. Let dry overnight.
  6. Reassemble the ottoman.
    Ottoman Makeover Parisian Style
  7. Enjoy your “new” piece of furniture.
    Ottoman Makeover for girls room

Feel free to ask any questions, we learn as we go.  The entire ottoman makeover cost about $5.00 or so.

More projects from Lana

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

by contributing writer Lana  (like banana)

We have been remodeling our home.  A few years ago, we did a DIY glazed look to our kitchen cabinets without sandpaper.  But, since then we have expanded our kitchen and made our own cabinets.

Our entire kitchen re-model from the beginning to the finished product has been a rewarding process.  We have learned so much and it has been a delight to finally have the completed project.

This is the final step in our Kitchen Remodel!

How to Paint Cabinets

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets


  • Kitchen Cabinets (Here is how to make your own Kitchen Cabinets.)
  • Paint (We like Olympic One.  It has Paint and Primer in one.  Plus, it doesn’t have a bad smell like others.  We also like using semi-gloss on cabinets – makes it easier to clean.)
    Primer and Paint in ONE
  • Paint Brush, Roller, and Sponge BrushPainting Tools
  • Damp Rag


  1. Take off all your doors and lay them on a flat surface.  Make sure they are clean of any dust or wood putty.  Getting dirt in the paint is like getting crumbs in icing, it is not a pretty sight.
  2. Start with the backside of the door.
    How to paint kitchen cabinets
  3. Using your roller, roll it in the paint.  Make sure you go with the grain and apply to the sanded door.  Again, I say – Go with the grain!Painting Cabinets
    If you don’t go with the grain, it leaves marks.  Wipe any drip marks before they dry.
  4. Using your sponge brush, paint the inside corners and inner trim.Easy way to paint corners on kitchen cabinet
    Wipe any drip marks before they dry.
  5. Allow your door to dry – overnight is best.  Make sure all drip marks are wiped before they dry.
  6. Turn over the door and do the front side by repeating the steps above.
  7. Allow door to dry and then hang.

Hang cabinets

Enjoy your final product!

Kitchen Cabinets Painted with Cookie Crumb

Other words of wisdom and lessons we have learned:

  • Don’t paint in direct sunlight on a hot and windy day.
  • Don’t let your brush become noisy. If it is noisy, then you need more paint.
  • Let your paint dry and take breaks.  When you come back from a break, it will help you gain perspective.
  • Have fun.  The finished project is worth all the sweat, tears and pizza nights.

See more of our Household DIY Projects:

More projects from Lana

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Make an Easel

by contributing writer Lana  (like banana)

My kids and I were painting using oil pastels.  We had art projects all over the kitchen and dining room tables.  My husband walked in and said “Hey, I can make you an easel if that would help you.”  He didn’t have to ask twice. So he taught me how to make an easel.

How to make an easel

How to Make an Easel

Supplies Needed

  • A 6 Foot 1” x 2” select pine wood
    6 Foot 1x2 makes one Table Top Art Easel
  • Small Piece of 7/16 threaded rod (steel rod)
    Art Easel
  • 4 7/16 washers
  • 2 7/16 cap nuts
  • 2 small eye bolts/screws
  • 1 piece of small chain or rope
  • 1 piece of 14” x 14” board (We used 1/8” underlayment but any thin piece of board would work.)
  • Hack Saw (for cutting the metal rod)
  • Miter Saw (or the friendly people at your hardware might cut them for you.)
  • Drill
  • 7/16 Drill Bit
  • 2 all purpose screws
  • 10 small finished nails


1. Cut the 6 Foot 1”x2” into 3 – 18” pieces and 1 – 14” piece.
These boards will be used for the tri-pod stand.  On two of the 18″ pieces you want to cut angles to make them into a V shape.  The middle tri-pod piece has the corners cut off. Look at the photo to understand more clearly.
Cut V Shapes to make tri-pod for Art Easel

2. Cut threaded rod to approximately 2 3/4″ – 3″

3. Drill a 7/16″ hole in all three 18″ pieces approximately 1″ from the top using your 7/16″ drill bit.

Drilled Holes for Art Easel

4. Attach 1 cap nut to the one end of the threaded rod then thread the washers in this order, one washer on, then one outer tri-pod leg, another washer, middle tri-pod leg, another washer, then the other outer tri-pod leg, last washer and the last cap nut.

Insert the eyebolt with washers for a DIY Art EASEL

DIY Art Easel

5. Attach the 14″ board, spaced evenly across the two outer tri-pod leg boards approximately 3″ from the bottom to make a rim or pencil holder.

6. Attach the 14″x14″ flat board evenly to the two tri-pod. Secure the flat board with finished nails to the outer tri-pod boards.

7. Screw the 1 eye bolt into the middle tri-pod leg 3 inches from the bottom and the 2nd eyebolt into the back of the rim.

Eyebolt for a DIY Art Easel

8. Attach chain onto both eye bolts.

Back of a DIY Art Easel

What a fun project that any art student (or Mom) would love!

Make your own Art Easel

Don’t you love when a project gives birth to another project?  That is our life.

More fun DIY projects:

More projects from Lana

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.