Painting the rooms of your home offers the opportunity to spice up the décor and bring in some fresh color. When your living room and dining room connect to form an L-shape, the job of painting can be a little more challenging, as you’re working with a room with six walls instead of four. Opt for a vibrant look with bold colors, provide a more relaxed and soothing appearance with muted shades and pastels, or mix the two; you can paint the living and dining sections to coordinate the two areas while still giving each space its own appearance in the home.
Things You'll Need
- Color samples
- Drop cloth
- Painter’s tape
- Paint roller
Pick up paint color samples from your local home improvement store that coordinate with the existing furnishings and décor of your two areas, such as the wood of the dining table, curtains, the color of your sofa, and the colors of area rugs or carpets between the two spaces.
Select three coordinating colors from your samples. With an L-shaped room layout, the two walls on opposite ends of the L “belong” to the living space of that end of the room, while the other four walls of the L’s body are “shared” between the living room and dining room. Choose one color for the end wall of the dining room, another for the end of the living room, and a third color that will be used along the four shared walls.
Push any furniture away from the walls and drape with drop cloths. Use painter’s tape around the entire L-shaped room to mark off the edges of the walls along the trim, door frames and window frames, as well as any other immovable items, such as vents or outlets.
Paint the end walls each with their own distinctive color, using a paintbrush near the taped areas for control and a paint roller for the larger areas of wall to be covered. Work the roller in a W shape as you apply the paint for more even coverage over the walls. Allow the first coat of paint to dry before applying a second coat. Let the paint dry.
Paint the four shared walls, working with one wall at a time. By the time you finish the fourth shared wall, the first wall may be dry; paint each wall again with a second coat. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before removing the tape and replacing the furniture in the room.
Tips & Warnings
- Use a fourth color on the trim work between the two living spaces. Paint the trim after all of your wall paint is dry and you can safely apply painter’s tape to the walls.
- One gallon of paint covers 350 square feet of wall space for a single coat.
- Stenciling along the walls can add depth to the living and dining room and tie the two together; stenciling over the dining room end wall with the living room end wall's colors and vice versa helps coordinate the two rooms.
- Combining light blues, greens and beige can give an open, calm feel to both the living and dining room; using deeper tones, such as purple, maroon and gold, can create a more sophisticated, intimate look. Combining lavender, yellow and white offers a fresh floral look.
- Avoid fad color combinations that are highly popular now but may not look as appealing in years to come. Keep these color choices to smaller rooms that are easier to repaint.
- "Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design"; Christopher Lowell; 2000
- "Paint and Color"; Jessica Elin Hirschman; 2002
- Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
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