Friday, 26 August 2011

paint - a rough guide

Before I get on to the bedroom post dealing with walls, lets talk about paint in general. Paint is by far the quickest and easiest way to update a room and make it feel fresh and new. Faded, grubby or flaking paint looks really depressing and a quick lick of pale beige or off white paint will bring a room to life.

photo source:

If your walls are basically sound and you like the colour, think about just painting one wall or alcove in an accent colour. Most contracts stipulate that walls should be returned to their original colour when you move out, so bear in mind that strong colours will require several coats of inexpensive white paint before re-painting with the desired top colour.

It's also worth remembering, that if you paint one wall, even if you know the shade that's been used on the rest of the walls, time & differing batches of paint means the colour won't be exactly the same when the time comes to paint out the feature wall. If you're going to paint, the best option, if you are up for it, is to repaint the whole room in a light neutral shade, saving enough for two top coats to cover over the feature wall when needed. Also, check with your agent or landlord first, show them a sample of the colours and get permission. If the landlord agrees to the pale colour for example, you're doing them a favour by updating tired paint work. If you don't fancy painting out a feature wall when you leave, discuss with them the possibility of using a strong yet neutral shade on the feature wall that they won't mind you leaving as is when you go (see below) it also does away with the need to try and match that wall to the rest of your walls.

photo source: house to home

If you're unlucky enough to have walls painted in the dreaded landlords favourite, Magnolia, you can work with it. In my humble opinion, however, it's a crime against interior design to willfully paint anything Magnolia. It's got unmistakable pinkish undertones. It's not cream (which usually has yellow undertones) and it's not really neutral. Dulux have some good colour combinations that work with Magnolia on their site here

photo source: Dulux

I prefer the warmer colours, to me, the Jasmine White just doesn't work as it's too cool next to the Magnolia, I'd stick to warmer shades of caramel, browns & reds, but like everything, it's all down to personal taste.

If you can, use a neutral like Egyptian Cotton from Dulux (which retains it's shade even next to strong colours)

Dulux Egyptian Cotton
It's a real must have neutral, not to cold, not too warm, not too yellow, or pink, I've used it in two houses & it looks great in every light. It looks absolutely stunning next to black or red in particular and is landlord friendly. Even the etire room painted in this will look great, leaving you to add colour with accessories.

There are several basic paint finishes for walls, matt emulsions are good for bedrooms, but a silk finish is more durable and scuff marks etc can be wiped off easily, it especially pays to use a more durable, specialist paint like Crown Easy Clean or Dulux Endurance if you're using pale colours as marks are inevitable.

In the next bedroom post I'll be looking at some colour schemes & clever ideas for wall treatments. 

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