DIY Home Painting by PAINTFORME®

Chapter 3. Paint colours

We discussed Paint & Finishes in our last Blog and now it is time to move on and discuss Design and Colour.


This is huge topic, as it’s about our vision and the message sent to our brains by different colours, all of which have a meaning and psychology behind them.


It’s about feelings and response, our behaviour. It’s kind of cultural and is a geographical, as well as natural, psychological and religious ingredient of an interior.


Nothing transforms an interior as dramatically as colour. Without colour, our world would be a poorer place. Just imagine having moon like scenery on the Mother Earth, yuck! Colours influence and reflect our emotions and thoughts.


When it comes to interior colour design, I see it two ways: one is fitting new colours around your present interior, such as the furniture and art you already have; or two, making the colour a big-bang point, where you first pick your colour scheme and then design everything else.


But where do you start creating the right colour palette for you and your interior?


One important matter to start with is the position of a room and if it is south, north or side facing. When working with the natural light from the south, balance and harmony can easily be created. The brightness of a southern facing room can generally be complemented by bold and deep colours. Conversely, if you are north facing, experiment with lighter shades to brighten even the remotest corner.


On the other hand, don’t be afraid or forget to follow your instincts when choosing colours, making choices that are a reflection of your personality and taste. Remember to surround yourselves with shades of colour that resonate with you, together with those that really energise, revitalise, nurture and nourish you.


In these strange times we are in, where it can feel somewhat difficult to control what is happening to us and around the world, you can still create a nice home that gives you a feeling of comfort, warmth, love and security.

Tall ceilings invite bold and deep colours to play without feeling overwhelmed, but again there are no rules in today’s world.


Nature can also teach us a lot about colour. So, next time you are out and about for the ‘’one exercise or walk a day’’ we are allowed to have, stop and take a minute to look around where you are. What works in the natural environment will also work in your home.


I suggest you narrow your colour selection as much as possible. When working with clients I encourage them to select no more than three favourites per feature, and then to get rid of one, which is the easy way to do it. Choosing the final colour from the remaining two is sometimes the hardest job, not only because it’s a decision that will last for years to come, but also because colours must work together.


Our most memorable wall colour limbo was finally resolved at the 22nd attempt, with the client picking and checking 21 colours before finally deciding on something completely different! But it was worth the wait and our client is now living in her dream home!


Pastel colours work well together and it is the same story for neutrals and strong and deep paint colours, but mixing these is something that is not fashionable.


To simplify the process of choosing paint colours, I recommend you go online to find interiors that already have the colours of your choice. You could take a look at some of our projects as displayed on Houzz. It is important to remember which way to go with the interior colour design. Once you find a picture that inspires you, find out which brand makes the closest colour match, and don’t forget that you can always call me for any help and advice on this.


So again, search online and when you find your match order a colour card and paint samples. Something to bear in mind is that while it is important to see the squares on your colour card, you should remember that the average bedroom in the UK has a wall surface of around 30 m², which is 25,000 times bigger than a colour card.

Therefore, seeing a larger piece by using samples of painted A4 paper or cardboard for example, is a must. More importantly, remember that what you see online and digitally can really differ from real painted surfaces, so this will help to avoid disappointment at a later stage.


The samples can then be taped or pinned onto different surfaces in a room allowing you to see how the light hits them throughout the day. You’ll find that paint colours appear lighter and brighter in south-facing rooms, while appearing greyer in those that face north. East and west-facing rooms will vary considerably throughout the day.


Remember to use all available features to play and mix the colours, including the ceiling, walls, skirting and even the floor. Don’t just assume that white belongs to ceilings and woodwork, that’s a misconception.


White is the one colour that fits in with all other paint colours. It is also the colour that enlarges rooms if painted throughout, while shutting out the horizon line between wall and ceiling, creating a visual trick on the eyes. This works with other colours too, but be careful as some colours can give a reverse impression.


NOTE: Matt paint finish will show the true side of a colour. So if you’re colour enthusiast…


Once you have chosen and decided on all the paint colours it’s time to order the materials, including the paint and what you will need for preparation, as well as protective items, e.g. tape and dustsheets.


This will be covered in more detail in the next chapter about ‘’Protection’’.


PS: If you would like to find out more about colours, and the meaning and psychology behind them, check out our website and blog.


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