Hi All

Paint colours are so important to the successful decorating of your home and yet they continue to be a total minefield.  We have all come home expecting our walls to be a lovely primrose yellow only to find the painter scratching his head amidst a horror show of screaming yellow.  As my facebook friends will know, we recently took on the task of painting some of the rooms in my own home.  We decided for the first time to do it ourselves resulting in the task being very slow.  It is taking so long that I said to my husband the other day, like the Sistine Chapel or The Golden Gate Bridge, by the time we finish we’ll have to start again as I scrubbed finger paint off the first wall painted.  Anyways we’re getting there and I’ll post a few pictures later for those of you who kindly suggested paint colours on facebook over the past few weeks.

I have put together a few very simple tips for getting it right but should probably have done so before I painted my own house but anyways here we go!!

1.  Use the decor in the room to decide on your paint colour

Pick a cushion or curtains that you like in the room and use them as your pallet.  Use the background colour of the item as your main wall colour and use the brightest colour for accessories.  Use the 70/20/10 room rule where the lightest colour in your pallet is being used 70% of the time and the brightest only 10%.  If you are using a piece of art work as your pallet, make sure you go one or two shades lighter than the piece to ensure that the art work will stand out.

2.  Pick colours based on how you want to feel when you walk into the room

By this I mean, if you want to feel relaxed in the room, choose a very relaxed, neutral colour.  If you wish to use the room for entertaining such as a dining room, you may wish to use more vibrant colours and if the room is the bathroom where you might like a spa-like atmosphere, use semi-bold aqua inspired colours.

3.  Be very careful when testing paint

It is so important to test paint before painting.  Colour looks much more intense on the wall than on the sample card so always buy a tester and go a shade or 2 lighter than required on the sample brochure.  Test a good portion of your wall (You can also do so behind a picture) or use a large piece of cardboard and look at your test patch over a few days in different light before making a decision

4.  Ceilings

White is a good ceiling colour as it gives the room height.  I came across an interesting tip recently where it was recommended to add a few drops of your wall colour to the ceiling paint to make for a good transition.  There is no strong rule there either that ceiling paint has to be white and a lighter variation of the wall colour would also work.

5.  Hallways

It is often best to keep your hallway neutral as it allows you to branch into any colour in the rooms off them.  If you have already decided to keep all room neutral however, it may be nice to paint the hallway a different colour.

6.  Colour

  • Yellows, Pinks and other rosy hues are generally warm colours. 
  • Greens, Blues and Greys are usually cooler. 
  • Stark white can be very sterile and is often best with a hint of pink or beige in it
  • If you really love a particular bold colour, you could use it on one statement wall in other rooms and paint the rest of the walls a complementary neutral colour.  Look at your colour charts.  Your bold colour may be at one end of the spectrum and the best neutral to match at the other end.
  • Bold colours are best used in rooms that you don’t spend much time in, e.g. bathroom or dining room

When deciding on paint for my own house, I like the country style theme so had that in mind.  I am a fan of the slightly off neutral pallet but nothing too mad so that was the brief.  Here’s how we got on and the paint we used:

Children’s Bedroom

Sticky Fingers By Crown and Little Blue By Dulux

Main Bedroom

All walls are Parisian Cream by Dulux

Kitchen / Dining Room / Sunroom

Pantry Green and Original Cream both from Dulux

Pantry Green From Dulux

Downstairs Bathroom


Pantry Green by Dulux and ‘Wash Day Blues’ Print by Charlotte Bird (available at The Home Barn)

Until next time