I love paint. I love its immediacy. I love being able to choose eco-friendly options with a range of interesting finishes. You can do it yourself and I love that you can completely overhaul, renew, or refresh a space in an afternoon. Here are my tips for getting the most out of a tin of paint:
1. Swatch, swatch, swatch. Visit the local hardware or paint store and buy small pots of a few colours that you like or those that fit in your 10-colour palette – don’t be scared to try something new. If the choice is there, get an assortment of different finishes: matt, semi and full gloss, and metallic are just a hint at the possibilities.
2. Try them out. Take your selection home and paint large swatches, about one metre (or two feet) square, in various parts of the room. Study the results at different times of the day, in natural and artificial light. This is a very important step, as the appearance of a paint colour can change depending on the size and orientation of the room, colours and elements that surround it.
3. If you’re hesitant, choose the disposable option. If you’re baulking at painting swatches directly on walls, paint your desired colours on one-metre squares of pure white paper and paint them to various spots on the walls. Be aware that the finish and colour will be slightly different to how the paint will appear on the walls.
4. Think about it. Look at your swatches for at least 24 hours before you make your decision.
5. Relax. Once you begin painting, don’t worry if you can’t achieve a professional finish. Some colours look great when they’re slightly uneven, as they have a more tactile quality. And remember, if you don’t like it or you really do a botched job, you can always paint over the top and start again.
Check out my advice on creating your own 10-colour palette here.