It’s hard not to get caught up in paint colour hype; we’re flooded with dreamy images of paint-splashed walls all the time – and they’re stunning! If you’ve been inspired to give your walls a makeover at home, you need to proceed with caution, though, and consider the following painting tips.
Before we delve into the article, let me say this: I love gutsy design. I love decorators who have the balls to go all out and rock crazy pattern, high-velocity hue and radical texture like it’s going out of style. So this is not a piece that’s down on the daring. I love daring.
What I don’t love is seeing you waste your time and money on a makeover that you end up loathing the sight of. Because you should love the home you’re in. You deserve it!
I find that the makeovers people end up hating are the ones that were rushed into. So let’s slow it down for a moment, so you can ask yourself some questions about the paint project you’re considering. This will ensure the end result is 100% sunshine and rainbows.
Painting Tips: Questions to Ask before you Paint
How do I want the room to feel?
So many people don’t think about the mood they want to create in a space before they paint. But trust me when I say that it’s the most important of the painting tips to consider. Even if you’re not painting, and you’re just redecorating, you should still take the time to think about the intended mood of your room.
For example, you might want your bedroom to feel calm and serene; an oasis to escape to at the end of a long day. Those mood words conjure up light tones and something easy on the eye. I’ve never seen a bright red wall feel serene or calm.
On the flip side, you might want your dining room, which you only spend time in when guests are over, to feel lively and exciting. White paint isn’t going to cut it here. You could opt for something more impactful like a darker grey instead.
Do I get bored easily?
I ask this question because I get bored of my decor every five minutes. Guilty as charged. As you develop your interior style over time, you come to learn certain home truths about yourself. For me, I won’t ever be able to do a stripped back, all white space, for example. I love imagery like this, I gush over Scandi homes. But I know I love colour far too much to not have it feature in my design.
So be real with yourself when asking if you get bored easily. If the answer is yes, the electric paint colour you’re considering for your bedroom might not be the best option. It might be better to meet in the middle somewhere; choosing a colour that’s still eye-catching but a little less vibrant. A lavender, or a softer pink, or a pale blue could be stellar.
If you do get bored easily, ensure you pick a paint colour that’ll work with an array of incoming furniture and decor items. If it won’t play nice with lots of other colours, you might find it hard to live with.
When am I in the room the most?
Paint colours look different first thing in the morning than they do of an afternoon. In fact, when nightfall comes and you flick on a light, the colour it can cast on your selected paint can look altogether different than you imagined it would.
This is why you need to consider how and when you use the space. If you work a nine to five, and you spend most of your time in the room in question at night, you’ll need to take that into consideration when you’re at the paint store choosing the sample tin for your wall. Always keep in mind that the fluoro lighting of the paint store is worlds apart from your natural or overhead lighting at home, so pick your paint samples with this in mind.
How big is the space?
If you have your heart set on a dark black wall for your kitchen, for example, consider where the room is and what other rooms it flows onto.
Open plan spaces often need a large amount of paint across all walls, in the same colour, so just be mindful that one colour in a bold hue all the way through the space will have a huge impact on how the room feels. And it often might not result in the mood you were envisioning.
The old mindset that a small space can’t be painted in a dark colour is no longer completely relevant, but just understand that it won’t necessarily open the space up. It all goes back to the question of mood. Perhaps you want your small room to feel dark and cosy. In that case, go dark all the way!
Have I painted a sample on the wall?
Never commit to a paint colour without painting a sample strip or square on your wall. This sounds obvious but some people don’t do it, or they only hold up a small paint card they’ve got from the hardware store to decide if they like it.
The best approach is to paint samples onto your wall in different areas. One near a window, one in a corner, one toward the bottom of the wall. Light hits all of these spots differently (as mentioned above already), so you need to get a very accurate picture of how the paint will live on your walls.
Also take note of how it looks in the morning compared to at night. If the soft pink paint you love turns quite muddy at night when it’s darker inside, you might need to go a few shades lighter.
Do I have the budget (and motivation) to repaint?
The daring people I mentioned above, who I adore, are usually more than OK with spending the time and money to give their fave paint colours a go. If this sounds like you, by all means give a bold hue a try after you’ve applied some samples on your wall.
If you go to the trouble of painting the entire room and don’t like the look over time, it is only paint after all. It’ll take a few hours to hunt out a new colour and a few days to repaint the space. You never know if you never try, so as long as you go into it knowing you might have to re-paint, I say go for it!
What are some of your painting tips and ideas when it comes to colour for your walls? I’d love to hear your success (and disaster) stories in the comments below.
All images in this post come courtesy of Haymes.