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Interior Design

Del Monte Orange or Seventies Settee Beige?

With every new range of increasingly ridiculously named paint that hits the shelves of our DIY stores, the (should be) simple task of choosing tin in a colour you like becomes ever more difficult. If you have attempted to do this lately, you will know exactly what I mean. Those geniuses in marketing no longer think it good enough to call white ‘white’ anymore, these days has to be called something like “arctic snow” or “polar-bear’s tears of joy”- they sound more like Narnia based short stories than acrylic tones! If you want to avoid painting your living room in bright yellow because you didn’t fully understand the implications of a tin entitled “death by banana”, read on for a helpful guide to paint.

It’s always a good idea to make a note on the back of the paint colour cards, telling yourself the name of the store where you picked it up, and the paint brand whenever this information isn’t printed there already. Since most home centres and hardware stores carry more than one brand of paint, you may discover the perfect colour, and then find you can’t remember where you got the sample- and have to start over!

Colours are often referred to as “warm” and “cool.” Orange, red, and pink are considered “warm” colours, while blues, greens, and violet are thought to be “cool.” Knowing the theory behind colour can help you select the right tone for the feel you’re trying to achieve.

Trying to find the perfect white can be a challenge! Beiges and off-whites have subtle colour, so compare paint samples to your fabrics and flooring to determine if a warmer pinkish or yellow-toned white or a cooler, bluer white is best for your room.

The best way to get a true view of a paint colour is to look at it in many lights. Take the paint sample outside to see it in natural light. Look at under an incandescent and fluorescent light. Best yet, take the paint sample, fabrics, and accessories to the room which they will be decorating and see how they look together in the light of that particular space.

If you want to achieve a perfect match or find a truly unique colour, your paint store or home centre offers custom colour mixing. This makes it possible to bring in a fabric swatch, painting, or other colour reference, and have a paint colour created to be a perfect match. Visit Home Depot or Lowe’s or call a local hardware store to inquire.

Take your room measurements with you to the paint store or home centre. The professional at the store will help you determine the correct quantity of paint to buy for your job. Or you might use your numbers to consult one of the handy online paint estimators to get an idea of how much paint you’ll need for your project. Remember to include undercoat and skirting and door paint into your calculations to avoid a nasty surprise!

If you have painted your room a colour that doesn’t quite work with your existing furniture but don’t fancy starting again, cheap cushions, a cheap rug or other inexpensive accessories that contain the same colour as the offending paint can really help to even out the colour scheme.

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