Choosing Paint – Redecorating Your House.

One of the most inexpensive ways of giving your home a new look is to redecorate. Giving your lounge or kitchen a new colour scheme won’t move the walls and create more space but it will create the illusion of just that, and it won’t cost as much as extensions or knocking down the walls.

When we are looking for a new look there is a few things to consider:

· Are we going “green”?

· What are we trying to achieve (spaciousness or cosiness?)

· What colours to choose – what colour scheme

· What paint finishes – light?

The first question is do we want to use ecologically friendly paint? It might appear to be a strange question to ask first, but the reason for that are limitations. When we are choosing “green” paints the limitations are in colours available to us. Because of the natural ingredients used in low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints there aren’t as many colours available especially if we want bolder colours.

The plus side to using green paint is that they have very low or no odour and some of the brands are Child Friendly – been approved by Toy Safety Standards which means that nurseries and kids furniture/toys can be painted. And of course when we are using ECO friendly paints we are looking after our carbon footprint.

After deciding whether we are using Eco friendly paint or not we need to ask ourselves a question of “What are we trying to achieve?”

Take one room at the time and think. Are we looking to create the illusion of space or do we want the room to be cosy or modern and bright?

In order to answer that question you need to look around the room considered and pay attention to key items like furniture, rags, and curtains. Those will also give you a good idea of the colours that you can choose without clashing.

Now, the next thing is colour. We all have our favourite colours but when choosing paint try to forget it for just a moment. Sometimes using bold colours i.e. as a feature wall can give that unique look to the rest of the room. Deciding on colour schemes bare in mind things like woodwork (skirting, doors, windows etc.), floors and lights. Once you finally chose a main colour create several schemes by light variations of the colour in different areas.

When choosing colours one of the other things to consider is light, to be more precise how much light comes into the room you are decorating. If the room doesn’t get much light then opting for lighter colours and matt finish can help also creating a future wall i.e. by putting up a striking patterned wallpaper can create the centre of attention in the room discarding a lack of natural light.

When we are choosing paint for our doors and skirting the light is more important. Simply because if we opted for a none “green” paint (solvent based) in order for paint to stay white for longer it needs natural light. However lets not panic the paint wont go yellow within a year or so, but after 5 or 10 years you can notice that it’s not as white as it was when applied. The water based paint for woodwork will stay whiter for longer even in the areas that have little or no sunlight.

Now to the colour we need to add paint finish. We all know about different types of woodwork paint that have a different amount of shine. But did you know that emulsion (water based paint commonly used for walls) comes in different levels of sheen too?

If you want to go for something that is quite shiny silk emulsion is a good choice or for little shine and good hardwearing finish Diamond Matt from Dulux can be wiped clean and offers good choice for kitchens.

There are many options to choose from when we choosing paint for our doors, skirting and windows. Depending on how much shine we want we can choose from Gloss, Semi-gloss, Satinwood, Eggshel and Matt.

Gloss and Semi-gloss are paint with highest shine that can make real statement but will highlight imperfections. Those paints are highly durable.

Satinwood and Eggshel (Satinwood is slightly more shiny that eggshel) are easy to clean paints and offer high durability in areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Matte paints are the least reflective sheen available and will help hide imperfections. Those paints have velvety texture and offer high depth of colour – recommended for bolder, darker colours on woodwork.

Tip: When deciding on colour its good to pick up some samples and paint them on a large sheets of coated paper or wood, that way you can put them up against different areas of the house and different lights/times a day.