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Expert advice for painting a home interior

Paint is a simple and effective way to revive your home and give it a new look. Whether you choose neutral or colour, a fresh coat of paint instantly refreshes and updates a home.


We asked quality paint manufacturers, Prominent Paints, to give us a few pointers for those wanting to start a DIY painting project:

Choosing colour

When deciding to paint your home, both interior and exterior, colour is one of the first elements to be considered. This is probably the hardest part of any painting project. You want a change from the normal creams or light colours but you're not sure of the direction to take. Everyone has been in this position. Do you go for modern, trendy shades? Is it better to stick with white? Where would you put a bold feature wall?

The living room above incorporates three very different paint hues; white for the trim, a light grey on walls, and a warm beige on the feature wall around the fireplace. All three colours were selected for a specific purpose.

The white trim offers a sharp outline for the room and highlights the feature fireplace. The light beige on the feature wall takes its colour cue from the wood accents in the room (see in the picture above the fireplace, the side table, and the wooden door. It allows the white-framed fireplace to stand out and adds an element of warmth to the space. The light grey colour on the walls ties in with the black sofa and area rug and introduces a more modern touch to what would otherwise be a very beige colour scheme.

From this one example, you can see for yourself that colour can be used to tie elements together, create atmosphere, and bring together different styles.

If you want to add colour to a home, but prefer to keep it simple and only use one colour hue, use accessories or furniture already in the room as a cue to introduce a colour. The bedroom [above] is decorated in the palest of green that takes it cue from the carpet and bed linen. The colour was also selected based on the style of the bedroom, as the light green also highlights the white country style bed and creates a soothing retreat.

Above is another example of using a colour cue already in the room to add warmth to a room filled with light and dark furnishings. Again, the main wall colour is selected by using the main colour in the rug in this room. This colour also harmonises with the dark wood furniture and adds lightness, while complementing the green accents in the room. 

If in any doubt as to colour choices for a room, pop into your local Prominent Paints store and take home a selection of colour swatches to view in situ under different light conditions, and to compare to colours already in the room.

Decorating with white will always be popular and timeless. But white has its place as much as any other colour. It is the perfect backdrop in a room that already has colourful accessories, as can be seen above. Too much white and your home interior can lack personality and feel sterile.

White walls and trim are a great choice for our hot climate, but there are plenty of other light colours to choose from as well. Whisper whites are white with just a hint of colour. You can use these in any room in a home that needs to be brightened up or to highlight white trim as in the living room above.  This country home [below] offers a timeless look with its white trim and walls. In this room there are plenty of colour cues to choose from to add colour to the walls; the pale green and light lemon accents, all of which would add lightness, warmth and atmosphere to the room without detracting from the country feel.

Choosing paint

Remember to consider the environment when decorating a room, e.g.. steam or high traffic areas, and then the type of finish, if it would be Matt, Satin or a Sheen finish.

The truest colour that you will get is with a matt coating. This type of flat finish absorbs light and prevents colours reflecting from other surfaces, such as picture frames, tables, chairs, or even blinds hanging in the window.

Satin or sheen finish coatings are, on the other hand, more practical due to the high washability in high traffic areas and can be washed more frequently than a matt coating.

GOOD TO KNOW: Matt coatings are absorbent and should, for that reason, not be used in a high traffic area like passages children's bedrooms.

When choosing your colours, think about the light that the area receives during the day and what type of atmosphere you want to create. An easy way to play with colours is to use a lighter colour and just go two or three shades darker for a feature wall.

Touch Ups

Paint colours changes over time. Pigments used to add colour continue to develop and fade depending on environmental conditions. Even after a year and using leftover paint from the original project, any paint touch ups will be visible. If you need to do any touch ups, even small ones, it will be necessary to cover an entire wall to ensure that touch ups are not visible.

It's also important to use the correct cleaning solution when wiping marks or dirt off walls. Household cleaners are not paint-friendly and may remove the paint and not the dirt marks. Use Prominent Progold General Purpose Cleaner or Sugar Soap at a diluted ratio of 1 to 10 with water for the best results.

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