9 steps to finding the perfect paint colour
Selecting the perfect colour scheme to create your ideal #livingdream space that both reflects your lifestyle and remains appealing for the upcoming years can be a daunting task.
Anne Roselt, Kansai Plascon’s Global Colour Manager, has outlined the nine steps that will enable every homeowner to find the perfect paint colour for any space.
1. Keep a record of Inspiration
We are surrounded by inspiration every day. Keeping a record of images, colours and objects that inspire will give you a clearer picture of your taste and style preferences. Every few months, go through old magazines and take out the images that grab your attention. Keep a file of the images categorised by room so that you have lots of inspiration when the time comes to paint. Pinterest and Instagram also allow for a wealth of digital inspiration.
2. Decide on the mood or atmosphere you want to create
Colour is the most important design element in creating the mood and atmosphere of a space. Each and every colour has an energy which affects whether you like that colour or not. Generally, when we walk into a red room, we feel excited and our blood pressure rises, so reds, oranges and yellows are recommended for areas where you want to create a friendly, sociable and energetic atmosphere.
Blue makes us feel calmer and more relaxed so these tones work well where you want to create a more peaceful and introspective atmosphere. Decide how you want to feel when you and your family are in the room and let that point you in the direction of the colours to select.
3. Consider the size and temperature of the space
Cool colours like gentle greens and blues recede, making a room appear larger than it is; whereas warm, deep colours advance and make a room appear smaller. If a room is hot, painting it in red tones will make the room feel even warmer than it is so, to counter this, select a cooler colour for a warm space and vice versa.
4. Create a mood board
If you are unsure about what colour to choose, creating a mood board will help enormously. Here you can place your inspirational images, adding colour samples or actual samples of the items you cannot replace such as flooring, furniture and window treatments in the room. Once you have the fixed items and inspiration on the mood board, add paint swatches to see which colours work best.
5. Balance your scheme
Balance warm colour schemes with cooler colours. Some of the most popular colour scheming harmonies are:
Monochromatic harmony – created using tints (colour with white added) and shades (colour with black added) of the same colour. This is most often used with neutrals to create a serene but interesting look.
Complementary harmony – created when colours on extreme ends of the colour wheel are used to enhance and balance each other. Complementary colours are:
- Blue and orange
- Green and red
- Purple and yellow
If you find a scheme is not working, try adding some green plants. You will be amazed how greenery assists in balancing a look.
6. Consider the lighting
Lighting can drastically affect the colour of walls. In one example, a homeowner painted a room a neutral colour, only to discover that there was a green tinge on one wall which was adjacent to a large window. The light coming through the window was reflecting the green shrubbery outside.
Coloured carpets and curtains can have a similar effect if the light bounces off it. The colour on your wall will change during the day depending on the natural light entering the room, and also change at night depending on your lighting. With incandescent lights being phased out due to their energy inefficiency, the choice is between fluorescent and LED lighting.
Both come in cool or warm light, so it is a personal choice as to what you prefer. Warm light has a golden glow which will enhance warm colours but can dull cooler shades. It is softer and preferred in bedrooms and living rooms. Cool light is closer to daylight. It is brighter and lighter, but it might be too bright for some rooms. On a side note, it’s important to remember that fluorescent lights contain mercury and must be disposed of responsibly.
7. Choosing your paint
Basically, there are two types of paint for interiors;
1. Water-based or acrylic paints -which can be used on walls, ceilings and furniture. They come in a selection of matt or sheen. Matt paints will hide imperfections and the good quality matt paints are just as washable as their sheen counterparts. Plascon Cashmere or Plascon Polvin are both excellent quality matt paints, perfect for interiors.
Sheen paints look luxurious and enhance deep colours, but make sure your walls are perfectly smooth. Plascon Double Velvet is a beautiful quality paint with a velvet sheen. Don’t underestimate the quality of paint. Cheap paints don’t have quality pigments or binders, they are not washable and will look shoddy after a short while, which means you have to re-paint sooner.
2. Enamel paints are used for doors, skirtings and window frames and are now available in water-based options. The water-based enamels are not only better quality, but much friendlier to the environment. When choosing an enamel for your trim, always insist on the water-based option such as Velvaglo Water-based paint.
8. Test your colour
If you like a paint colour, be sure to check the actual paint swatch first before purchase. Lighting, as mentioned, can make the colour look quite different in print. A colour can look more intense when painted on a wall than it does on the much smaller swatch card, so look for a slightly lighter, more muted hue than the colour you’re drawn to.
Buy a tester pot of the paint colour and paint it on a 1m x 1m piece of card. This way you can see how the colour looks on different walls during different times of the day. It also allows you to compare the colour against the flooring, lounge suite and curtains.
For more information on colour visit www.anneroselt.com