It’s essential to select the correct paint type and finish for the surface you want to cover.
WHICH PAINT TO PICK?
Melanie Adams, Director, Designerpaint.com reveals the secrets of paint formulas.
Water-based emulsion works well on walls and ceilings. Eggshell and acrylic can also be water based but they’re tougher than emulsion. Some products are durable enough to be wiped, making them the perfect choice for busy areas such as kitchens and hallways, and they can also be used on woodwork. Water-based paint dries quickly, brushes can be cleaned with water, drips can be easily wiped away and the colour stays put over time.
Oil-based paint produces a shiny, hardwearing top coat so is ideal for glossy woodwork, doors and furniture. It goes on smoothly but releases fumes while drying so it’s important to ventilate the room well. Eco paint is made from organic materials such as plants, earth and clay. It’s non-toxic and has low odour levels.Chalk paint is also solvent-free and water-based, and suitable for walls and woodwork; the paint doesn’t trap moisture and allows walls to ‘breathe’.
REFLECTING ON FINISHES
Matt emulsion doesn’t reflect light. It gives walls a flat depth of colour that helps hide marks and imperfections. Flat/extra matt has a denser, velvety finish. Some makes give a sheen level; the lower the number the more matt it is. Two per cent, for instance, is very matt. Eggshell has a slight sheen and is more resistant to marking. It’s wipeable and water-resistant so is ideal for walls or woodwork in kitchens and bathrooms. Silk is for walls and has a little more shine.Satin gives woodwork a moderate shine. Gloss is the most reflective finish but is more prone to showing imperfections. It can be wiped down and is generally used on woodwork.
Specialist paints produced for specific tasks include floor paint for indoor wood or concrete floors and masonry paint for outdoor walls, which is tough enough to withstand extremes of weather.Tile paint produces a waterproof finish that’s mould-resistant. Kitchen and bathroom paintshave anti-mould agents in them too. Metal spray paint is good for updating a radiator or stove, while suede or glitter finishes spruce up a room, and magnetic chalkboard paint turns a wall into a play space. One coat provides dense coverage in one go and non-drip gloss makes application simpler.
APPLY COLOUR THEORY
Interior Designer Emma Capron, from Bean Interiors explains how to select the best paint shades for your room.
Before you choose your colour, consider the direction the room faces, the amount of light it gets, and what you use it for. North-facing: The natural light is less direct and feels cool, so avoid blue or grey-based colours. Go for something with warm undertones or yellow based colours, for example. South-facing: Colours are intensified in this warm, natural light. If you want to offset the brightness, choose cool, soft hues. East-facing: As these rooms are brighter and warmer in the morning and cooler in the afternoon, greens and pale neutrals work best. Soft duck egg, for instance, will retain a sense of light and vibrancy through the day. West-facing: This can appear dull in the morning but evening light will provide a warm glow. Maximise brightness by selecting neutrals to bounce light around the room.