How to choose paint colour

Colour can be a bit scary if you’re not con­fi­dent about us­ing it, but there are ways to get it right be­fore get­ting out your paint­brush and roller

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home -

1 It’s not ad­vis­able to use a paint colour you don’t know with­out try­ing it first. Don’t rely on printed colour cards, colours on com­puter screens, the colour on the tin, or the colour of the wet paint, as these can be mis­lead­ing. Oc­ca­sion­ally, colour cards are painted and these are, of course, more re­li­able than printed ones.

2 The only way to get a re­ally ac­cu­rate idea of what a par­tic­u­lar colour will look like in a par­tic­u­lar room, is to paint a lit­tle on the wall – prefer­ably all the walls – and let it dry, but even this isn’t fool­proof, as a small patch can look dif­fer­ent to a whole wall in the same colour.

Ideally, you need to live with a colour for at least a few days so you can see it in dif­fer­ent lights and at dif­fer­ent times of the day. A colour can look dif­fer­ent in nat­u­ral light and ar­ti­fi­cial light, and even in dif­fer­ent types of ar­ti­fi­cial light.

3 There are lots of dif­fer­ent shades of white, and most pure bril­liant white emul­sions are, in fact, of­fwhite. Again, it’s ad­vis­able to try a lit­tle first. If a paint is just called ‘white,’ it’s of­ten cream.

A good choice for a re­ally white white is Du­lux Ul­tra Bril­liant White matt emul­sion (from £23.37 for 2.5ltr, B&Q). This is a bright, pure white and con­tains par­ti­cles that re­flect light around the room.

4 You may want to take ac­count of the way a room faces when choos­ing paint colours. North-fac­ing rooms can be a chal­lenge be­cause the light is cold and blue, so you should steer clear of colours with a grey or green base and con­sider yel­lows and creamy neu­trals for a lighter, cheerier feel. Sunny south-fac­ing rooms are much eas­ier, as most colours work, but the nat­u­ral light can be very bright on a sunny day, so bear this in mind.

Rooms that face west are also easy to dec­o­rate – whites work par­tic­u­larly well, whereas east-fac­ing rooms suit blues and greens best.

5 Other things can be a fac­tor in your choice of wall colour, such as the colour of the floor­ing, fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories, if you pre­dom­i­nantly use the room at a cer­tain time of day, and whether you want to cre­ate a dark and moody, or light and airy feel, or some­thing in be­tween. If you’re not re­ally sure what you want, painted fea­ture walls are a great way to en­joy a limited amount of colour in a room.

If pos­si­ble, try a colour on a wall and let it dry so you know how it will look

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