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  Colour Theory

Paint - which is best?

Matt, Gloss or Satin finish: Which to use and when?

Matt - suitable for interior walls and ceilings. This water-based paint with low light reflection is a favourite finish for ceilings because they do not usually need to be wiped clean. Good for hiding any imperfections in the wall surface. Cheaper Matts may smudge when wiped. However, products like Dulux Endurance or Diamond Matt are more robust.

Satin - suitable for ceilings and interior walls that may need occasional sponging. This water-based paint with good light reflection gives a subtle soft-sheen finish and produces a more durable surface than Matt.

Silk - suitable for high moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. This water-based paint with good light reflection is easy to wipe clean and the high sheen effect disguises slight imperfections in the wall finish.

Gloss - suitable for woodwork and radiators. Choice of solvent or water-based, which are both highly reflective and hide surface imperfections. Over time, the heat of the radiator may result in discolouration of the solvent-based type. Both are tough enough to be used on skirting/kick boards.

Eggshell - suitable for interior walls and wood flooring. This water-based paint has subtle light reflection and is easy to wipe clean.  Can be used to rejuvenate tired flooring and painted patterns can even be created for a bit of variety and added colour.



Feature walls: Paper or paint - which is best for me?


Keep your wallpaper swatches and paint colour cards pinned to the wall for a day or two and look at them in different lights. Include bold patterns and colours as well as more subtle examples. Mix and match the swatches and colour cards to gain more options.



Which colours for me?
What do colours mean, and when to use them.

We have to consider the type of natural light coming into the room as well as the mood we would like to create.

South-facing rooms receive the strongest light for most of the day and therefore these rooms (weather permitting) will be warm, bright and light. This means that you can be bold and use strong, dark colours, e.g. teal or purple if you want to make a statement but any colour scheme would be suitable. Cool blues would be refreshing during the summer months. Do bear in mind that direct sunlight will make any colour appear brighter, so avoid shocking pinks, bright oranges and lime greens if you are designing a room where you intend to rest and relax.

North-facing rooms
tend to be darker and cooler throughout the day, since they do not receive direct sunlight. This is where colours like burnt oranges or reds would add the feeling of warmth and comfort and create a cosy atmosphere.  On the other hand, it could present the ideal opportunity to break out with those shocking pinks and lime greens which would definitely brighten up the room and make it ‘cool’ in every sense of the word.

East-facing rooms receive the warm light from the rising sun in the morning, but this cools as the day progresses. West-facing rooms have a cold light in the morning but a warm glow in the evening at sunset.

It really depends on how and when you use these rooms with the changing light and temperatures. If you use it in the afternoon and want to enjoy the setting sun, create a warm glow by using oranges and reds. Use cooler tones like blues or pale greens if you use the room in the morning when the sun is rising. However, if either of these rooms is in use morning and afternoon, then mix and match the cool blues and warm reds to complement the changing light and temperatures.

Anyone wishing to create a feeling of spaciousness should paint walls and ceilings throughout in one colour like white or natural. Having the same colour within the room and then flowing from room to room in unbroken succession, creates an illusion of space and distance, particularly if the all-over design is minimalist.
 
 
                   
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